---------- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
       Title: HOT & SOUR SOUP 4
  Categories: Chinese, Soups
       Yield: 4 servings
            Stephen Ceideburg
       6    Dried Chinese black
      36    Dried lily buds
       3 lg Dried wood ears
       1    Boneless chicken breast
            - half *
       1 tb Peanut oil
       1 ts Salt
       1    Quarter-sized slice of fresh
            -peeled ginger, bruised
       1 tb Soy sauce
       2 tb Shao Hsing wine **
       4 c  Chicken stock
       2 tb Water chestnut flour mixed
            -with 4 tb water ***
       1    Egg, lightly beaten with 1
            -ts oil
     1/4 lb Firm tofu (optional) ****
       1    Green onion, trimmed and
            Chicken Strip Marinade:
       1 ts Light soy sauce
       1 ts Dry vermouth
     1/4 ts Sugar
       1 ts Cornstarch
       1 ts Sesame oil
            Hot and Sour Seasoning:
       2 tb Red wine vinegar
       1 tb Light soy sauce
       1 ts White pepper
       2 ts Hot chili oil, or to taste
       1 tb Sesame oil
   * Skinned and, cut into matchstick strips ** or dry
   sherry. S.C. *** Use cornstarch if unavailable. S.C.
   **** Cut into strips 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches
   There are distinct steps to take in a certain order
   instead of just tossing everything into the stock.
   Like other Hot and Sour soups, it can be made with
   whatever you have on hand. Ms. Jue does suggest,
   however that the black mushrooms and wood ears are
   pretty important to the taste and should be used if at
   all possible. If necessary, she says, substitute
   julienned carrot for the lily buds for color and
   texture. Shredded bamboo shoots, green beans and bean
   sprouts are suggested as additions or sub- stitutions.
   Pork or shrimp can be used instead of chicken with out
   guilt. Toss in a handful of noodles if you like too...
   In 3 separate bowls, cover black mushrooms, lily buds
   and wood ears with water until soft and pliable, about
   30 minutes. Squeeze dry. Remove and discard stems from
   black mushrooms; julienne. Remove and discard hard
   ends of lily buds. Remove and discard any hard
   clusters in centers of wood ears. Roll each wood er
   into a tight curl, cut cross-wise into thin strips.
   Set aside.
   Mix marinade ingredients. Toss with the chicken strips
   and set aside.
   Heat wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and
   tilt wok to coat sides. Add salt, ginger and chicken.
   Stir-fry for 1 minute or until chicken turns white.
   Remove chicken and set aside.
   Increase to high heat. Add black mushrooms, lily buds
   and wood ears to hot oil. Stir-fry until fragrant,
   about 1 minute. Add soy sauce and Shao Hsing wine;
   stir-fry 5 seconds. Add stock and bring to a boil.
   Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Then bring
   back to a boil. Add water chestnut flour mixture. Stir
   continuously until thickened (about 30 seconds).
   Remove from heat.
   Slowly pour egg into soup in a circular motion while
   stir- rings slowly with chopsticks to from silk like
   ribbons. Add tofu and chicken.
   Put ingredients for Hot and Sour Seasoning in a small
   bowl. Stir once or twice; do not over mix. Pour half
   into a shallow soup tureen. Ladle soup over sauce.
   Scatter green onions on top. Float remaining Hot and
   Sour Seasoning on top of soup. Stir gently.
   Serves 4 as a meal in itself.
   Joyce Jue, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/2/91.