SOUR AND SPICY SOUP
Asian Vegan Kitchen
by Hema Parekh
Sour and Spicy Soup (Shuan la tang)
A Chinese version of the famous Thai torn yum soup, using vinegar instead of tamarind. This quick and satisfying soup includes tofu and vegetables, making it hearty enough for a light meal.
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
• 3 1/2 ounces (100g) atsuage deep-fried tofu, thinly sliced
• 3 fresh shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
• 2 ounces (60g) bamboo shoots, sliced
• 1/2 carrot, cut into 4 diagonal slices
• 1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
• 2 wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted and chopped
• 1 tablespoon Chinese red chili paste
• 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 4 cups (960ml) Clear Vegetable Stock (see below)
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
• Fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the ginger for 10 seconds over medium heat.
2. Add the tofu, shiitake, bamboo shoots, carrot, tomato, and wood ear mushrooms. Turn the heat to high and stir-fry for 2—3 minutes.
3. Add the chili paste, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix.
4. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3—4 minutes over medium heat.
5. Add the cornstarch-and-water mixture and stir continuously until well blended into the soup. Simmer for another 2—3 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and divide between individual bowls. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.
CLEAR VEGETABLE STOCK (Su cai zhi)
Makes 6 cups (1. 5 L)
• 1 cups (1.8 L) water
• 2 cups (90g) white cabbage, roughly chopped
• 2 carrots, roughly chopped
• 1 cup scallions, with green part
• 8-10 black peppercorns, crushed
• 2 coriander roots
• 2 stalks celery
• 3-4 cauliflower florets
Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and boil over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are completely cooked. Strain the stock and use as required. Will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.