Friday, October 03, 2003

Hot & Sour Craving Soup 

Autumn’s chilly air always makes me want soup. There’s a Thai restaurant in Philadelphia that has amazing hot & sour soup. It’s shockingly hot, with a heat so intense that it tricks you into eating it quickly in a failed attempt to put the fire out. (If you love spicy food as much as I do, that last sentence will make perfect sense.) Their soup isn’t like the cornstarch thickened soups that are served at most Asian restaurants; the broth is clearer and the sweet and sour flavors are incredibly well balanced. It never failed to clear my head.

I craved this soup. So much so that I worked on trying to duplicate it at home for months. While I don’t think my recipe is anywhere near the same as theirs, I do get a very strong craving for it…hence the name “Hot & Sour Craving Soup.” The first time I made it correctly, I ate it for five days in a row!

Ingredients:How To:

  1. Bring the chicken stock and the fresh ginger root to a slow boil for two or three minutes.
  2. Remove the ginger slices and discard. Turn the heat down to medium low.
  3. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients, the sugar, and the white pepper. NOTE: Don't inhale as you add the white pepper! Stir gently.
  4. Add the bamboo shoots and the tofu. Stir gently.
  5. Bring the soup to a slow boil again and quickly add in the lightly beaten egg while stirring. Remove the pot from the heat immediately and continue to stir to break up the egg pieces.
  6. Place the soup in bowls and garnish with scallion and cilantro.
Serves four as an appetizer, or two as a meal.

This soup won second place in a local recipe contest. If you give the recipe a try -- let me know how you liked it.
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