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Hot & Sour Soup

4 dried Chinese mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 ginger root slices, shredded
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup pork, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cake tofu, cubed
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaf, chopped
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Soak mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, remove stems,
and shred caps. Heat oil in heavy duty saucepan, add mushrooms
and ginger and stir over moderately high heat for one minute. Add
bamboo shoots and stir for an additional minute. Add chicken stock,
pork slices, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer ten minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water. Add, with pepper and
vinegar, to soup. Cook until mixture thickens and clears. Add
tofu and cook three minutes more. Turn off heat and drizzle beaten
egg over top. When egg sets, serve, garnishing with chopped
scallions, coriander leaves, and sesame oil to taste.

Notes : Substitute ham for pork, adding after soup has simmered
for five minutes and simmering for five minutes more. A vegetarian
version of Hot & Sour Soup may be made by omitting pork, substituting
vegetable broth for chicken stock, and increasing the tofu used to
one and a half cakes. For a hotter version, add two tablespoons
chopped Sichuan pickle to stock with soy sauce.


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