Soup with a twang

Hot and sour soup is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. I first tried this Better Homes and Garden recipe for Hot-and-Sour Soup with Shrimp back in 2008 when I was living in Virginia. It was a regular in my repertoire. Upon some advice from a friend, I recently updated the recipe, adding more Asian vegetables and different flavors of stock.

This post comes with a disclaimer – I definitely took my own luxuries with this recipe. I will include the original recipe and try to make notes in the margins where I changed things up. I doubled the recipe. One thing is for certain, this recipe has far less sodium than the take-out version, and you really can’t screw it up, as long as you maintain the proper ratios with the various ingredients.

  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen peeled and deveined shrimp (I used 16 ounces)
  • 3 ½ cups of chicken broth (I used 8 cups of a mixture of chicken, seafood and Thai stock)
  • ½ of a 15-ounce jar whole straw mushrooms, drained (I used the full can)
  • ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar (I used ½ cup rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy (I used 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (I used 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger (I used three teaspoons)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (I doubled this)
  • 4 oz. firm, silken-style tofu, cut into bit sized pieces (I skipped this)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water
  • ½ cup frozen peas (I used 1 cup)
  • ½ cup shredded carrots (I used 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced green onion (I skipped this)
  • 1 egg beaten (I used 3 eggs)

I also added:

  • 2-3 baby bok choy washed and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 leaks (instead of the scallions)

Thaw and rinse the shrimp; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the broth, mushrooms, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered for two minutes. Stir in shrimp and tofu (which I omitted Return to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for one minute or more.

Stir together cornstarch and cold water. I admit, I forgot this step and really, it doesn’t make a difference. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for two minutes more. Stir in peas, carrots, bok choy and green onions (which I replaced with leaks). Bring the soup up to a slight boil and pour the egg into the soup in a steady stream, stirring to create shreds.

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