Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hot & Sour Soup

One of Toby & I's favorite Chinese restaurant menu items has always been their Hot & Sour Soup. Recently, though, our local restaurants' versions just haven't been the same. So when I came across a recipe for Hot & Sour Soup in a Taste of Home booklet that came with the cookbook I got for Christmas I was super happy!! 

One note I need to make 1st: in a small rural area like ours, finding some (one in particular) of the ingredients wasn't all that easy. Fortunately, once you find them, they are ingredients that you can use more than once for future batches. 

Hot & Sour Soup

3/4 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-1/2-inch x 1/4-inch strips
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
6 cups chicken broth (it actually takes 1 & 1/2 of the boxes shown above)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons chili garlic sauce 
** This is the hardest one on the list to find in our area - I eventually settled on this: 
Sriracha Sauce

but really, it's suppose to be this:

Chili Garlic Sauce

3/4 teaspoons pepper

1 package (14 oz) extra-firm tofu, drained & cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 can (8 oz) bamboo shoots, drained (I cut these in half lengthwise - that's just personal preference)
1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained (I cut these in half, again just a personal preference)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup cornstarch
5 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

In a dutch oven, brown pork in oil until no longer pink; remove meat & keep warm. Add mushrooms; saute until tender. Set aside and keep warm.

Add the broth, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce and pepper to the pan. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer for 10 minutes. Return meat & mushrooms to pan. Stir in tofu, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and vinegar. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch & water until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook & stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; gently stir in sesame oil. Garnish with onions.

Makes about 2 quarts. 

Nutrition facts:
Serving size: 1-1/2 cups
240 calories
10 g fat
37 mg cholesterol
1,779 mg sodium
18 g carbohydrates
2 g fiber
21 g protein

**Although this doesn't taste exactly like the old restaurant version we remember, it is VERY good. We had plenty left over for tomorrow & I'm anxious to see how it tastes then because I have a feeling the overnight marriage of flavors is going to make for an even better soup tomorrow.  I do think having the right chili garlic sauce would make it even better so maybe I'll see if I can find it online & order it.**

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