Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slow Cooker Simmering Hot and Sour Soup

     One of my favorite treats at any Chinese restaurant is hot and sour soup. I used to go to a restaurant up north that would give me free quarts of the soup because I raved about it so much. NOTE TO POTENTIAL SPONSORS: I will gladly rave about any product you give me free of charge. I've been trying to replicate hot and sour soup with varying degrees of success. I was a bit leery of using a slow cooker recipe for hot and sour soup from Crock Pot Weeknight Favorites, but I gave it a try. It was not even close. It was, however, a tasty soup worthy of cooking again. I did make a number of changes, especially in the heat department. The soup wasn't anywhere hot enough for my liking. Give it a try and see what you think. As always, any notes and changes are in blue.

Slow Cooker Simmering Hot and Sour Soup
via Crock Pot Weeknight Favorites

  • 2 cans (about 14 ounces each) chicken broth (I had actual chicken stock in the freezer, so I just used 28 ounces of that)
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken or pork (we went with chicken)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (didn't have any in the house, but for whatever reason, we had a 5 ounce jar of nameko mushrooms in the cabinet. We used those)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced bamboo shoots (none in the house, omitted)
  • 1 can (14-15 ounces) bean sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chili paste or 1 teaspoon hot chili oil (we wound up using about 3 tablespoons of sriracha)
  • 4 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (we used full one pound block)
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (we ended up using close to 5 tablespoons of cornstarch and water to get the soup to the desired consistency)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or sliced green onion (no)
  1. Combine broth, chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, and chili paste in slow-cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 3 to 4 hours or HIGH 2 to 3 hours or until chicken is heated through.
  2. Stir in tofu and sesame oil. In a small bowl, whisk water into cornstarch until mixture is smooth; stir into soup. Cover; cook on HIGH 10 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with cilantro or onion. 
Good times!

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