Sour and Pungent Soup (aka Hot and Sour Soup)

This is our starter in Chinese restaurants. You never know when a particular restaurant will make theirs more hot or more sour, but the best hot and sour soup has the hot, sour, and salty flavors nicely balanced.

Lately, I’ve been making this simple chicken version: Chicken Hot and Sour Soup.

1/4 lb uncooked chicken breast, sliced thin in 1″ strips
1/4 lb lean pork, sliced thin in 1″ strips
4 cups chicken, turkey, or pork broth
3 cups water
Mix together for thickening:
3 T cornstarch
4 T water
Mix together for flavoring:
1 T salt
1 T sherry
1 scallion, cut in strips
1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
2 tsp pepper
1 slice ginger, diced

Garnish (not optional!): Minced chive or green onion and a few drops of sesame oil.

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a deep pan. Add chicken and pork and boil for 20 min. Add the flavoring and mix thoroughly. Add thickening and stir until smooth, about 1 min. Serve immediately, garnished with green onion and sesame oil.