Wednesday, January 22, 2014

joanne chang's hot and sour soup

I know, it's another soup! Feel free to stop reading here if you just can't take any more.  But I just can't help it. I've been down the research rabbit hole lately and the only way I've been able to survive is by making meals that provide me with leftovers that last a few days. Since soup usually improves over a few days, this has been my compromise. 

When I was a kid, my family used to go out for weekend lunches at a Chinese restaurant in Kearny Mesa. It was a tiny place that went through numerous renovations and name-changes over the years but the owners - and the terrific food - stayed the same. I still make a point to go there when I'm back in San Diego over the holidays because it's just that good. My family used to order a big  tureen of the hot and sour soup because everyone loved it. Everyone except me. I found the sourness off-putting and the texture odd. But apparently change is possible because now, years later, I love the stuff.

I'm sure - very sure - that there is excellent Chinese food to be had in or around the Palo Alto area, but I have yet to find a place that has great hot and sour soup. So when I saw this recipe on Food52, I thought I might try it out myself.

Joanne Chang's soup is both hot and sour but lacks some of the viscosity of many other soups of this kind - there is no corn starch in the broth - which I ultimately ended up liking. My soup didn't look as pretty as hers did (the hot sauce floated to the top in mine) but it did taste good. Anyway, it was exceptionally easy to make and I believe it will tide me over until the next time I make it back to San Diego.

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