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Hot and Sour Soup

1/4 cup pork, shredded
1 tsp. dry sherry
3 Tbsp. corn starch
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (cloud ear)
1/4 cup dried golden needles (tiger lily buds)
1/2 cup firm tofu, shredded
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar or rice vinegar
ground white pepper
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. scallion (green onion), minced

Mix the pork with sherry and 1 tsp. corn starch.

Soak wood ears and golden needles in separate bowls with boiling
water (each about 2 cups). Cover and let soak 15 minutes. Rinse
and drain. Break off any hard pieces (stems etc.). Cut golden
needles in half and cut wood ears into smaller pieces.

Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/2 cup cold water.

Put the vinegar and pepper into a large serving bowl.

Put stock and soy sauce into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil
and stir in the pork mixture. After boiling for 1 minute, add wood
ears and golden needles. Boil for another minute. Add bean curd.
As soon as the soup is boiling again, add the well-stirred cornstarch
mixture in a thin stream, stirring until the soup thickens. Mix
in beaten egg and remove >from heat immediately. Pour into the
serving bowl with the vinegar and pepper; garnish with sesame oil
and green onions. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.


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