Chinese Hot & Sour Soup


6 cups chicken stock
1/4 lb julienned lean pork or chicken
2 tbsp garlic & red chile paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
3/4 tsp ground white pepper
4 eggs, beaten
5 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sliced shittake mushrooms
1 can peeled straw mushrooms
1 can sliced bamboo shoots
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 can baby corn ears
1 cake soft tofu, sliced into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup dried black fungus (cloud ears), soaked in water for one hour, drained and sliced.
finely chopped scallions for garnish


1. Bring stock to a simmer, add soy, pork, mushrooms & chile paste, simmer for 10 minutes.

2. add pepper, vinegar, bamboo, baby corn, water chestnuts, fungus and tofu, simmer 10 min

3. Mix cornstarch with 5 tbsp water and add. bring back to a simmer and pour the eggs in a very thin stream over the surface. Let stand for 10 seconds before gently stirring in the sesame oil.

4. serve with a garnish of chopped scallions. The pepper, vinegar and chile paste can be varied to taste. You're a chile-head, you know what to do!