Sunday, February 8, 2015

Forget The Takeout - Hot And Sour Soup

I am a sucker for Chinese takeout, and when the temperatures dip, there is nothing like a hearty bowl of hot and sour soup to warm you up. The problem is, the local takeout place uses more cornstarch than I like. My friend TJ recently posted a picture of hot and sour soup that she made in her pressure cooker. What a perfect time to try to make my own batch. Now before you say that this isn't authentic hot and sour soup because it doesn't have the funky mushrooms, or the exotic flower buds, I will that you are correct, it isn't authentic. But it is accessible to most people with an Asian section in their grocery store.

Hot And Sour Soup

1 T sesame oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces white mushrooms, quartered
2 dried shitake mushrooms, broken into little pieces
1 can sliced bamboo shoots
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c rice wine vinegar (not flavored)
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t fried chili crisp (optional, I have it in my pantry and it adds a spicy smoky taste)
6 cups chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten
1 T cornstarch mixed with water
1 package extra firm tofu, cut in to thin strips
1 green scallion, thinly sliced (optional garnish)

Heat the sesame oil and onion on the Brown setting of your cooker and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.  Add the white mushrooms, the shitake mushroom pieces, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, soy sauce, vinegar and the hot pepper. Cover and lock the cooker. Set for high pressure for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes has ended, release the pressure using the quick release method. Quickly pour in the beaten eggs, whisking them in with a fork, making wisps of egg while they cook. Next, add the tofu strips, folding them in to the soup. Finally, add the cornstarch slurry and mix for a minute or so, letting the soup thicken. Ladle soup in to bowls and garnish with scallion slices.

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