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November 03, 2002


Cyndy H.

Regarding the hot and sour soup.

"Wood ear" is the larger, crunchier textured dried mushroom. (Part of the fungus family)

"Cloud ear" is the smaller, thinner fungus, roughly the size of a quarter when re-hydrated. It's got a softer, more gelatinous texture when cooked.

For your hot and sour soup, use the wood ear. It'll give a nice crunchy/chewy texture.

For the "hot" ingredients, when I make it, I offer hot chili oil at serving time, so you can punch up the heat as desired. To season the soup while cooking, I'll usually use white pepper to give it some spiciness.

Hope your soup turns out well!

Happy soup making!

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