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Hot ‘n Sour Soup

Ingredients

4 Dried Chinese mushrooms, 1 to 1-1/2 in dia
2 Squares, 3 inches each, fresh Chinese bean curd about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 c Canned bamboo shoots
1/4 lb Boneless pork
1 qt Chicken stock, fresh or canned
1 t Salt
1 Scallion, including the green top, finely chopped
1 tb Soy sauce
1/4 ts Ground white
pepper
2 tb White vinegar
2 tb Cornstarch *mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
1Egg, lightly beaten
2 ts Sesame seed oil 

Instructions
* if soup is not thick enough, add 2 more spoons of cornstarch (mixed into cold water) into the soup

PREPARE AHEAD:
In a small bowl, cover the mushrooms with 1/2 cup of warm water and let them soak for 30 minutes. Discard the water. With a cleaver or knife, cut away and discard the tough stems of the mushrooms, and shred the caps by placing one at a time on a chopping board. Cut them horizontally into paper-thin slices, and then into thin strips. Drain the pieces of bamboo shoots and bean curd, and rinse them in cold water. Shred them as fine as the mushrooms. With a cleaver or sharp knife, trim the pork of all fat. Then shred it, too, by slicing the meat as thin as possible and cutting the slices into narrow strips about 1-1/2 to 2 inches long. Have the above ingredients, stock, salt, soy sauce, pepper, vinegar, cornstarch mixture, egg, sesame seed oil and scallions within easy reach. TO COOK: Combine in a heavy 3-quart saucepan the stock, salt, soy sauce, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and pork. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 3 minutes. Drop in the bean curd and the pepper and the vinegar. Bring to a boil again. Give the cornstarch mixture a stir to recombine it and pour it into the soup. Stir for a few seconds until the soup thickens, then slowly pour in the beaten egg, stirring gently all the while. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle it into a tureen or serving bowl. Stir in the sesame seed oil and sprinkle the top with scallions. Serve at once.
Source: RecipeSource

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