This week I decided to experiment and make a soup inspired by the culinary traditions of Asia. It was revealed to me that my husband is not quite as obsessed with bean soups (or not at all obsessed, more like sick of…) as I am and he was itching for something new. So, with hot soup season coming to an end, I figured I would oblige him. I adapted this recipe from Joanne Chang, but unfortunately, the initial results were only okay. The soup wasn’t terrible by any means, but it just wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. It needed an extra kick of something. So last night when we reheated it for round two, we added in a few things: jalapeño, cilantro, and our favorite frozen pork gyoza potstickers from Trader Joe’s. The recipe below includes these items so that I remember to add them in next time!
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced, plus tons more for garnish
6-8 ounces ground pork (not really necessary if you are using pork gyoza potstickers)
6 frozen pork gyoza potstickers
4 cups chicken stock
.75 – 1 pound firm tofu, cut into ½ – 1 inch cubes
4 or 5 medium button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 cups rice vinegar, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste, and more for garnish
1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 large eggs
1 jalapeño, sliced
Generous handful of chopped fresh cilantro
In a Dutch oven, or a big soup pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Throw in the garlic, ginger, scallions, and ground pork (if you are using it) and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1-2 minutes. Break the pork up into smaller pieces with a spoon as it browns.
Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Then, add the tofu, mushrooms, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce to the pot and bring the soup back to a simmer. At this point, you should taste the soup. You might need to add in more Sriracha if you like it hotter, or more vinegar if sour is your thing.
While the soup is simmering, whisk the 2 eggs in a small bowl until blended. Then, slowly whisk the eggs in to the soup so they form thin strands. Bring the soup back to a simmer. If you’re using the potstickers, throw them in and let them cook for about 3 minutes. When you’re ready to eat, serve the soup garnished with a little sesame oil, more scallions, white or black pepper, jalapeño slices, and the chopped cilantro. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.