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TDG: Desperate Measures: Hot and Sour Soup


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#1 Fat Guy

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 09:22 AM

Mamster's special recipe.


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#2 Jinmyo

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 09:37 AM

Good. Keep trying, mamster.
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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

#3 Blue Heron

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 09:48 AM

mamster, thank you for your excellent detective work to acquire that recipe. I had the soup at lunch that day, too, and agree it was the best. I also appreciate your add'l tips included with the recipe.

In your article, you forgot to mention that on Fridays, the school offers a delicous all you can eat buffet lunch for only $6.50. I was very impressed with the high quality and selections, not to mention the low price.

Nightscotsman has been kindly providing us with the menu's online, Click here

#4 vengroff

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 04:42 PM

I have Tom Douglas' book (a gift from in-laws in Seattle) but I've never made this soup. I'll have to give it a go.
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#5 mamster

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 05:51 PM

I can't remember whether I mentioned in the article that the original recipe uses dungeness crab meat, not shrimp. You certainly wouldn't go wrong with the crab, either.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#6 jawbone

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 01:20 PM

Yes, thanks for the recipe — I came across it yesterday afternoon while racking my brain for supper ideas. I happened to have on hand everything called for (except the bamboo shoots, which I don't particularly like anyways).

It was quick, easy and —most importantly — delicious! It is now part of my weeknight arsenal.

#7 project

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 05:53 PM

  About the recipe in the article, some questions?
  For the item
  - 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  these are the 'Chinese black mushrooms'?
  As I recall, there are supposed to be two kinds of
  these, one with a smooth tops and the other with
  cracks in the tops something like the cracks in a
  dried mud lake bed.
  - 3 tablespoons peeled and finely julienned
  How do I measure that? Measure before or after
  If ginger has the density of water and if we want
  the ginger packed solid in the 3 T, then we want 1
  1/2 ounces of weight. Is that what you have in mind
  or much more?
  For the
  - 1 cup canned slivered bamboo shoots,
  drained and diced
  Is the 1 C before we drain or afterwards? Again,
  canned bamboo shoots likely have density about that
  of water, so you want 8 ounces of drained and diced
  bamboo shoots?
  For the cutting, do you really want "diced" instead
  of julienned? I believe that julienned is more
  common and will fit better with the julienned
  For the
  - 4 ounces medium shrimp (51-60s are fine),
  shelled, deveined if necessary, and
  coarsely chopped
  what is the weight, after shelling, deveining, and
  chopping, and actually used in the dish?
  Shredded pork is more common in Hot Sour Soup. The
  seafood is curious. So, chicken could also work?
  Can you give a description of the appearance of this
  soup and the flavors in the style of
  Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky, 'The Elements of
  Taste', ISBN 0-316-60874-2, Little, Brown and
  Company, Boston, 2001.
  Your chicken stock starts by browning the chicken.
  This browning is unusual for chicken stock, either
  French or Chinese. Are you getting a clear stock
  with light pale color or something darker?
  Commonly chicken stock in Chinese cooking is rather
  thin, thinner than French chicken stock, and not
  nearly strong enough to gel when cold. Your stock
  seems to be stronger.

#8 tommy

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 06:07 PM

tommy: yum, mamster.

#9 mamster

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Posted 12 February 2003 - 10:28 PM

project--The dried shiitakes are "dried black mushrooms". Either variety would be fine. The ginger is measured after peeling and chopping. This is an approximate measure; adjust as you like. When I julienne the ginger, I cut slices perpendicular to the length of the rhizome, then cut those slices into strips--this gives a cross-grain strip that is less likely to be stringy in the mouth.

As for the bamboo shoots, the original recipe calls for julienne, but in the soup at the restaurant, they were cut into smaller pieces. I liked it that way. I used most of a can of "strip" bamboo shoots, cut perpendicular to the strips into fine dice.

My stock is quite unlike a traditional Chinese chicken stock. I find that this gives me more of a buffer to mess up: it's a more gelatinous, more full-flavored stock that is less versatile, but also a stronger base for a soup that makes it less important to get everything else perfectly in balance. I struggle with soup, which seems more prone to being ruined by a small detail than most other types of dishes.

I've skimmed The Elements of Taste but I don't remember their categories, so I can't comment on that.

I didn't weigh the shrimp after prepping it. Anyone know what the general loss in prep is for shrimp? I'm guessing it doesn't vary much. Thanks for the questions--it'll help me write a clearer recipe next time around.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#10 SobaAddict70

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 08:32 AM

I prefer Tom Kha Gai. (Tom Cool Guy, if you like. :blink: )


#11 =Mark

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 09:11 AM

In traditional Hot & Sour soups the main ingredient that gives it a kick is ground white pepper. Many purists will insist that chile peppers are not used. In my own version I do use chile paste and white pepper because that's just the way I am. :raz:

I'm curious whether the complete omission of white pepper in this recipe was intentional, and if so, why?

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#12 mamster

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 11:41 AM

It was intentional, Mark, for two reasons. First of all, it wasn't in the original recipe. Second, for whatever reason, I don't like the combination of white or black pepper and dried red pepper (which is what chile garlic sauce is made from, I believe). When I get a hot and sour soup that includes both, I cringe, even though I like both ingredients separately.
Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"
Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

#13 project

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 10:32 PM

  Since we're considering Hot Sour Soup, here is an
  extraction of some of my working notes on that soup.
  (1) Joyce Chen, 'Joyce Chen Cook Book', J. B.
  Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1962.
  (2) Rose Cheng and Michele Morris, 'Chinese
  Cookery', ISBN 0-89586-088-0, Berkley
  Publishing, New York, 1981.
  (3) Ken Hom, 'Foolproof Chinese Cooking', ISBN
  0-7894-7145-0, Dorling Kindersley, London,
  (4) Ken Hom, 'Chinese Cooking', ISBN
  1-55366-270-9, Stewart House Publishing,
  Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, 2001.
  (5) Deh-Ta Hsiung, 'Chinese Regional Cooking:
  The Art and Practice of the World's Most
  Diverse Cuisine', ISBN 0-89009-598-1,
  Chartwell Books, New Jersey, 1979.
  (6) Deh-Ta Hsiung, 'Chinese Cookery Secrets:
  How to Cook Chinese Restaurant Food at
  Home', Right Way, Surrey, UK, 1993.
  (7) Jason Lowe, Deh-Ta Hsiung, and Nina
  Simonds, 'The Food of China', ISBN
  1-55285-227, Whitecap Books, Vancouver,
  (8) Barbara Tropp, 'The Modern Art of Chinese
  Cooking: Techniques and Recipes', isbn
  0-688-14611-2, William Morrow, New York,
  (9) Martin Yan, 'Chinese Cooking for Dummies:
  A Reference for the Rest of Us!', ISBN
  0-7245-5247-3, Hungry Minds, New York,
  Below, organized as a table, I give a summary of the
  recipes for Hot Sour Soup from each of the nine
  books above. In the table, each book has its own
  column. There are separate sections of the table
  for Stock, Meat Marinade, Soup, and Garnish.
  Here the goal is to take a first-cut at what seems
  to be standard or interesting to include in a new
  Table Legend:
  Y Yes
  O Optional
  Blank No
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  85 26 58 78 40 281 446 116 Page
  Y Canned
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Chicken
  Y Y Y Y O Pork
  Y Veal
  Y Y Y Duck
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Ginger
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Scallions Green
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Scallions White
  Y Y Garlic
  Y Y Y Wine
  Y Y Y Y Y Salt
  Y Black Pepper
  Y Light Soy Sauce
  O Szechuan Pepper
  Y Y Rinse Blood
  Y O Scald
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Skim
  Y Clarify
  Y Y Y Y Y Boil
  Y Y Y Never Boil
  Meat Marinade
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  92 49 34 76 174 68 450 Page
  Y Y Y Light Soy
  Y Y Y Y Y Wine
  Y Y Y Y Salt
  Y Black Pepper
  Y Y Y Sugar
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Corn Starch
  Y Y Y Y Sesame Oil
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  92 49 34 76 174 53 68 450 120 Page
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Pork
  Y Beef
  Y Chicken
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Tofu
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Eggs
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Tree Fungus
  Y Y Y Lily Flowers
  Y O Y Y Y Y Y Y Vinegar
  Y Black Vinegar
  Y Y Wine
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Light Soy
  Y Y Y Dark Soy
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y White Pepper
  Y Y Black Pepper
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Salt
  Szechuan Pepper
  Y Y Y Y Y Y Black Mushrooms
  Y Button Mushrooms
  Y Scallions
  Y Y Y Y Y Bamboo Shoots
  Y Water Chestnuts
  Y Carrots
  Y Ginger
  Y Szechuan Vegetable
  Y Y Y Sesame Oil
  Y Y Chili Oil
  Y Coriander
  Y Worcestershire Sauce
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
  Y Y Y Scallions
  Y Y Sesame Oil
  Y White Pepper
  Y Y Black Pepper
  Y Coriander

#14 maggiethecat

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Posted 13 February 2003 - 10:36 PM

Interesting, Project.

And what's your project? :biggrin:

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