Hot and Sour Soup

From Asian Vegetarian Cooking
by Thidavadee Camsong and Peter Lueffe
Serves about 6


Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes. Rinse the tofu under cold running water. Cut the tofu and bamboo shoots into sticks about 2 inches long.

Drain shiitake mushrooms, then cut into thin strips. Trim chile, wash, halve lengthwise, and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch long sticks. Wash and finely chop chives. Wash cilantro and remove roots; finely chop stems and leaves. Combine cornstarch with 2 T cold water and stir until smooth.

Heat vegetable broth in large pot over medium heat. Add tofu, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and chile, and let cook over low heat for about 3 minutes.

Stir in soy sauce, salt, black pepper, sugar, su, and cornstarch mixture. Let the soup come to a boil, then add sesame oil, sambal oelek, chives, and cilantro.

Su: This tart liquid derived from rice is a kind of mild vinegar.