Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Most hot & sour soups that I've had are neither hot nor sour. This one is both. As an added bonus, I replace the usual soy sauce with Chinkiang vinegar, which dramatically lowers the sodium content. Scale back on the peppers to make it less hot and reduce the rice vinegar if you want it less sour.
- 6 ounces chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 4 ounces Chinkiang vinegar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (for hotter soup)
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 6 ounces bamboo shoots, cut into strips (canned is perfect)
- 6 ounces mushrooms, cut into slices
- 4 ounces fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
- 3 ounces cornstarch (or 4 ounces of flour)
- 1⁄2 cup water (or use drained liquid from canned vegetables)
- 4 egg whites
- 3 ounces rice vinegar
- 6 ounces tofu, cut into strips
- 1 1⁄2 ounces green onions (chopped in 1 inch long pieces)
- Cut chicken breast into uniform, thin strips. Pan cook until the bottom changes color from pink to pale tan color, then flip the pieces over. When there is no sign of pink color, remove from pan and set aside. IMPORTANT: don't cook as much as you'd cook a chicken breast you might eat by itself: heating the soup will continue to cook the chicken, resulting in tough, overcooked chicken in your soup.
- Dissolve tamarind paste by heating with an ounce of the chicken stock. (microwave is a good way to do this). Remove any seeds from melted paste, since they're inedible.
- Bring stock to boil. Add tamarind/stock mixture, Chinkiang vinegar, pepper, pepper flakes, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and spinach; SAVE LIQUID FROM BAMBOO SHOOTS. Stir. Let cook for 3 minutes.
- While cooking, in separate bowl combine cornstarch or flour and liquid from the previous step to make a slurry. Add slurry a little at a time and stir until thick (all slurry may not be necessary, so add as much as necessary for desired thickness).
- Add eggs while stirring and cook for 30 seconds or until eggs are done. Add green onions and chicken.
- Cut tofu into strips that are about 1/4" x 1/4" x however thick the tofu brick is.
- Remove from heat. Add rice vinegar and tofu and blend thoroughly.
- Serve with crispy fried won tons if desired.