Hot and sour is one of those rare treats that almost everybody loves. Though you might not be able to exactly pinpoint the difference between the two flavors, you’ll probably notice when shortcuts are taken. Have you ever noticed how you can usually gauge the quality of a dish based on how good the hot and sour soup is? A truly great hot and sour soup certainly is an indication of the best food to eat. If you love this delicious soup, it will be important to pay close attention to these hot and sour soup recipe tips.
One of the problems with hot and sour soup is the way it’s prepared. Often, people buy the ingredients, make the soup, and then throw it in the slow cooker. While this may work for some people, it doesn’t provide the freshness of a true homemade recipe. It also isn’t true to the original flavor of the soup and might even taste like a poor quality take-out meal.
Use Heated Water
To get the best flavor from your recipe, stir your noodles in slightly heated water. Bring to a boil, add salt to the water and mix in the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes. Uncover and stir, continue to simmer for another five minutes, then remove from heat and serve. You should be able to taste the salt in your noodles because it will be much more discernible.
The Black Vinegar
The original Chinese recipe called for black vinegar, but white vinegar was used in America as well. If you don’t have access to either of these options, try using chicken broth. Any type of stock will do, but it has to be very light. In fact, I prefer the less expensive Chinese supermarket brands that use chicken or fish broth. No need to use heavy cream or sour cream, either.
Another thing you can do to modify the Hot and Sour soup recipe is to add an intense chili sauce for a kick. I like to use dried chili peppers or some mild ones. It all depends on what your preferences are. I generally use about two tablespoons for a serving. You can choose more or less depending on your tastes.
Scrape Away The Skin Left
When you add the white pepper and vinegar, stir to mix. Scrape away any bits of skin left on the pepper. Once everything is blended, cover the pot tightly and let it simmer on low for about ten minutes. Remove the lid and stir again to mix the ingredients.
At this point, you can add the soy milk if you are using it or another thickener if you don’t have it. If using sesame oil, it is best if you don’t over-fill the pot since this will dilute the hot and sour flavor of the ingredients. When finished, strain into bowls and serve hot.
If you serve this hot and sour soup recipe as is, it is light and goes great with meats, seafood, and vegetables. However, if you want it to be a more complete meal, you can always serve it with noodles, rice, and meats. For a low and easy family meal, try serving this hot and sour soup recipe along with steamed white rice. You can also use steamed broccoli or cauliflower for a full meal. You could even chop up the vegetables and broccoli and serve that as well along with the hot and sour sauce. I hope these tips help you tweak your version of this classic Chinese hot and sour soup recipe and give it a new twist.