Sze Chuan soup

Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup (四川酸辣汤)


Sze Chuan soup

“Hot & Sour Soup, the home cooked version. It’s easy and palatable enough to enjoy it at home.”

Hot and Sour Soup is excellent as soup to enjoy before having your main course as its pleasant sour taste with a hint of spicy heat increases one’s appetite. Campbell brand produces canned Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup which turned out to be one of my favourite as instant solution to a quick meal which happened to me once in a blue moon. Having said that, the home cooked version of Hot and Sour Soup would still my best option. Subtly flavoured, added with abundance of ingredients in it, I certainly knew what went into my soup.

Most importantly, I wouldn’t add extra MSG in my soup. Well, I was aware that chicken broth in a way contains another form of MSG. I tried to cook this with plain water instead of chicken broth, its taste turned out way under-powering. Nope, that’s not what hot & sour soup should taste like. Unless, you would mind at all, I had to admit that certain soups would go with chicken broth, at its minimal. In any case, replace chicken broth with plain water, if you insist.

As for now, here’s my recipe for this hot & sour soup which well-liked by every family member. :)

6 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of dried tree ear fungus aka cloud ear fungus (Chinese translation: 黑木耳), cut into thin stripes
1 cup of bamboo shoots, cut into thin stripes
1 cup of dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and sliced
150 gram pork shoulder part, cut into stripes
1 cup of white bean curd aka tofu, cut into thin stripes
2 large eggs

3 tablespoon of white vinegar
2 tablespoon of Zhejiang black vinegar (Chinese translation: 浙江黑醋)
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of chili paste
1 teaspoon of chili oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
½ cup cornstarch slurry (with 2 – 3 tablespoons of cornstarch & water mixed)
Sprinkle of salt and white pepper

1) Put chicken broth in a pot. Bring stock to boil over high heat. Add meat, Shitake mushroom, bamboo shoots, cloud ear fungus. Reduce fire to low heat, and simmer for 20 min.

2) Add in chili oil/ paste, white vinegar, black vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir well, and simmer for another 10 min.

3) Stir in cornstarch slurry (click to see cooking tips no. 20) until consistency is slightly thicken.

4) Break eggs in a bowl, briefly beat with serving fork. Slowly swirl eggs into the soup (in few stages). Stir constantly till egg-drop forms stripes. Add tofu, and cook for 1 min. Heat off. Serve hot. Drizzle more black vinegar on the soup to serve, if desired.

It’s never too difficult to make this delicious soup on your own. Get all ingredients prepared and cooked into this flavourful homecooked soup just in 30 min.

Calorie intake of such is about 170kcal per regular bowl.

Tips: Tofu is easily smashed. So, add it towards the end of cooking. Stir gently only.
*Drizzle some black vinegar on the soup when serve, if more sourish taste preferred.
*Use 1 chicken stock cube or 1 tablespoon of concentrated chicken stock, add into 6 cups of boiling water, is an alternative to using chicken broth.

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6 Responses

  1. Hi, thanks!

    Give it a try.. It’s easy..

    Hi Jaywalk,

    Thanks for your suggestion, but am prefer the traditional ingredients, or change pork strips to chicken at most.. Prawn, to me, unless chopped it before adding. Otherwise, it won’t go well with whole prawn. :)

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