Chinese Hot-Sour Soup

Serves 2

½ oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded
2 oz firm tofu, well drained and cubed
2 cups chicken stock
1½ tbsp white rice vinegar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
¼ tsp hot chili oil
¼ tsp ground white pepper
½ cup finely chopped cooker pork, chicken or turkey
¼ cup canned bamboo shoots, drained and cut into thin strips
1½ tbsp water
1 tbsp corn starch
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 thinly sliced green onions or chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp dark sesame oil

1. Slice the tofu block horizontally into 2 slabs. Place pieces side by side on a double layer of paper towels. Place a paper towel on top the tofu and place a dish or platter on the towel to press moisture out. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Slice mushroom caps and set aside. Prepare all other ingredients and set aside.
3. Combine chicken stock, vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil and white pepper in wok and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Stir in meat of your choice, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and tofu until heated through.
5. Blend the water and cornstarch, and drizzle it into the soup, stirring constantly until the soup boils and thickens. (about 4 minutes)
6. Remove from the heat, Stir in green onions and sesame oil. Continuing to stir in one direction, drizzle in the egg white.
7. Ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately.

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