Hot & Sour Cabbage Soup

"The best of both worlds: heavy Thai flavor combined with acidity of the tomato and the lightness of the cabbage."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
Ready In:




  • Heat sesame oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes, scraping the bottom continuously with a spoon or spatula. Add garlic and ginger and saute for another minute, stirring continuously.
  • Add cabbage and bamboo shoots to pot and stir thoroughly to coat. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes.Stir in tamarind paste to coat thoroughly and cook for another minute. Add vegetable stock and stir thoroughly.
  • Open the can of tomatoes, but leave them in the can. Add chopped Calabrian chili peppers (minus the stems) to the can. Use an immersion blender for 30 seconds or so to blend tomatoes and peppers together. Add mixture to the pot and stir thoroughly.
  • Add both vinegars to the pot and stir. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat, or until cabbage is tender.
  • In a separate bowl, use liquid reserved from bamboo shoots to blend with cornstarch. Alternately, use 1/2 cup of water or some of the soup removed from the pot. Blend the cornstarch mixture into the soup by pouring in a steady stream while stirring continuously.
  • Whisk two eggs in a bowl, then blend them into the soup by pouring in a stead stream while stirring continuously. This will produce a "feathering" effect in the soup.
  • Stir in chopped cilantro and serve, adding additional fresh cilantro as a garnish.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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