This is our version of the hot and sour soup, modified to taste as much as possible like the wonderful version we would get at our favorite Thai restaurant, Bahn Na, in Ypsilanti, MI. I've included the modifications (*) that make it vegetarian-friendly. A note about the fish sauce: this can be purchased from any Asian grocery, and I would recommend just about any that come in a glass bottle - they generally taste better.
- 1⁄2 medium onion, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced (optional)
- 2 small tomatoes, cut into eighths
- 1⁄2 lb skinless chicken breasts, diced (*) or 8 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed and drained, cubed (*)
- 10 canned straw mushrooms
- 5 button mushrooms, quartered
- 4 cups chicken stock (*) or 4 cups mushroom stock (*)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, cut the stalks diagonally 2-inch long, scored lightly
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, fresh, scored lightly
- 6 slices fresh ginger (approximately 1-inch in diameter, 1/8-inch thick)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons chili paste (Nam Prik Pao, Thai chili paste with soya oil)
- 2 serrano chilies, thickly sliced (optional)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, washed and roughly diced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup lime juice (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken and/or tofu, onion (not the green onions), half each of the ginger and lemongrass until the chicken is only a little bit pink and the onion translucent.
- Add the stock, fish sauce, remaining ginger and lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and (optional) serrano chilies. Simmer 10 - 15 minute covered on medium-low heat.
- Add the sugar, Nam Prik Pao, and sliced tomatoes. Simmer an additional 2 minute.
- Turn heat fully to low and add the lime juice to taste. Add half of the diced cilantro and the green onions, then let simmer on low for another few minutes.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve with additional lime juice.