Make It A Hot and Sour Lunar New Year

Warm up with a different version of hot and sour soup.

Warm up with a different version of hot and sour soup.

Hot and sour soup is not a traditional dish on the standard Lunar New Year menu.

But when you have one this delicious, it’s hard not to want to share it with friends and family for a wonderful celebration such as the start of the “Year of the Horse.”

This version is by talented Pastry Chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Massachusetts. It’s from her second cookbook, “Flour, Too” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

You may already know Chang for her most excellent pastries and breads. But her Myers + Chang restaurant also serves up satisfying savory selections, many influenced by her family, as well as classic Taiwanese dishes.

This soup comes together quite quickly. In fact, in the book, Chang writes that her mom used to whip it up as a fast lunch on a regular basis for her kids. Now, it sells out routinely at Meyers + Chang.

It’s easy to see why. It’s a soup that hits all the high notes on the palate with its tang from rice vinegar and heat from a slosh of Sriracha, as well as both black and white pepper.

This version is a cross between hot and sour soup, and egg-drop soup because two large eggs get whisked into the pot of simmering soup to create strands that fortify the broth.

Chang simplifies the soup by swapping button mushrooms for the traditional wood ear mushrooms, which usually require a trip to a Chinese market to find. She also adds ground pork to make the soup more substantial.

Whether you celebrate Lunar New Year or not, you’re sure to rejoice in the discovery of this sensational soup.

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Mama Chang’s Hot and Sour

(Makes 1 3/4 quarts or about 4 servings)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 garlic clove, smashed and minced

1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

4 scallions, white and green parts, minced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped for garnish

8 ounces ground pork

4 cups chicken stock

1 pound block soft or firm tofu (not silken and not extra-firm), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 or 5 medium button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2/3 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus 2 teaspoons for garnish

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

2 large eggs

White pepper for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic, ginger, scallions and ground pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. Break up the pork into smaller pieces but don’t worry about breaking it down completely. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

Add the tofu, mushrooms, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce and bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-high heat. (Taste the soup. If you want it hotter, add more Sriracha sauce; if you want it more sour, add more vinegar.)

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. With the soup at a steady simmer, slowly whisk in the eggs so they form strands. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Divide the soup among four bowls and garnish each with a little sesame oil, scallion and white pepper. Serve immediately. The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

From “Flour, Too” by Joanne Chang


More Recipes For the Lunar New Year: Jamie Oliver’s Quick Portuguese Custard Tarts


And: Roast Chicken with Ginger and Soy-Whiskey Sauce by Jean-Georges Vongerichten


And: Two Different Chinese Almond Cookies


And: Baked Char Siu Baos by Andrea Nguyen


And: Chinese Steamed Buns From Refrigerated Biscuit Dough


Another Joanne Chang Recipe: Apple Snacking Cake

Plus: Joanne Chang’s Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffins

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