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Hot and Sour Soup

6 dried Chinese black-mushrooms
36 dried lily buds
3 lg dried wood ears
1 boneless chicken breast, skinned and, cut into matchstick strips
1 tb peanut oil
1 ts salt
1 quarter-sized slice of fresh peeled ginger, bruised
1 tb soy sauce
2 tb Shao Hsing wine or dry sherry
4 c chicken stock
2 tb water chestnut flour mixed with 4 tb water (or cornstarch)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 ts oil
1/4 lb firm tofu, cut into strips 1/4 inch by 1 1/2 inches (optional)
1 green onion, trimmed and shredded

1 ts light soy sauce
1 ts dry vermouth
1/4 ts sugar
1 ts cornstarch
1 ts sesame oil

2 tb red wine vinegar
1 tb light soy sauce
1 ts white pepper
2 ts hot chili oil, or to taste
1 tb sesame oil

In 3 separate bowls, cover black mushrooms, lily buds and wood ears
with water until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes. Squeeze dry.
Remove and discard stems from black mushrooms; julienne. Remove
and discard hard ends of lily buds. Remove and discard any hard
clusters in centers of wood ears. Roll each wood ear into a tight
curl, cut cross-wise into thin strips. Set aside. Mix marinade
ingredients. Toss with the chicken strips and set aside.

Heat wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and tilt wok to
coat sides. Add salt, ginger and chicken. Stir-fry for 1 minute
or until chicken turns white. Remove chicken and set aside.

Increase to high heat. Add black mushrooms, lily buds and wood ears
to hot oil. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce
and Shao Hsing wine; stir-fry 5 seconds. Add stock and bring to a
boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Then bring back
to a boil. Add water chestnut flour mixture. Stir continuously
until thickened (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat.

Slowly pour egg into soup in a circular motion while stir- rings
slowly with chopsticks to from silk like ribbons. Add tofu and

Put vinegar, soy, pepper, chili oil and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Stir once or twice; do not over mix. Pour half into a shallow soup
tureen. Ladle soup over sauce. Scatter green onions on top. Float
remaining Hot and Sour Seasoning on top of soup. Stir gently.

Serves 4


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