Vegan Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

by Cathy Katin-Grazzini

  • Total Time: 70 Minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, destemmed, or ½ cup dried shiitake
  • 1.7-ounce package of dried day lily buds, or ½ cup fresh and salted fresh day lily buds
  • 1 ½ cups dried wood or tree ears (auricularia)
  • 1 ½ cups dried black fungus
  • 4 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 12 green onions, sliced greens and whites
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 quarts veggie broth, no sodium
  • 1 pound soft tofu, cut into 1 x ¾-inch rectangles
  • ½ cup bamboo shoots, fresh if available, thinly sliced rectangles
  • ¼ cup Chinese black vinegar (for a gluten-free option, substitute rice vinegar)
  • 3/8 cups low-sodium soy sauce or Braggs Aminos
  • 2-2 ½ teaspoons ground white or black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons date sugar or date paste
  • 5 Tablespoons arrowroot
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly ground flax seed, in 2/3 cup water

Garnishes

  • Cilantro leaves
  • Slivered scallion
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly toasted white or black sesame seeds

Directions

Prep:

Date paste is a healthy alternative to refined sugars and syrups. Use it to sweeten your dishes or in lieu of marmalade. To make date paste, pit and roughly chop 1 cup of dates, any variety. Place in a small bowl, cover with water, heat in a microwave for 1-2 minutes to rehydrate. Cool. Purée in a food processor until very uniform and smooth.  Set aside. Date paste stores well in the fridge for weeks. 

  1. Rinse fungi and dried or fresh lily buds. Cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes. Rinse. Chop coarsely.
  2. In your soup pot, sauté garlic, scallion, and ginger in minimal broth for a few minutes.
  3. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add veggies, fungi, lily buds, bamboo shoots, date paste, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper. Simmer 15-20 minutes to blend flavors.
  5. Add the arrowroot to a small bowl and mix in 1/3 cup of soup, stirring to create a smooth roux. Drizzle into the soup pot, stirring to dissolve. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken.
  6. Mix the flax with water in a small bowl. Drizzle in, stirring.
  7. Gently add tofu. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  8. Serve in warmed bowls. Garnish with scallion, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

This is one of my favorite soups, with its deeply satisfying, umami flavors and warmth. This Hot and Sour Soup is a wonderful plant-based tonic for those chilly winter evenings. Ingredients are available from your local Asian grocers or online. If you have access to an H-Mart supermarket, you'll find fresh lily buds, tree ears, a variety of fresh shiitakes, and varieties of tofu to choose among.

  • Total Time: 70 Minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8
  • Ingredients:
    • 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, destemmed, or ½ cup dried shiitake
    • 1.7-ounce package of dried day lily buds, or ½ cup fresh and salted fresh day lily buds
    • 1 ½ cups dried wood or tree ears (auricularia)
    • 1 ½ cups dried black fungus
    • 4 cloves garlic, slivered
    • 12 green onions, sliced greens and whites
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
    • 2 quarts veggie broth, no sodium
    • 1 pound soft tofu, cut into 1 x ¾-inch rectangles
    • ½ cup bamboo shoots, fresh if available, thinly sliced rectangles
    • ¼ cup Chinese black vinegar (for a gluten-free option, substitute rice vinegar)
    • 3/8 cups low-sodium soy sauce or Braggs Aminos
    • 2-2 ½ teaspoons ground white or black pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons date sugar or date paste
    • 5 Tablespoons arrowroot
    • 2 Tablespoons freshly ground flax seed, in 2/3 cup water

    Garnishes

    • Cilantro leaves
    • Slivered scallion
    • 3 Tablespoons freshly toasted white or black sesame seeds
  • Directions:

    Prep:

    Date paste is a healthy alternative to refined sugars and syrups. Use it to sweeten your dishes or in lieu of marmalade. To make date paste, pit and roughly chop 1 cup of dates, any variety. Place in a small bowl, cover with water, heat in a microwave for 1-2 minutes to rehydrate. Cool. Purée in a food processor until very uniform and smooth.  Set aside. Date paste stores well in the fridge for weeks. 

    1. Rinse fungi and dried or fresh lily buds. Cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes. Rinse. Chop coarsely.
    2. In your soup pot, sauté garlic, scallion, and ginger in minimal broth for a few minutes.
    3. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
    4. Add veggies, fungi, lily buds, bamboo shoots, date paste, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper. Simmer 15-20 minutes to blend flavors.
    5. Add the arrowroot to a small bowl and mix in 1/3 cup of soup, stirring to create a smooth roux. Drizzle into the soup pot, stirring to dissolve. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken.
    6. Mix the flax with water in a small bowl. Drizzle in, stirring.
    7. Gently add tofu. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed.
    8. Serve in warmed bowls. Garnish with scallion, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.
  • Credit:

    by Cathy Katin-Grazzini


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