Hot and Sour Soup

This soup comes together quickly after you’ve prepared the mushrooms. For a heartier entree, add peeled shrimp or sliced, cooked chicken.

1 package dried mushrooms, preferably cloud ear or shiitake
4 oz firm tofu, diced
5 cups chicken broth
3 TBS soy sauce
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBS fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
5 TBS rice vinegar
1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS water
Cilantro leaves, chopped

Soak the mushrooms in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, pat dry and chop into pieces.
Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and chili-garlic sauce. Lower heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and tofu. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Add sesame oil.

Dissolve the cornstarch with the water. Stir into the soup. Cook until thickened. Garnish soup with cilantro.

Serves 4

Gary – Brightly flavored whites with a hint of sweetness or impressions of ripe fruit would work well with this soup, as would a number of lighter red wines with soft tannins and a hint of acidity. A softly sweet Riesling, Chenin Blanc or Gewürztraminer; a crisp version of these same whites; Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio, Verdejo, Albariño, Torrontes or unoaked Chardonnay would be white wine choices, as would be a lightly sweet Niagara or Seyval. A softly dry rosé would also make a pleasant pairing. For the reds, look for Gamay, Pinot Noir or Tempranillo without much oak, or any red wine produced in a softer, lightly extracted style, such as a fruity Chambourcin or gently sweet Dornfelder.

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