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Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup, with its bracing spicy and sour flavor, tastes intuitively like food that will give your immune system [1] a boost. At the very least, it’ll warm your belly and provide a satisfying meal, and with this recipe, no take-out menu is needed.

You can choose to seek out authentic ingredients (like lily buds and cloud ear fungus) or simply go with dried shiitake mushrooms. Likewise, ingredients like soy sauce, sugar and red rice vinegar can be replaced with coconut aminos [2] and plain rice vinegar. This recipe also nixes tofu and cornstarch, resulting in a soup that isn’t traditional but delicious nonetheless.

Once you get cooking, hot and sour soup comes together with surprising ease. Before you know it, you’re slurping up broth that tastes like it should’ve taken hours to make. Fortified with egg and strips of pork loin, hot and sour soup is as filling as it is comforting.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

*Lily buds (also called golden needles) and dried wood ear or cloud ear fungus give the soup a mysteriously earthy, umami flavor. Both can be sourced from Asian markets or online stores.

Instructions:

Slice the pork into very thin strips 1 to 2 inches long. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes in 2 tablespoons coconut aminos and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.

While the pork is marinating, soak the mushrooms and lily buds in separate bowls of warm water for 20 minutes to hydrate. Drain. Cut the mushrooms into thin strips. Cut off the tips of the lily buds, which tend to be chewy.

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, lily buds, pork and ginger. Bring the stock back up to a boil and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, the vinegar and white pepper.

Turn the soup down to a gentle simmer. Slowly pour in the whisked eggs while stirring the broth.

Add the green onion and if desired, chile oil or hot sauce to taste. You can also adjust the flavor by adding more vinegar for a more pronounced sour flavor.