Almost Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup

         Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Asian, Mushrooms, Tofu, Soups & Stews

8 c Lowfat chicken broth OR -vegetable broth 1 oz Bean sprouts; rinsed 1 oz Bamboo shoots; rinsed and -julienned 1 Stalk bok choy; diagonally -sliced (altertive: celery -and napa cabbage leaves) 3 oz Chinese pea pods; rinsed and -strings pulled 6 Dried Chinese mushrooms; -soaked in boiling water, -rinsed and drained and -julienned 1 tb Hoisin sauce 1 tb Tamari soy; or more to taste 1 tb Kung pao sauce; or more to -taste Leftover soba noodle; -optional 10 oz Firm tofu; or as packaged -drained and sliced, *see -instructions 2 tb Potato starch; dissolved in 4 tb Water 1/4 c Egg substitute; beaten with 1/8 ts Light sesame oil Cilantro leaves; coarsely -chopped 1 ds Dark sesame oil; for aroma 3 tb Rice wine vinegar Hot pepper sauce; optional Rinse the pea pods and trim, pulling strings if necessary; leave them whole. If bok choy is not available, use a combination of celery and napa cabbage leaves; slice on the bias into bite-sized pieces. Slice the tofo (bean Curd) cakes into 1/4-inch thick pieces, then carefully slice again into strips 1 by 1/4-inch (julienned). Place the broth in a large soup pan; add the bean sprouts, then bamboo shoots, bok choy, pea pods, and mushrooms. Slowly bring to a gentle boil. Add the sauces: hoisin, soy and kung pao. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until bok choy is wilted and the sprouts have lost their bitter bite. Add a little cooked soba noodle, if using. Add the bean curd slivers. And as soon as the soup returns to a boil, slowly stir in the well-stirred dissolved potato starch. Slowly bring to a boil again. Slowly pour in the beaten egg through the gap of a pair of chopsticks or along the back of a fork, moving the chopsticks or fork in a circular motion to shirr the egg. Remove at once from heat and cover for 30 seconds to allow egg to set and the soup will also clear somewhat. Remove from heat. Add the coriander leaves. Stir gently to mix. Season with vinegar. Then adjust the sauces: soy, hoisin, or kung pao, to taste. Offer pepper oil at the table for those who want it hotter. By KitPATh <> Notes: Recipe was revised for bottled sauces. Quantities are approximate; to taste and to what is on hand. The technique and the use of potato starch are ideas from CHINESE COOKING by Yan Kit Martin. Have ingredients prepared and assembled. This is a variation of an egg drop soup. The boil is also gentle and steady; never allow the broth to roil. Recipe by: Hanneman*