Nothing beats a cold day like a hot bowl of homemade soup. This hot and sour soup will awake your taste buds and warm up your stomach in the cold weather. I used a homemade chicken stock in the recipe below, but a box of chicken stock would also work in a pinch and save you 1.5 hours of cooking time. Shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots are often used for this soup which can be added here as well. On the other hand, bean sprouts is an unconventional ingredient for this recipe, but it is actually my favorite addition. As you can probably tell, it is a very versatile soup and you can adjust some of the ingredients to your liking.
- 1 box of silken tofu
- 1 lb of skinless chicken breast or 3 cups of chicken broth
- 2 pieces of ginger
- 1 piece of fried fish maw
- 1 cup of dried Wood Ear
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1/2 carrot, shredded
- 2 cups of bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar, Zhenjiang vinegar 鎮江醋, or balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white pepper – (adjust to your taste for spiciness)
- 3 tablespoons sweet potato starch or corn starch
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Fried Fish Stomach/Swim Bladder/Fish maw Preparation:
- Soak wood ear in hot water and let sit for 20 minutes. Clean and remove any hard parts with scissors. Cut into strips.
- Prepare chicken stock – bring a pot of water (5 cups) to boil. Add chicken, carrots chucks, and ginger to the pot. When it comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
- Remove chicken, carrots, and ginger from the pot.
- Bring the soup to boil over high heat. Add carrots, wood ear and fish maw. When it comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into strips. When it boils again, stir in tofu. Add soy sauce, vinegar and pepper.
- When it boil again, add bean sprouts, cook for 30 seconds.
- In a small bowl, mix the starch with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir into the pot of soup slowly to thicken the soup. You may add more starch mixture until desired consistency is reached.
- Lastly, turn off the heat. Crack the egg and stir quickly. Add cilantro, sesame oil and chili oil for your taste. Serve while it is still very hot.