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Monk Wensi ’s Tofu Thread Soup

Soups and Congees

Monk Wensi ’s Tofu Thread Soup
3 dried wood-er mushrooms
10 ounces silken tofu
3/4 ounces Chinese cured ham, steamed briefly
3 scallions, green parts only
1 quart clear stock
3 Tablespoons potato starch mixed with six Tablespoons cold water salt and ground white pepper, to taste

1. Cover mushrooms in boiling water and set aside for at east half an hour.
2. Turn tofu out on a chopping board, with a cleaver or broad knife, cut a perpendicular edge and discard it, then with chopping motion, cut tofu into the thinnest slices you can, and when one-third is cut, turn the slices on their side in overlapping layers, and cut them into the thinnest strips. Using the cleaver gently scoop them up and put them into a bowl of cold water and repeat until all is cut into thin slices. Repeat until all are cut a thinly as possible.
3. Drain wood-ear mushrooms, trim off any knobby pieces and cut them into the thinnest slivers possible; and cut ham and green scallion parts, likewise.
4 Bring stock to the boil, skim if necessary, and season with salt and pepper. Then drain the very thin tofu strips and gently transfer them into the stock, add mushroom slivers, and bring stock back to the boil, re-stir the starch mixture and add it to the stock stirring it gently with the back of a ladle until it thickens so as not to break the tofu slivers. Then transfer to a pre-heated serving bowl. Now, sprinkle ham and scallion slivers on soup and serve.

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