Did you ever wonder how Chinese restaurants make this deliciously tangy, thick, satisfying soup? Well, I’m here to show you how to stir up a pot in less time than it takes to order takeout. I think you’ll be surprised at how simple it is. The “hot” comes from white pepper (that’s right, white, though black can be used in a pinch), and the “sour” from vinegar.
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To give the soup deep, rich flavor, start by soaking some dried shiitake mushrooms in boiling water. You’ll use both the mushrooms and that amazing soaking liquid in the soup, along with chicken broth, soy sauce, white pepper, canned bamboo shoots, tofu, and scallions. Finish it with the vinegar and an egg, which makes those beautiful silky strands. Watch for my no-fail tip for thickening the soup with cornstarch.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes 6 cups soup
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3/4 cup canned bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained and cut into matchsticks
7 ounces soft tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a small bowl, soak mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water until softened, using a plate to keep mushrooms submerged, about 15 minutes. Remove mushrooms, reserving mushroom liquid, and thinly slice. In another small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 4 tablespoons water.
In a medium saucepot, add mushrooms and mushroom liquid to chicken broth. Pour mushroom liquid carefully to leave behind grit (or strain it). Bring chicken broth, mushrooms, mushroom liquid, soy sauce, and pepper to a simmer covered. Add bamboo shoots, tofu, and scallions, reserving 4 tablespoons sliced green tops; simmer 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Remove from heat and add egg while stirring soup. Serve topped with remaining scallion.
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Nutritional Info: per serv (makes 4): 120 cal; g fat; 7 g protein; 14 g carb; 1 g fiber
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Sarah Carey is the editor of Everyday Food magazine and her job is to come up with the best ways to make fast, delicious food at home. But she’s also a mom to two hungry kids, so the question “What’s for dinner?” is never far from her mind — or theirs, it seems! Her days can get crazy busy (whose don’t?), so these videos are all about her favorite fast, fresh meals — and the tricks she uses to make it all SO much easier.
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