Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 2 Thai chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 lemon grass stalks, white parts only, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 4 Kaffir lime leaves (available at Asian markets)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup firm tofu, sliced
  • To make carrot flowers, cut each carrot in half crosswise, then, using a sharp knife, cut four V shaped channels length  wise. Slice the carrots into thin rounds and set aside.
  • Pour the stock into a large pan.
  • Reserve 1/2 tsp of the chilies and add the rest to the pan with the lemon grass, lime leaves, garlic and half of the scallions.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the stock and discard the flavorings.
  • Return the stock to the pan, add the reserved chilies, scallions, sugar, lime juice and cilantro.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes, then  add the carrot flowers and tofu slices. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender.
  • Serve hot.

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