Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hot and Sour Soup

I've recently been caught in a very busy time at work - I'm talking almost 60 hour weeks and coming in on the weekends type stuff. I usually have a pretty good work-life balance, but it was thrown out the window when we encountered some very tight deadlines.

I complained about this sudden increased workload to my friend but, instead of getting sympathy like I had expected, I got a "this is not normal for you? I always work 60 hours a week!" 

That shut me up quick.

Luckily, the busy spell is now over and I can share one of my favourite quick meals with you. The bright flavours wake me up and makes it a perfect pick-me-up after a long day. Best of all, it doesn't take very long to make!

My hot and sour soup is mostly made up of staples I have at home - eggs, a stock cube, bamboo shoots and tomatoes and coriander from the garden. The only thing we had to buy on the day was tofu. 

The stock and preserved vegetable packet provides enough salt to the dish, so the only extra flavour that is added is a tablespoon of white vinegar and a table spoon of chili oil to give the soup its hot and sour notes. The bamboo shoots and preserved veggies bring a nice crunch while the tofu brings a softer touch.

Pretty much every Chinese family has their own take on Hot and Sour Soup and this one is just my very own variation. My mother likes to add pork in hers, but I eventually phased that out to make it suitable for my many vegetarian friends. 

What do you like to cook after a long day out? Do you have your own variant of Hot and Sour Soup?

Hot and Sour Soup
A Lucyeats Original


2 tsp vegetable oil
4-6 medium sized tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 Tbs Shaoxing wine
250g bamboo shoots (in strips)
1 80g packet of preserved vegetables (in strips)
3 cups stock (use chicken or vegetable)
4 medium sized eggs, beaten
2 tsp cornflour
2 Tbs cold water
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs chili oil
250g block of tofu, roughly sliced into thick strips
white pepper and chopped coriander to serve


1. Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan or wok over medium heat. 
2. When the oil gets hot, Add the tomatoes and stir until the skins start to come off. Add the Shaoxing wine and let cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the preserved vegetables, bamboo shoots and stock and bring to a boil.
4. Slowly drizzle the beaten egg into the soup, stirring as you go, to create light egg ribbons.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour and cold water into a slurry. Add the slurry until the soup thickens into the desired consistency.
6. Add the chili oil and white vinegar to taste.
7. Turn off the heat and add tofu.
8. Ladle into bowls and add white pepper and coriander to serve.