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Cheap and Fast: Q-D Hot and Sour Soup

ingredientsAs much as I love traditional chicken soup (aka “Jewish Penicillin”), once I discovered Chinese Hot and Sour Soup when I was in college, I realized what a superior therapy (at least from an upper respiratory standpoint) Hot and Sour Soup is. No matter how clogged up my sinuses get, they can’t withstand the combination of hot liquid, pepper and vinegar that makes up the essence of Hot and Sour Soup.

My only problem is that one of the things that I think really tops off the flavor is something that I never seem to have in the house, except at certain times of the year and that is green topped onions. But today, when I was cleaning up our onion storage down in the basement, I discovered that, as you see in the photograph, a couple of the onions had sprouted.

GREEN ONIONS(you have to imagine Cookie Monster saying that).

And considering that neither the DH nor Aunt Toby wanted a big heavy meal tonight and there seems to be a bit of a sniffle hovering about, Hot and Sour Soup it is. But I don’t have all the ingredients in the traditional recipe, so we are going to do Quick and Dirty Hot and Sour Soup. This is one of the real ‘clean out the fridge’ sorts of things – does it taste like the Hot and Sour Soup you get in the restaurant? No, I have to admit that it does not. But, it does embody the essence of Hot and Sour Soup: hot in temperature, hot in flavor, filling and chicken-y.

You’ll need:
2-3 cans of chicken stock. I use low sodium
2 eggs, beaten up
Mushrooms – if you have fresh, slice a big handful of those up thinly; if you don’t, canned will do.
A little cooking oil
Light soy sauce – 1-2 Tbls.
Ground Pepper – ½ tsp
Vinegar (regular white will do) – 2-3 Tbls
Some sort of cooked meat – I had cooked turkey in the fridge, so I used that – if you have cooked chicken or roast pork or something like that, use that. You can even use fresh uncooked, but just slice it thinly and cook it along with the mushrooms in the first step.
The tops of green onions, sliced into little rings.
Black sesame oil – 1 tbl. – this is really just a garnish that adds a smoky flavor to the soup; if you don’t have it, it will still taste good

Step 1: put a couple of tablespoons of oil into the bottom of a big pot – dutch oven will do – heat it up on medium and put in your sliced mushrooms to cook (and meat also if you are using fresh). Stir that around until you start to smell everything cooking. Add the chicken stock.

Step 2: Add the soy sauce, pepper and vinegar. Stir over moderate heat and bring to a simmer. If you are using cooked meat, add it here. Bring soup to a boil. Taste it – you really should be able to get a good kick from the pepper and vinegar – if not, add 1/8 teaspoon more of pepper and another tablespoon of vinegar.

Step 3: Beat up your eggs and finish off the soup — follow the directions in the little video:

Pour out into bowls and enjoy.

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One Comment

  1. lucybob says:

    I really love your blog!

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