Hot and sour soup (Suan La Tang) is a common dish popular in China especially in cold winter. Although there is a saying that hot and sour soup belongs to either to Sichuan cuisine or Hunan cuisine. I eat this hot and sour soup mostly in the years of living in the city of Xi’an and it surely can be found all around the country.
There are lots of hot and sour soup in China, differ from each other based on areas. In addition to this one, we also have Hunan style hot and sour soup and Wuxi hot and sour soup. The later two versions use beef and lamb soup base and use sweet potato noodles. I will introduce that version in the near future.
Personally hot and sour soup can be vegetarian or with meat. If you are not on a diet, use stock and add some chicken meat, sausage spam or seafood in this recipe.
- Vinegar and pepper powder should be added after the fire is turned off because the vinegar might be volatilized by long time of cooking and thus reduce the taste.
- There are several essential ingredients for hot and sour soup: tofu, shiitake mushroom, wood ear mushrooms, egg, spring onions and carrots or chili peppers. You see we get five colors for this yummy and warm soup. Besides you can add other ingredients if you like for example green beans, shrimp or other personal favorite ingredients.
- You can use all types of cooked meat to substitute spam, for example chicken (salt baked chicken), char siu or braised beef. If cooked meats are unavailable, use fresh pork shreds or simply skip the meat.
- 1/3 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup dried wood ear mushrooms
- 1/4 cup dried lily flowers
- 150 g pork ham or shredded char siu
- 100 g bamboo , finely shredded
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 2 scallions chopped
- 2 tablespoon black vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper powder
- 8 cups water or light chicken stock
- 1/2 block firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce , or soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 eggs , beaten
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Heat chicken broth over medium-high heat in a large stock pot until warmed through.
Add, mushrooms, tofu and bamboo shoots. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
Then place the sausage ham in and bell peppers in.
Stir in ginger, soy soy sauce, and salt.
In a small glass, whisk cornstarch into 2 tablespoons cold water to create a slurry. Once mixture is smooth, gradually stir it into soup.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the soup is slightly thickened.
Take your beaten eggs and slowly pour them into soup. Turn off fire and stir gently and quickly.
Place the sesame oil and chopped scallion in. Add the remaining vinegar.
Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with green onion and more pepper, optional.
Serve hot and enjoy!