I’m siiiiiiiiiick. (As we all know from that Full House episode where D.J. asks Uncle Jesse for tips on faking sick, the more “i’s” you use, the more believable it is). Also, as we all know, sick people need soup. But do you know what’s boring and mundane when you’re fussy and feeling under the weather? Chicken soup. I’m a big believer in the healing power of spicy, broth-based foods and often crave hot and sour soup when I’m sick. I’ve finally found a recipe that tastes just as good as the kind you’ll get at your favorite restaurant and is extremely easy to make.
This soup has introduced me to the wonders of shiitake mushrooms. I’d never used them before and now I’m obsessed. I buy them dried so I always have them on hand. After reconstituting them I reuse the leftover mushroomy water as part of the broth I use to make the soup. It adds an extra, earthier flavor. The mushrooms themselves are a bit meatier and denser than your regular white button mushroom and add a great texture to the soup.
Hot and sour soup is also delicious because it contains sriracha and, as discussed previously, I love sriracha. So do other people apparently. The combination of the spicy sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar are really what makes this soup. They’re in the international foods aisle at your local grocery store and I suggest you go buy them.
hot and sour soup
8 dried shiitake mushrooms (or fresh)
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
8 ounces tofu, cubed into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces canned bamboo shoots, drained
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3 medium scallions, chopped
Pour enough boiling water over the mushrooms to cover them. Let them re-hydrate, about 10-15 minutes. Strain the mushrooms from the liquid and slice them. I use kitchen shears as it’s a little easier to cut the wet mushrooms with them. Use the leftover liquid as part of the 3 cups of broth that you need. If using fresh shiitakes, you can just use all broth and skip the re-hydrating process. Combine the everything but the egg, egg white and scallions in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Meanwhile, combine the egg and egg white in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Bring the soup back up to a boil and slowly drizzle the egg into the soup while stirring in a circular motion. Remove the pot from the heat and add the scallions.