Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chicken Hot and Sour Soup with Three Kinds of Mushrooms

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course

A traditional hot and sour soup that includes enoki, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. Firm tofu is available in Chinese markets.

8 cups chicken broth
1 single chicken breast, skinned, boned, and minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped bamboo shoots
1/2 pound Chinese-style tofu, cut into cubes
6 to 8 large fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms
1 handful oyster mushrooms, cut into strips
1/4 pound enoki mushrooms
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

If using dried shiitakes, soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain. In a large pot, bring the broth to a simmer and add the chicken, ginger, and bamboo shoots. Stir the tofu into the soup. Slice the shiitakes and add with the oyster mushrooms to the broth. Add half the enokis, and the chopped green onions.

Dissolve the cornstarch in water and stir slowly into the simmering soup. Remove from the heat, adding the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil, and adjust the seasoning. Top with the remaining enokis.

--Terri Woodring