I've encountered many food craving phases throughout my years
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It's never clear what brings them on. Letting them run their course seems the only viable option, and I tell you what, that can be a while
A few of the most memorable include: eating pasta with cheese and ketchup as a kid, a chef salad at lunchtime during the years I commuted to an office, the craving for Greek yogurt pancakes having run its course in just the past few months, being proceeded by
Hot and Sour Soup
It started innocently enough. A couple of years ago, stopping by a local Chinese restaurant for an order of egg drop soup because my husband wasn't feeling the best
A cute couple sat in a booth sharing a bowl of Hot and Sour. It smelled incredible
“I'll take one of those as well.”
I was pretty much all she wrote from that moment on. Every day for the next few weeks I stopped, out of the blue, becoming a regular at a place I'd only driven by for the past 20 years
“Your usual Hot and Sour? What kind of meat? Noodles on the side?”
Alas, time to make my own
After trying many variations, this recipe was my go-to. That is until I heard from my wonderful sister-in-law. She and my brother are world travelers, having visited Hong Kong, on at least one occasion.
I didn't realize, but one of their favorite things to do while on vacation is to take cooking lessons from local establishments. She shared her recipe for the Hot and Sour Soup. A treasure from a class while they were in China.
This week I reached for her recipe again
It's everything you want it to be. Don't worry about the long list of ingredients. All the effort is in the chopping and slicing. Once you start cooking the soup, you're nearly finished.
ps: Cooking classes while on vacation in other countries? What a fun idea!
Authentic Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
- 3 - 6 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 - 5 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 8 oz ground pork (or 1/2 ground pork, 1/2 blood sausage)
- 6 scallions, chopped fine (be sure to save some for a garnish, as well)
- 8 cups chicken (or turkey) stock
- 30 grams wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water, sliced thin, cut into 1" lengths
- 2 - 4 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 - 3 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 1 cup firm tofu, sliced, 1-2" lengths
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- ⅔ - 1 cup black vinegar
- 2 - 3 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- In a wok, heat oil over high heat.
- Saute garlic and ginger for 1 min, add ground pork, stirring and breaking into pieces (about 3-5 mins), add scallions and continue to cooking until almost done
- Add stock and bring to simmer. Add mushrooms
- Taste and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until desired flavor and heat.
- Add tofu
- Add soy sauce, black vinegar, and shaoxing wine. Taste and adjust accordingly
- Turn off heat and add the sesame oil
- Serve and garnish with scallions