I just love hot and sour soup. As a result this recipe makes a lot of soup and the flavor is even better the next day. Feel free to cut the recipe in half or even in quarters. You could also leave the tofu and egg out and freeze it, adding the tofu and egg to the thawed and boiling soup when you use it.
This soup, as is, would be considered 'mild' by many. As a 'super taster' I'm sensitive to spicy and acidic foods. Also, different brands of hot oil are stronger or weaker than others so mine may be milder than yours. If you have doubts about this being too hot (as some of my family say it is, believe it or not) leave the hot oil out of the tofu marinade and use it to adjust the seasoning at the end of cooking.
1 pound lean pork, julienne
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon cornstarch
Peanut oil (to cook pork)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon hot oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 pound extra firm tofu cut into fat match sticks or 1/2 inch cubes
15 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 ounce dried julienne wood ear (or 1 cup fresh if available)
16 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup julienned carrots
15 ounce can baby corn
8 ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, julienned
15 ounce can straw mushrooms (or 8oz fresh)
2 eggs lightly beaten (or 4 egg whites)
1/4 cup cornstarch mixed with cold water to form a paste
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Combine the pork with the sesame oil, soy and cornstarch. Let stand at least 30 minutes (I like leaving it overnight).
Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot oil, and chicken stock, blend well and add tofu. Marinate at least 12 hours.
In a hot stock pot, add oil and sear the pork, stirring quickly.
Add the stock, sugar, and wood ear and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.
Add vegetables and tofu with marinade. Cook 15 minutes.
While boiling, drizzle in the egg to form ribbons.
Add the cornstarch and stir constantly to thicken.
Adjust the seasoning to your taste. (I use a LOT of fresh ground pepper, a blend of red, green, black, and white peppercorns.)