Hot and Sour Soup

Serving Size  : 6 

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2             ounces  dried wood ear mushrooms
  1                cup  hot water
  2        tablespoons  peanut oil
     1/2         pound  lean pork -- julienned
  4             ounces  straw mushrooms -- trimmed and sliced
  4             ounces  bamboo shoots -- julienned
  6             ounces  tofu -- shredded
  2             quarts  chicken stock
     1/4           cup  soy sauce
     1/4           cup  rice wine vinegar
  4                     eggs -- beaten
     1/2           cup  green onions (green part only) -- chopped
  2        tablespoons  Thickenthin -- or as needed

Soak wood ear mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes.  Drain and julienne
the mushrooms.

In a wok over medium heat, saute the pork with salt and pepper to taste
(or you can use shredded cooked pork).  Add straw mushrooms, bamboo
shoots, tofu and wood ear mushrooms.  Saute for 2 minutes.

Add stock and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in
Thickenthin, adding more carefully as needed.

Add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.  Stirring slowly in a circle, add
beaten eggs so the eggs cook in "rags" in the soup.

Add the green onions at the last minute and serve hot.  Add chili oil to
heat soup to taste.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 153 Calories; 9g Fat (59.0%
calories from fat); 9g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 125mg
Cholesterol; 3639mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2
Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : I omit the straw mushrooms because I'm allergic, although for some
        reason the wood ears don't bother me.
        If you don't have chili oil, stir-fry dried hot peppers in the oil
        until the peppers are very dark, then remove the peppers before
        stir-frying the pork in the chile-infused oil.
        I often use beef stock instead of chicken stock, depending on my
        To make the texture more interesting, you can buy deep fried tofu
        at oriental grocery stores.  This stuff when julienned has a
        distinctly noodle-like quality.  Or make your own by folding the
        tofu up in a paper towel, placing on a plate, placing another
        plate on top of it and putting a full glass of water on top.
        Leave the tofu to press and drain for 2 hours.  Then cut into thin
        strips and drop into deep hot oil and fry until golden.