While I was growing up, my family loved to go out to eat. We enjoyed Chinese food immensely and almost always ordered Hot and Sour Soup when we went to a Chinese Restaurant. Steaming hot, spicy, fragrant and slightly sour, this soup embodies all the delicious umami flavors. I love it so much that I recreated my memory of the soup I ate while growing up with a tasty vegan version.
This soup is a brothy sort of soup so it needs a really good chicken flavored vegetable stock. (An oxymoron I know) I like Better than Bullion No Chicken Paste or the Edward and Sons vegan Not Chick’n cubes.
2 cups fresh sliced button or shittake mushrooms (or other fresh mushrooms)
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
3 cloves minced garlic
4 cups vegan chicken flavored broth
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari
1 heaped teaspoon sambal oelek
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
3 tablespoons non GMO corn starch
2 tablespoons wood ear mushrooms (leave them out if you can’t find them)
8 oz firm tofu, drained and cubed
3 diced scallions
Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot until shimmering, add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid, about 4-6 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or two more.
Combine the broth, rice vinegar, tamari, sambal oelek, ground white pepper, sugar and the corn starch with a wire whisk. Add this liquid mixture to the soup pot.
Add the wood ear mushrooms and tofu. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until soup has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add scallions.
Note: if desired you can also add bamboo shoots to this recipe.
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