asian soup recipe

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Many years ago, my dear friend, Martha, got me to try Hot and Sour Soup. I have been in love with it ever since. I stock up on the ingredients when I am shopping at my local Asian grocery store. Since many of the ingredients are canned or dried, it is easy to keep them on hand. The soup itself does not take that long to make. You do need to soak the black mushrooms for a little while, but once they are ready, the soup comes together pretty quickly. The black mushrooms are available already sliced in thin strips. That is what I use. You can also find them dried whole. In that case, you would soak the mushrooms first, then slice them.

Feel free to play around with the additions. Sometimes I’ll add some shredded nappa cabbage. I have also made a vegetarian version by using vegetable stock and omitting the sliced meat. It was still a very tasty bowl of soup.

You get plenty of heat from the white pepper, but you can add some hot sauce, if you like it hotter.

Hot and Sour Soup

5 c. chicken broth- or vegetable broth

2 c. pork, sliced in thin strips or you can use chicken or omit

1 T. soy sauce

¾ c. dried sliced Chinese black mushrooms, soaked 30 minutes in water and drained

1 can straw mushrooms, drained

1 c. sliced bamboo shoots – I use the braised ones in a can- nice flavor

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

10 oz. tofu, cubed

½ -1 t. white pepper

¼ c. cider vinegar

4 T. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 c. water*

2 beaten eggs

Sesame oil

1 green onion, sliced thin, or chives

Combine broth with pork, soy sauce, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add tofu, pepper, vinegar and cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. As soup thickens and clears pour egg in slowly. Remove from heat; stir in a little oil and onions and serve.

Serves 4.

Note: For extra heat you can add hot sauce to taste.

* I use a type of cornstarch called Clear Gel. It remains thick, even after reheating. You can find it in Amish stores and on line.

Coconut Ginger Soup

Coconut Ginger Soup

This recipe is inspired by a favorite dish at a local Thai restaurant. The recipe is pretty simple. Coconut milk and chicken stock are the base. The soup has a few veggies added and a healthy dash of lime juice and ginger. Then it is just a matter of adding some additional seasoning and the cooked chicken.

If you are starting with raw chicken, you could add it with the initial ingredients and just simmer long enough to cook the chicken. Small slices of chicken would cook in a few minutes. Since I had cooked chicken, I added it  at the end. It was in the soup just long enough to warm it up. That way the chicken wouldn’t get tough from over-cooking.

The soup is meant to have a nice, citrus flavor from the lime juice. Adding the juice from three or four limes should be plenty, but all limes are not the same. If your limes are smallish, or not really juicy, feel free to add a little more.

For a soup thrown together so quickly, it really has a wonderful flavor. It is one of my favorite quick meals. So here is the recipe. Enjoy.

Coconut Ginger Soup

1 can, (13.5 oz.), coconut milk

2 c. chicken stock

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 jar bamboo shoots, drained

2 T. fresh grated ginger

Juice of 3-4 limes

Hot sauce to taste

3 T. fresh chopped cilantro- or parsley

3 T. chopped green onions

salt to taste

8 oz. cooked chicken, sliced in bite-sized pieces

Heat first 7 ingredients in a saucepan until heated through. Simmer about 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and green onions and season to taste. My limes were pretty juicy. Feel free to add a little more lime juice, if you like. Add the chicken and simmer a few minutes longer. Serves 2-3.

Won Ton Soup

Won Ton Soup

Won Ton Soup

Still in the mood for Chinese food so I made  a version of Won Ton Soup. I had some leftover won ton wrappers so I filled them with chicken. Simmered them in chicken stock and added spinach at the last minute. Not a traditional Won Ton Soup, but I had to work with what I had. It tasted good so that is what matters in the end.

Won Ton Soup

24 Won ton wrappers

1 c. cooked chicken

1/4 c. minced celery

1 t. soy sauce

1 t. sesame oil

4 c. chicken stock

4 c. fresh spinach

Combine chicken with the celery, soy sauce and sesame oil. Place 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture in the center of a won ton wrapper. Moisten edges and fold in half to form a triangle. Press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Heat stock and add the wrappers and spinach and cook until heat through and spinach is cooked, about 5 minutes. Serves 2-3.

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