January 19, 2010
Wild Rice: Hot and Sour Soup
HOT AND SOUR SOUP (Suan La Tang)
Restaurant: Wild Rice
Chef: Todd Bright
Why We Love it:
Many people think they don't like Chinese Hot and Sour Soup because their experience with the classic example in Chinese restaurants was a broth with a glue-y texture and rubbery mushrooms. Wild Rice's version is not like that. Chef Todd has banned the cornstarch and instead, thickens the soup with an infusion of silky starch from sushi rice. The mushrooms (our bowl included black Cloud Ear mushrooms as well as Shiitake), are sliced as fine as ribbons, and the little cubes of tofu are smoked. Filling and spicy, it will clear your sinuses without making your eyes water.
1 cup hot water for soaking mushrooms
1 cup dried Shitake mushrooms (re-hydrated & sliced)
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup short grain rice
1 cup black vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
½ cup dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sambal oelek*
1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of salt to taste
1 cup julienne carrots
1 cup julienne leeks
1 cup diced extra firm tofu
2 fresh free range eggs, lightly beaten
Sliced green onions
Chili oil, to garnish
Place Shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let the mushrooms soak for at least 30 minutes to hydrate, then drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Slice mushrooms and set aside.
Place vegetable stock and rice in a pot and bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, lower the temperature and let simmer gently until the rice has puffed up and has released its starch into the stock (which will begin to thicken). Strain the stock into another pot, reserve the rice for another use or discard.
Gently simmer the broth and add vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek, pepper, salt and reserved mushroom water. Stir gently with a whisk to incorporate thoroughly then add in mushrooms, carrots, leeks and tofu, simmering for another two minutes.
Just before serving, stir in beaten eggs and stir well to incorporate. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with some sliced green onions and a drizzle of chili oil.
*Can be found in Asian food stores or most large supermarkets in the Asian food section.
117 West Pender Street