To license this image please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love the hot and sour soup that is served in Chinese restaurants here in the U.S. In fact, on quite a few occasions the hot and sour soup that came with my main course was the highlight of the whole meal for me. It’s exciting, spicy, and full of great flavors and textures. The only problem is that it’s only offered as an appetizer and hence comes in a tiny cup. In this recipe here hot and sour soup is turned into a main course. It’s an adaptation from epicurious and it includes a hefty helping of minced pork, tofu cubes, shiitake, bamboo shoots and chili pepper that overall make the soup substantial enough to call it dinner.
You can tell by looking at the photo that I have yet to discover how to get the egg to curdle into long and pretty ribbons but that’s okay, the soup tastes great even with the egg broken up into a million tiny pieces.
This soup is quick and easy to prepare and you can make it as sour and as spicy as you like by adding more or less rice vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 5 ounces minced pork chops
- 10 bamboo shoots out of a can, sliced into strips
- ½ chili pepper, seeds and ribs removed and thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 6 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 6 ounces tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2–3 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
- Heat the oil on high heat in a pan until shimmering.
- Add the meat and fry until starting to brown.
- Add bamboo shoots, chili pepper, green onion and shiitake and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and cook for another minute.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the tofu, then stir in the honey and the vinegar (start with 2 teaspoons of vinegar, then add more to taste).
- Mix the cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve it (a few drops), then add to the soup.
- Stir in the beaten egg and the red pepper flakes.
Food Photography and Styling: I didn’t know exactly what this soup was going to look like but I did know that it was going to be some shade of brown so I set up a blue surface and background to provide color contrast. The soup was initially hot enough to produce steam on its own but by the time I had the napkin and the spoon positioned the way I liked them that steam was gone so I got out my espresso machine. As aways, I used my strobe to light the set.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.