Hot and Sour Soup…an all time favorite!

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Chinese food, especially of the Sichuan province is something I always relish! The simple reason being of the hot and spicy flavor which appeals to my palate. I visited China sometime back and co-incidentally I happened to visit the Sichuan province. The food was just amazing, starting from the soup, to the noodles, stir-fried recipes. Specially, when I’m traveling, I make it a point to visit the small local restaurants because that’s where you get the most authentic flavors.

Although the food was great, I did find a lot of difficulty trying to communicate with people there. I don’t know the language, but I had learnt some words and phrases from my colleague and was quite confident about it. However, when I spoke those to the people at the hotel, it seemed like Greek and Latin to them. It’s then I realized even though you know the words, the tone and pronunciation plays a big role when you speak. Every time I ordered, I had to call and point out the food which I wanted to have and do some actions to explain some customization required. I probably looked funny doing that, but I definitely didn’t mind as the effort made was worth it!

When I wanted to try Chinese food in my kitchen, hot and sour soup was the first thing which came to my mind. It’s an all time favorite… I used to have it always as a kid when visiting a Chinese restaurant. It’s a very simple recipe, using all the basic ingredients, except you’ll need some sauces…. it’s a Chinese recipe, so it’s the magic of sauces after all! You can refrigerate the sauces for other Chinese recipes of your choice… I’ll be coming up with a few more soon.

The soup is semi thick and could be a meal by itself. But I was in the mood yesterday. Hence, prepared some Chicken noodles as well.. which is the next recipe on my list.

So here it goes…enjoy!

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Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

Sesame Oil – 1 teaspoon

Chicken stock – 4 cups (you can use stock cubes as well)

Chicken – 200 gm, cut into thin pieces

Chinese mushrooms – 100 gm (1 small packet)

Green Onions (Scallions) – 3, chopped

Eggs – 2, beaten

Tomato – 1 big, diced

Peas – fresh or frozen, 1 small bowl

Ginger – 1/2 tablespoon, grated

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Cornflour or Cornstarch – 2 tablespoons, dissolved in 1/4th cup of water

Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons

White Vinegar – 2 tablespoons

Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon, ground

Chilli Oil – 2 teaspoon, to serve (optional)

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Place the stock cubes with 4 cups of water in a pot and bring to boil. Add salt, sugar, ginger, peas, tomato, mushrooms and chicken and boil for around 4-5 minutes.

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Step 2: Add the sesame oil, pepper, soy sauce. Mix well. Slowly add the beaten egg into the soup. Do not stir for a min. Add in the cornflour/cornstarch mixture slowly, stirring gently. Heat for 1 more minute and add the green onions.

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Step 3: Add a few more drops of vinegar, as desired and chilli oil. Serve hot.

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Tips to adapt:

  • If you don’t have sesame oil, you can use normal oil too.
  • If a more thicker version is desired, you can add more vegetables like tofu, beans etc.
  • Add some pickled chillies to the soup, if you like it very spicy.
  • For a vegetarian option of this dish, replace chicken stock with vegetable stock and chicken with tofu or other vegetables, as desired. 

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