Hot and sour soup

I made this one with chicken and black beans, but pork or tofu would have worked too, and the beans are optional. The broth and mushrooms are what it’s all about, and it all comes together in less than 20 minutes.

If you’re using meat, brown in a large stock pot and then set aside. In the same pot, quickly saute three minced garlic cloves and a couple tablespoons of fresh ginger. Add 6 cups of chicken stock, a large pour of soy sauce, a squirt of Sriracha, and 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper – no worries if you don’t have any; use 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper instead.

As soon as it boils, stir in 10 or so thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms and then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While that’s cooking, whisk 4 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch together in a small bowl.

Slowly pour the mixture into the soup followed by a couple of lightly beaten eggs. Stir continually until you start to see the soup thicken and egg ribbons form.

Add the cooked meat or some diced tofu along with a few thinly sliced scallions and a couple teaspoons of sesame oil. Taste, and adjust with some more soy sauce, rice wine vinegar or Sriracha if needed.