Serving
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Hot & Sour Pork Soup - Sichuan
China - Sichuan
  -   suan la rou si tang
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 soup  
**
1 hr  
Yes
Unlike many, this hot & sour soup is made hot with pepper (black or white) rather than chilis. Pepper was widely used in China before the barbarians (that's us) brought chili peppers. The ingredient list is quite long, but it's really easy to make.





8
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1/2
1/4
2-1/2
2-1/2
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5
5
3
4
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1
3
1
1
1
1
5
1/3
1
5
3/4
1
4
oz
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T
t
t
t
---

oz
oz
oz
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in

t
T
t
t
T
c
T
c
t
t
T
Lean Pork
-- Marinade
Rice Wine
Salt
Cornstarch
Cold Water
-- Mushroom mix
Mushroom, dried
Bamboo Shoot (1)
Mushroom, white
Ham, cooked (2)
-------------
Ginger
Scallions
Sesame Oil
Rice Wine (3)
Soy Sauce, light
Soy Sauce, dark
Cornstarch
Water
Lard or Oil (4)
Stock
Salt
Pepper (5)
Vinegar, black (6)
Prep   -   (45 min)
  1. Cut PORK into very narrow strips. Mix all Marinade items, massage into Pork and set aside.
  2. Soak DRIED MUSHROOMS in hot water for about 30 minutes.
  3. Cut soaked Dried Mushrooms, BAMBOO SHOOTS, WHITE MUSHROOMS and HAM into narrow strips. Mix.
  4. Slice GINGER thin and cut into slivers.
  5. Slice green part of SCALLIONS thin and place in your serving bowl. Drizzle with Sesame Oil.
  6. Mix Rice Wine, Light Soy Sauce and Dark Soy Sauce.
  7. Mix Cornstarch with cold Water.
Run   (15 min)
  1. Heat Lard or Oil very hot. Stir in Ginger for about 30 seconds, then stir in Mushroom mix and fry stirring for a few minutes.
  2. Stir in Stock and bring to a boil. Stir in Wine mix and season with Salt and Pepper. The pepper should be very distinct but not overwhelming. I find 1 t of fresh ground about right.
  3. Stir in Pork strips and cook until about done.
  4. Caution: start stirring in the Cornstarch mix a little at a time and stop when you achieve the right consistency. It should be glossy but remain soupy, not gunky.
  5. Turn off heat and slowly stir in Vinegar until you get the sourness you want - it should not be overwhelming.
  6. Pour soup into the serving bowl over the Scallions and serve immediately.
NOTES:
  1. Bamboo Shoots:   Fresh or vacuum bagged are best, but canned can be used. Blanch canned shoots in boiling water for a minute to refresh.
  2. Ham should be dry cured "country style" (Virginia or similar) if at all possible (for all Chinese recipes). Chinese markets around here sell single slices of Virginia ham in shrink wrapped trays. For details see our Hams page.
  3. Rice Wine:   Use a good, drinkable Chinese rice wine, not that horrid salted "cooking" version. If you don't have this, use a Dry Sherry. Sake is made from rice but is not considered a good substitute. For details see our Chinese Rice Wine page.
  4. Lard or Oil:   Lard, the traditionl cooking medium in Thiland and southern China, was so vilianized by the American Heart Association that Americans are still afraid to use it. It is far safer than the trans fats they told us to use instead, and has a better health profile than butter. If, however, you are not comfortable using it, Pure Olive Oil (not virgin) is a good substitute. For details see our Lard Page.
  5. Pepper:   In China, white pepper is generally used (they don't like black specks) which has the hotness but not the flavor of black pepper. Personally, I use the black anyway, but this soup is so dark it doesn't matter.
  6. Black Vinegar:   Chinkiang is considered best. Gold Plum is a good brand that's widely available. For details see our Sours page.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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