This Chinese culinary classic combines tofu, bean paste, bamboo shoot strips, as well as a variety of mushrooms and spices for a spicy, sour and tangy soup. We love it meat-free, but if you’d like something more, feel free to add eggs for an added silky, creamy touch.
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 tsps sesame oil
- 750 g mixed asian mushrooms, torn coarsely
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 green onions (scallions), sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp Chinese chilli bean paste
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- ¼ cup (60 ml) chinese black vinegar
- 2 tbsps light soy sauce
- 565 g can bamboo shoot strips, drained
- 300 g firm tofu, cubed
- 3 tsps cornflour (cornstarch)
- Coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve
Heat peanut oil and half the sesame oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add mushrooms; stir to coat in oil. Cook, covered, for 5 mins or until mushrooms soften but retain their shape. Remove 1 cup of the mushrooms; reserve.
Add ginger, garlic and green onion to the pan; cook, stirring for 2 mins or until fragrant. Stir in chilli bean paste, ground peppers and chilli flakes.
Stir in stock, vinegar, soy sauce and bamboo shoots; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 5 mins. Add tofu.
Combine cornflour and 2 tbsps cold water in a small bowl to make a paste; stir into soup. Cook for 2 mins or until mixture boils and thickens slightly.
Ladle soup into bowls; top with reserved mushrooms and coriander. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil; serve.
TIP We used a pre-packaged mix of mushrooms, containing oyster, shimeji and shiitake.