Hot and Sour April Blahs

10 Apr

There has been an awful lot of this in the past month:


That is, the finalizing of all the elements for the apartment…meetings, managing installations (actually, husband has been doing more of that, I have been baking cakes for the various installation teams to keep people happy and sugared up.)

And there has been an awful lot of this:


Flying around the world and doing customer research with my colleague , (didn’t say “intern,”) Jonas. Which has been lots of fun and lots of work. We head to Australia for the final wave of interviews in two weeks, right after big move in to our new place is final.

So there hasn’t been much time for cooking, and when time has been there, not much desire. When you eat out for two weeks straight because you’re on the road, you come home and you don’t want to eat. Even if you have been on a treadmill most of those days for an hour, somehow you just feel like a piece of toast and cheese is JUST FINE, thank you.

But the typical April weather is here upon us Munich. Cold and damp and few hints of the sun. After two weeks of sun in Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco and then a week of crappy weather in Hamburg, I needed to curl up under the covers.

But there is an instant fast cure that I remembered and even better is that it takes about 30 minutes to throw together, assuming ingredients are on hand. Chinese Hot and Sour Soup. It’s like instant regeneration. Fortified with the stuff, you can wait out another rainy day over here with a smile on your face.

Lucky Peach has an awesome recipe which I only tweaked a bit. Over here.

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • ½ C wood ear mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup other mushrooms – I’ve used shitake and King oyster mushrooms
  • 2 T neutral oil
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 1 T chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ C chopped scallions
  • 8 oz pork shoulder, cut into fat matchsticks (1″ long, ¼” wide)
  • 6 C chicken or pork broth – I used bullion cubes, which is just fine, really
  • 8 oz tofu, cut into fat matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/3 C rice vinegar
  • 1/3 C black vinegar
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 2 T sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 2 large eggs (optional)


  • Cover the tree ear mushrooms with warm water and soak until plump and pliable, about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the neutral oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pork and cook, stirring, until the aromatics soften and the pork whitens, about 4 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.


  • Stir in the tofu, bamboo shoots, sugar, vinegars, soy sauce, pepper, sesame oil, and sriracha. Add both types of mushrooms. Return to a simmer and adjust the seasoning.


  • If using the eggs, beat them in a small bowl and drizzle over the soup while gently stirring. When the eggs set into strands, divide the soup among 6 bowls and serve.






Leave a comment

Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Chinese, Cooking at home


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: