Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hot and Sour Soup



I love Hot and Sour Soup.  This is an awesome recipe for a cold day.  The secret to good H&S soup is black vinegar which gives the soup some sweetness.  Make sure to prep all of the ingredients prior to cooking as this recipe is done in stages.  Some of the amounts for the solids are a little unusual, and often I’ll add more depending on how hearty I want it to be.


2-3oz chicken breast


2-3oz beef sirloin


1 can bamboo shoots


1 can diced water chestnuts


2-3 oz firm tofu


5oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed


2T canola oil


6 green onion, white and pale green parts thinly sliced


1T minced ginger


8 cup (64oz) chicken broth/stock (or 32oz each beef and chicken stock)


1/3 cup black vinegar


2T rice wine vinegar


2T chili bean paste (or 1T garlic chili paste for spicier soup)


2T dark soy sauce


2t sesame oil


1/4 t ground white pepper


2 large eggs, beaten


1T cornstarch dissolved in water



Cut the chicken, beef, tofu, and bamboo shoots into strips about 3-4 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.  Thinly slice the mushrooms.  Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil.  Add the chicken, beef, tofu, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and water chestnuts and par boil for about 3 minutes.  Watch carefully as a film will form due to the mushrooms.  Drain in a colander and rinse to get rid of any film.  Set aside.


In a pot or dutch oven warm the canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the green onions and ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the broth, black vinegar, rice wine, chili bean paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.  Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.



Pour in the beaten eggs in a thin steady stream, and allow to stand for 20 seconds.  Then swirl them into the soup.  Add in the meat and vegetables.  Add half of the cornstarch/water mixture steadily and stir continuously.  For thicker soup add the other half.  Simmer for another 10 minutes, then serve in warmed bowls.  Although I don’t prefer the soup to be garnished, some people like to add peas or ham to the finished soup.  Enjoy.






























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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Cooking, Recipes


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2012 Books

I heard somewhere this year that the average American reads 17 books per year…  I’m highly skeptical.  Seems like an awfully high number to me.  Unfortunately, I’ve been cursed with a passion for reading but do so at a snail’s pace.  I did not meet my quota for this year, but would like to think that I had some interesting reads.  Mostly fiction this year for some reason.  Well, here’s my list:

Go Ask Alice (214pp)

The Book of Drugs – Mike Doughty (252pp)

The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran (96pp)

The Clockwork Universe, Issac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World – Edward Dolnick (387pp)

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (374pp)

Lying – Sam Harris (Kindle e-book)

How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming – Mike Brown (271pp)

Nocturnal – Scott Sigler (567pp)

The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King (309pp)

The House of God – Samuel Shem (380pp)

Help!  A Bear is Eating Me! – Mykle Hansen (129pp)

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (176pp)

Xkcd volume 0 – Randall Munroe (111001pp…lol)

The Dog Stars – Peter Heller (320pp)

12.21 – Dustin Thomason (324pp)

Redshirts – John Scalzi (317pp)

Thanksgiving.  How to Cook it Well – Sam Sifton (125pp)

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty – Dan Ariely (285pp, In progress)

I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas – Lewis Black (178pp, In progress)

Plus about 10 cookbooks!

How did you guys do?  Post your favorites.


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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Books


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