August 10, 2004
Spreadsheet Hot and Sour Soup

I just got back from a visit with my Mom, my cooking guru. Sometimes when she's been out to eat and found something she really enjoyed, my mother goes on a quest to replicate the dish. I always thought that my father, being a scientist (and not a hugely adventuresome eater), was the analytical one in my family. However, my mother has developed a unique technique for creating basic recipes. All it requires is time, a library of cookbooks, and a spreadsheet.

She did this one year with hot and sour soup. She found as many hot and sour recipes she could and found the common ingredients. Using this method, she created a tasty hot and sour soup (recipe below).

Feel free to try this recipe, or add your own special flourish that will add your signature to this wonderful recipe. (Click "more" for recipe)

Mom's Hot and Sour Soup

1 qt chicken stock
1 t salt
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs dry black fungus
1/4 lb. boneless pork
1/2 C shredded bamboo shoots
2 t sesame seed oil
2 sq bean curd (3"x 3"x 1/2") shredded
3 Tbs white vinegar
1/4 t white pepper
2 Tbs corn starch mixed w/
3 Tbs cold water
1 egg lightly beaten
chopped green scallion (garnish)

Shred soaked black fungus, bamboo shoots, bean curd & raw pork. Bring chicken stock to a boil, add salt, soy, fungus, bamboo shoots, pork. Boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cook 3 minutes. Add bean curd, pepper and vinegar, bring to a boil again. Add corn starch and stir until soup thickens. Stir gently while adding egg. Add sesame seed oil. Serve w/ garnish of chopped green scallions.

May be made hotter with cayenne pepper.

Posted by linda on August 10, 2004

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