Chinese New Year
By the Chinese Calendar2011 is the Year of the Rabbit,
which is also known by its formal name of Xin Mao.
Hot and Sour Soup
It's a bit milder than the restaurant standard, but that's what I like about it. The flavors are balanced and fresh, and the acidity functions as an accent, not a one-note blast. The heat from the black pepper in this soup intensifies as it sits. If you plan to make the soup ahead of time or want a milder flavor, use 2 tsp. during cooking; then taste the soup before serving and add more pepper if you like.
- 2 pounds chicken breast, cut cross-ways, into 1/8" think strips
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. soy sauce, I use SAN-J, Organic Tamari, (Gluten Free Soy Sauce)
- 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup GF rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1 can (8 oz.) sliced bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
- 12 cups GF chicken broth, I like Kitchen Basics
- 3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cubed
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- About 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper (see Notes)
- Chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions (pale green and white parts)
Preparation1. In a bowl, toss chicken with 1/4 cup GF tamari (soy sauce) and ginger. Marinate 20 minutes. In another bowl, stir together remaining 2 tbsp. GF tamari (soy sauce), rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, and salt; set aside.
2. Heat peanut oil in a large pot (at least 5 qts.) over medium-high heat, then add chicken and marinade. Cook, stirring constantly, until chicken loses its pink color, about 4 minutes. Stir in bamboo shoots and cook 1 minute.
3. Increase heat to high, add broth, and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 20 minutes. Add tofu and simmer 5 minutes. Add soy-vinegar mixture and simmer 5 minutes more; the liquid will thicken.
4. In a small bowl, beat eggs with sesame oil. Slowly pour eggs into soup in a thin stream while stirring soup very slowly in one direction. Add pepper, stir briefly, then simmer 5 minutes. Serve with cilantro and green onions.