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Chinese Style Hot and Sour Soup

ingredients

serves 4
25 g (1 oz) dried Chinese mushrooms
1 cm (1/2 inch) piece fresh root ginger, peeled
1 carrot, scrubbed and halved
1 spring onion, white part only, chopped
3 tbsp (60 ml) soy sauce, preferably naturally fermented shoyu
8 oz (225 g) can bamboo shoots
4 oz (100 g) tofu, cubed
120-150 ml (8-10 tbsp) malt vinegar
7.5 - 10 ml (1 1/2 - 2 tsp) pepper
10 - 15 ml (2 - 3 tsp) dry sherry
1 egg, beaten (optional)

method

1. Wash the mushrooms and then soak them in 300 ml (1/2 pint) warm water for 20 minutes.

2. Put the mushrooms and their soaking liquid in a saucepan and add 300 ml (1/2 pint) cold water, the ginger, carrot and spring onion.

3. Bring to the boil and simmer, half-covered, for 15 - 20 minutes.

4. Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce and strain into a clean saucepan.

5. Reserve mushrooms; discard ginger, carrot and onion.

6. Slice the mushrooms and return to the stock.

7. Add the bamboo shoots and tofu and simmer gently.

9. Stir in the remaining soy sauce and gradually add the vinegar and seasoning, tasting to get the desired blend of hot and sour. Add the sherry.

10. Remove from the heat and stir in the beaten egg, if using.

11. It will cook in the heat of the soup.

12. Serve at once.

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