I promised you some meatless recipes for Lent, and even though it’s taken me a while, I’m delivering on that promise! One of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes is hot & sour soup. But sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to make the 30-minute round-trip to the Chinese restaurant. A few years ago I figured out a pretty good homemade version and I’ve since tweaked it further. I can’t say it’s exactly “restaurant quality” (of course, it doesn’t include MSG) but my family certainly enjoys it.
This recipe comes together very quickly. I’m not really supposed to eat a lot of soy due to my thyroid condition, but I love the tofu here, so I cheat. Some people have substituted chicken or even pork in their versions, so feel free to try that out if you are soy-free. (And let me know if it’s good!) Obviously, also use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce if that’s a concern. And feel free to use fancy mushrooms. In order to stick to my budget, I use a mixture of regular white and cremini mushrooms and I’m happy with that. Also, be sure to garnish with a healthy handful of scallions (I re-grow mine on my kitchen windowsill) and a squirt or two of sriracha if you want to turn up the heat.
- 4 cups of chicken broth (preferably homemade)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 2 cups of cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (I used a 3.5 oz. package)
- 2 cups of white mushrooms, thinly sliced (or other mushroom of your choosing)
- 4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 package extra-firm tofu, well-drained and sliced into small rectangles or squares (I like a mix of both)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger
- Sriracha (optional)
- In a large stock pot, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add all of the mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes. Next, whisk together 3 Tbsp. of rice wine vinegar and the cornstarch. Add the slurry to the pot and stir for one minute.
- Next, add the egg to the soup through a slotted spoon and stir. This will create pretty egg ribbons throughout the soup. Finally, stir in the tofu and remove the soup from the heat. Cover the pot and let it stand for a couple minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
- Put the grated ginger in a small sieve, and squeeze the juice into soup. Add the remaining Tbsp. of vinegar. Serve with scallions. For a little extra heat, add a few drops of Sriracha.
- You can easily substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth in this recipe.