Shanghai-Style Hot and Sour Soup (Hushi Suanla Geng)
This rendition of hot and sour soup gets its sourness from chinkiang vinegar, a rice vinegar reminiscent of balsamic.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 cup hot bean sauce
- 4 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp. shaoxing jiu
- 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
- 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 16 large peeled deveined shrimp, 12 butterflied (tails left on), 4 finely chopped
- 1⁄4 lb. silken tofu, julienned
- 1⁄2 cup drained canned bamboo shoots, julienned
- 1⁄2 oz. dried wood ear mushrooms (about 2 medium or 1 large), soaked in water for 1 hour, rinsed and julienned
- 6 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water for 30 minutes, julienned
- 2 large scallops, julienned
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2-3 tbsp. chinkiang vinegar
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- Heat a large flat-bottomed wok over high heat until hot. Add oil, then bean sauce, and cook until fragrant, about 5 seconds. Add stock, wine, sugar, pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Add butterflied shrimp and simmer until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside. Stir in chopped shrimp, tofu, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and scallops; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 3 minutes.
- Stir cornstarch together with 3 tbsp. water in a bowl. Uncover wok, return soup to a boil, stir in cornstarch mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar, and ladle soup into 4 bowls. Garnish with butterflied shrimp and scallions.