This vegetarian hot and sour soup shows just how quick and simple it is to make Chinese food yourself at home.
Hot and sour soup is a staple of Chinese takeaway menus across the country. If you've never thought of cooking it yourself, it might seem a little daunting - creating that complex balance of flavours and deep savoury taste. But in fact, it's not difficult at all. This recipe features a few ingredients that might be harder to find at small supermarkets, but should be available in larger stores. If you can't find shiitake mushrooms, use chestnuts ones instead. The classic recipe often features shredded chicken or pork but this version is completely vegetarian and vegan-friendly. It's also super healthy and low-fat.
- 5g dried porcini mushrooms
- 50g fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1.2l vegetable stock
- 225g tinned bamboo shoots, drained and shredded
- 225g ready marinated tofu, cut into thin strips
- 2 small red chillies, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp shoyu Japanese soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 spring onions, shredded
- Soak the dried porcini in hot water for 15 mins. Drain and strain liquid through muslin or kitchen paper and reserve. Wash and slice the porcini.
- Remove and discard the stalks of the shiitake mushrooms. Slice the remaining cups.
- In a saucepan mix the reserved mushroom liquid with the stock, add the sliced porcini and shiitake and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 mins.
- Add bamboo shoots, tofu and chillies and simmer for further 5 mins. Add the vinegar and shoyu.
- Mix the cornflour with a little water into a paste, add to soup stirring all the time, simmer until slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat, season with the sesame oil and garnish with shredded spring onion.
Top tips for making vegetarian hot and sour soup
Shoyu is the general term for Japanese soy sauce. Kikkoman is the best selling brand of it in the UK, and widely available. Unlike Chinese soy sauce, it doesn't come in dark and light, but if you can't find it, any light soy is a good substitute.
Add in a squeeze of lime juice for extra flavour and that authentic, Oriental hot-and-sour kick.
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