Hot and Sour Soup
Asian sesame oil, made from toasted sesame seeds, can give homemade Chinese food that distinctive restaurant-quality flavor. Buy the smallest, least costliest bottle since very little oil is needed.
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup dried mushrooms or 1/2 Cup sliced fresh mushrooms
5 Tbsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
8 oz lean pork, shredded or ground
3 Tbsp water
4 cup chicken broth
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Pour hot water over mushrooms in a small bowl; soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms; strain and reserve liquid.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and pork in a small bowl. Blend remaining cornstarch and water in another small bowl. Bring soup to a boil in a large pot.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add reserved liquid and mushrooms to soup. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add pork mixture. Simmer until pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
Stir cornstarch mixture into soup. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add egg to soup, stirring until set, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat. Drizzle oil over soup. Top with green onions.
Use the microwave to speed up the mushroom soaking process. Place the mushrooms and water into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM for about 2 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes.