Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hot-and-Sour Soup

Today's lunch was this easy hot-and-sour soup ---it's more assembly than cooking. Delicious ---and fast ---I emptied the dishwasher and made phone calls while it was cooking ---you just can' t mess it up. Don't remember where I got the recipe --it must be from Edith Furber Zhang ---she clued me in on how easy it is to make Chinese dishes --if you seek out the key ingredients --- in this case, it's dried lily buds. They are inexpensive and last for years, so look for them and try this dish --- I think you'll like it!

40 dried lily buds (1/2 ounce)
1/4 c. small dried tree ear mushrooms (I used canned)
5 cups chicken stock (I used 6 cups)
1/2 c. drained canned bamboo shoots, rinsed
2 t. minced fresh ginger (I used more)
1/2 t. salt
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
3 T. conrstarch mixed with 3 T. of water
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 1/2 T. black soy sauce or 3 T. light soy sauce plus a pinch of sugar
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/3 inch dice (I used extra-firm tofu)
1 t. Asian sesame oil
2 T. finely sliced scallions (I used chives)

In separate bowls, cover the lily buds and mushrooms in hot water. Let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and thoroughly rinse the lily buds and mushrooms. Trim the tough ends from the buds and halve them crosswise. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock, lily buds, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and 1 1/2 t. red pepper and boil over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Beat the cornstarch misture into the soup in a steady stream. In a bowl, combine the egg and egg white and beat into the soup. Stir in the soy sauce, tofu and sesame oil and cook over moderate heat until warmed through. Season with red pepper and garnish with the scallions.

For dessert, a fortune cookie leftover from our last take-out order.


  1. Are the lily buds literally from lily plants? What kind of flavor do they add?

  2. Yes -- real lily buds-- you can learn more about them here http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/driedlilybuds -- you've probably been eating them in Hot and Sour soup before and didn't know what they were ---they are the straw looking things