Hot and Sour Soup

6-8 servings

Adapted from Bruce Cost’s Original Recipe

Ingredients for Hot and Sour Soup:

  • 3-4 tsp. The Perfect Purée Sweet Ginger, thawed
  • 4 small Chinese dried black mushrooms
  • 12 small dried tree ear mushrooms
  • ½ cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, cut lengthwise into ⅛ -inch-wide strips (from an 8-oz. can)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar, not seasoned
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 oz. firm tofu, rinsed and drained, then cut into ¼-inch-thick strips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp. thinly sliced scallion greens
  • 2 tbsp. fresh whole cilantro leaves


1. Soak the black and tree ear mushrooms in 3 cups of boiling-hot water in a bowl. Make sure water is enough to cover the mushrooms. Turn over black mushrooms occasionally, until softened, for about 30 minutes. The tree ears will expand significantly. Cut out and discard stems from the black mushrooms, then squeeze excess liquid from caps into a bowl and thinly slice the caps. Remove tree ears from bowl, reserving ¼ cup liquid, and trim off any hard nubs. Cut tree ears into bite-size pieces if it is large in size. Stir together the reserved liquid with cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Cover bamboo shoots with cold water by 2 inches in a small saucepan, then bring to a boil to remove bitterness. Drain in a sieve.
3. Stir together vinegars, The Perfect Purée Sweet Ginger, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and salt in another small bowl.
4. Heat a wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat sides. Add black mushrooms, tree ears, and bamboo shoots and stir-fry for 1 minute.
5. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, then add tofu. Return to a boil and add vinegar mixture. Re-stir cornstarch mixture before adding to broth. Return to a boil and stir. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute.
6. Beat eggs with a fork and add a few drops of sesame oil. Add eggs to soup in a thin stream, stirring slowly in one direction with a spoon. Stir in white pepper, then drizzle in remaining sesame oil and divide among 6 to 8 bowls. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro before serving.