OK, here's my plan to maintain good health throughout the coming winter: Frequent ingestion of Hot and Sour soup. Why not? It's filled with good things - vinegar and hot pepper to purge the germs from your system, soybean curd to infuse a little estrogen, plus everybody's favorite health food: pork. How could you go wrong?
After an extensive search through all of the surrounding suburban stripmalls, I found that the best version comes from Wing Hing in the Strathmore Town Center mall, but even they sometimes use those vile canned mushroom slices. Which I preteniously prefer to call tinned mushroom slices. And so I have set off on a quest to see if this is something I could produce in my test kitchen. I googled "hot and Sour Soup" and got this.
So I took a look, and the first three recipes that I opened had plenty of sour, but nothing hot. Maybe they weren't paying attention to the name. The next recipe had hot ingredients (I think), but seemed to be just a tad too exotic for a first go-round, what with its bruised
lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, prik ki nu and coconut shoots. The next listing calls for rehydrated woodears and how about the one that requires tiger lily buds, which I just happen to have. Woodears seem to be a common ingredient in many of the recipes, but here is one where the plagarist must have been copying in a hurry and scribbled down "cloudears".
Really, all I want is hot and sour soup that contains fresh mushrooms. Is that so much to ask? It looks like a fairly big job to work one's way through all of these recipes. Maybe a whole winter's occupation. Stay tuned.