Hot and Sour Soup

Chinese soup

Half an hour, one pot and a small frying pan, and mostly stuff you already have lying around your kitchen

How to make hot and sour soup:

Start half an hour before dinner. Put a saucepan half full of water or chicken broth on the stove (enough water to make soup for everyone), and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, a teaspoon of anchovy paste, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of black pepper, a couple of cloves of garlic (crushed), and a couple of thinly sliced mushrooms. Let that come to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer.

While the soup is heating, make crackers.

While the crackers are cooking, in a small frying pan, heat some cooking oil and saute a thinly sliced chicken breast or a piece of pork and a teaspoon of sesame seeds (crushed) until mostly cooked. Add that to the soup.

When the soup has simmered for a little while, mix 1/4 cup of hot soup with a tablespoon of cornstarch – stir well with the back end of a spoon, or with a fork – and add that to the soup to thicken it. I don’t usually cook with cornstarch but it did seem to make a difference on this one. Then crack three eggs into a bowl and mix with a fork, add them gradually to the soup, and stir. Don’t forget to take the crackers out when they are done.

Chop green onions with their stems, serve the soup, and scatter some green onions on top of each bowl as a garnish, and serve.

Can I keep this for later?

Sure. Put the leftovers in a tupperware in the refrigerator, and the flavors will blend and it will be even better than it was at first. You can reheat it for a couple of days. Serve with the leftover crackers.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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