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Hot and Sour Soup with Bai Shao

Soups and Congees

Hot and Sour Soup with Bai Shao
2 Tablespoons bai shao
1/4 cup pork, slivered
1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 pound firm bean curd, cut into half-inch cubes
1/4 cup wood ear fungi, soaked for fifteen minutes, then drained and finely sliced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and slivered
1 fresh hot chili pepper or 1 Tbsp Chinese hot chili oil
2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon cold water
2 slices fresh ginger, slivered
1/2 teaspoon hot sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
1 large egg, beaten well until almost stiff
1 scallion, cut into one-quarter-inch pieces
1. Boil bai shao with two cups water until liquid reduced to one cup. Discard all solids; reserve liquid.
2. Mix pork and soy sauce and marinate fifteen minutes.
3. Put the pork and its marinade into a large soup pot with the minced ginger, scallion, and garlic and ten cups of water. Reduce the heat and add the wood ear fungi and simmer for three to four minutes, then add the cornstarch, ginger and fresh sweet and dried or fresh hot pepper slices and simmer two minutes before adding the sesame oil, black vinegar, and the liquid from the bai shao. Mix well and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat source.
4. Add egg and scallion, stir well for about half a minute. Serve in pre-heated soup tureen or soup bowls.

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