Dad’s Hot and Sour Soup

We drank too much last night. My only known cure for a hangover is spicy food. Very spicy food.

As I was struggling to drive home from Thanksgiving shopping, I recalled my desire to make this soup. I grew up eating this for years. It’s spicy, sour, and filled with amazing textures and flavors. My favorite part is the enoki mushrooms. They’re crunchy but soft at the same time, an unfamiliar texture to most. The bamboo also has a similar texture, along with the pieces of pork throughout the soup.

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There are two ingredients that you will have to hunt down at an Asian market: chili bamboo shoots and canned bamboo shoots. You cannot make this soup without these two. Without the chili bamboo shoots, well…you’d just have a sour soup. Say bye-bye to the hot.

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It’s an incredibly easy soup to make and it’s far better than what I’ve seen sold at Chinese restaurants. If you can find these ingredients and you like spicy-ass food, try this out for sure.

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This is what happens in the background while preparing photos for this blog:

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Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

3-4 dried hot peppers
1/2 cup of julienned pork (I used pork loin)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup spicy pickled bamboo shoots
1 can of julienned bamboo shoots
1/2 cup julienned firm tofu
1 bunch (or half, however much you prefer) enoki mushrooms (If you can’t find these, any mushroom will do)
1 egg, mixed
3 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1.5 teaspoon water
ground pepper
chopped scallions for serving

1. On medium high heat, heat up oil in a large pot.
2. Add pork and cook for about 30 seconds. It will finish cooking later.
3. Add dried peppers and ground pepper. I suggest breaking the peppers in half to let out the spice. I also suggest using a LOT of ground pepper, I used at least 1/2 teaspoon.
4. Add both bamboos. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add mushrooms and mung bean sprouts. Saute for 1 minute.
6. Add water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes.
7. Add vinegar and tofu, as well as salt to taste.
8. Allow to boil for a few minutes and add the egg. Make sure to stir immediately after adding the egg.
9. Add the cornstarch mixture and allow to boil briefly.
10. Serve with chopped scallions and ground pepper.

Have fun enjoying the spiciness!

*Adjust the spiciness by adding more or less of the pickled bamboo

 

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