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Hot & Sour Soup

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Hot & Sour Soup

Post  El on 12/10/2010, 10:39 pm

Megan alerted me that there was some interest in this recipe! It's cobbled together from bits of other recipes over the years, along with some advice from family friends, to become something approaching "authentic."

I tend to cook by scent, so some of these amounts are approximate. I also like a fiery soup, so I've tried to make the adjustments for less spiciness clear.

Note: This will freeze well if you leave out the egg and tofu. Thaw in the pot, add tofu when the soup is liquid; when it boils, add the egg.

4-6 servings.


1 cake firm tofu (fresh, if possible), cubed
2-3 ounces pork tenderloin, pork steak, or chicken meat (I like
boneless thighs for this) - or you can skip the meat for a vegetarian soup. Cut meat into matchstick strips.

Marinade - You might try without the marinade the first time, unless you like this soup to be very spicy.
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch) (optional)
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced into matchsticks
About 6 pieces black fungus (Wood Ear), soaked in warm water for 10-20 minutes, "buttons" removed, cut into matchsticks
About 6 white fresh mushrooms, diced
1 small handful dried lily buds or lotus petals (to reconstitute lily buds, soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut off the hard ends.)
6 cups water (or 5 cups water and 1 cup broth - mild broth like chicken or veggie broth is best)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red rice vinegar, white rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or red wine vinegar. You may want to add a dash throughout cooking; taste test the first time.
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2-3 small dried red Chinese chilies, crushed (discard most of the seeds but keep a few to taste for more hot flavor) OR hot chili oil or hot bean sauce, to taste (optional, and avoid if you're using the dried chilies)
1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 green onion, finely chopped
White pepper to taste (no more than 1 tablespoon)


Hot and Sour Soup Directions:
Mix the cut meat with the marinade, and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes. It will cook well in the soup, or you can do a quick stir-fry to make it crispier before adding to the soup.

Bring the water (and broth) to a boil. When it is boiling, add the bamboo shoots, fungus or mushrooms, and the lily buds. Stir. Add the tofu. Bring back to a boil and add the meat.

Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and chilies.

Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more vinegar).

Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.

Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and the white pepper to taste. Drizzle with chili oil (if you didn't use the chilies).

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Re: Hot & Sour Soup

Post  Megan on 12/11/2010, 6:35 am

Thank you, El! I love you My husband loves your soup, and I do too. One of these days I will find lily buds!

For anyone trying this for the first time, do try to find the Wood Ears. It really makes the dish, for me anyway. I had to visit an international supermarket but once there, they were easy to find.

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Dehydrated Lily Buds

Post  camprn on 12/11/2010, 6:48 am

Lily Buds
online resource

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

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lily buds

Post  ander217 on 12/11/2010, 7:45 am

I used to dry my own lily buds from tiger lilies and daylilies growing in my flower beds. Does anyone which variety of lily is used in Asian recipes?

In my area daylilies are plentiful, and they naturalize around old homesteads and along fencerows. I pick them and stir-fry them in summer. I'm more stingy with tiger lily buds which aren't nearly as prolific, but I think are more flavorful.

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Re: Hot & Sour Soup

Post  happyfrog on 12/11/2010, 8:26 am

i had no idea you could eat tiger lilies!

i harvested many tubers from pennsylvania and i've been fortunate that they have acclimated here (took several years before they started producing blooms here). i have double lilies - at least, that's what i call them - they have double sets of petals and are quite unique - no one in this area of ohio has ever seen them before and i get compliments over them -and often, missing flowers - folks cut them/rip them off so they can have their pretty blossoms, too. (they're in my front yard).

looking forward to responses to this - i would love to know more details. i know squash blossoms are quite yummy - we harvest the male blossoms primarily for this use after i hand pollinate with them.

el - thank you for sharing such a yummy sounding recipe!!! Smile is it ok if i share it with a friend?


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Re: Hot & Sour Soup

Post  El on 12/11/2010, 9:44 am

Feel free to share the recipe around!

Be cautious about eating lilies from the garden. Some kinds are poisonous! Day lilies (the orange ones) are OK to eat, but many of the things people call "tiger lilies" are not safe to eat.

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Tiger lilies

Post  ander217 on 12/11/2010, 10:31 am

The tiger lily buds I eat are from flower which have bright, black-spotted orange petals that curl back. They are members of the daylily family. I looked online and the only caution I could find is to keep cats from eating them since they can cause kidney failure in cats who have a different digestive system to humans. I did find one site which said some people consider tiger lily pollen to be poisonous. I didn't find any cautions against the more common orange or yellow daylilies which spread like noxious weeds, and all parts, - roots, shoots, buds, and flowers are reported to be edible.

I only eat the buds of tiger lilies. One article said they were the same buds marketed as "golden needles" in Asian markets, so I guess that answered my earlier question.

In any case, when in doubt err on the side of caution until your plant is properly identified.

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Re: Hot & Sour Soup

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