Hot and Sour Soup

(This is my husband’s favorite soup.)

3 dried wood ears or 4 dried mushrooms
20 dried lily buds, optional
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
1 Tablespoon dry cooking sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoots (1/2 of an 8-ounce can), drained and cut into matchstick pieces
4 ounces bean curd, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 green onions, cut into 1 1/2-inch slivers

1. Place wood ears and lily buds in separate bowls; cover with hot water. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Pinch out hard knobs from center of wood ears and discard. Cut wood ears into thin strips. (If using mushrooms, cut off and discard stems; cut caps into thin slices.) Cut off and discard hard tips from lily buds.

2. Cut chicken crosswise into thin slices; sprinkle with sherry. Let stand 15 minutes.

3. Bring chicken broth to a boil in 3-quart saucepan. Add wood ears, lily buds, chicken and bamboo shoots. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Add bean curd, vinegar, soy sauce and white pepper; cook 3 minutes more.

4. Blend cornstarch and water in a small cup; stir into soup. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Turn off heat. Stirring constantly, slowly pour egg into soup. Stir in sesame oil and onions.

Makes 6 servings.


Egg Foo Yung

1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can (16 ounces) bean sprouts, well drained
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, well drained
4-1/4 ounces shrimp, chopped (you can use canned, too)
4 ounces mushrooms chopped (you can use canned, too)
2 green onions (with tops), chopped

Have ready at serving time:

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons cold water

Heat oil in 10 inch skilled over medium-high heat until hot. Mix eggs, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, shrimp, mushrooms and onions. Pour 1/2 cup egg mixture into skillet. Push cooked egg up over shrimp and vegetables with broad spatula to form a patty. Cook until patty is set and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn; cook other side until golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with remaining egg mixture.

Prepare sauce:

Heat chicken broth, water and soy sauce to boiling. Mix cornstarch and water; stir into broth mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, about 15 seconds. Pour over patties.

*You can freeze the patties for up to one month.

Four servings- two patties each


I was sitting outside in my lawn chair, pooped from all of my cooking–remember, I live in Florida so it's warm–and when I woke up something was licking my hand. This frisky pup was jumping all over me. He didn't have a collar on, so I put one of our cat's red collars on him, clipped on a leash and started walking around the neighborhood trying to find his owner. I finally hooked up with a fourteen-year-old-boy, who was whistling for his lost dog.
I'm a cat lover, but I have to admit that I wouldn't have minded keeping this pooch around for a while longer. What a cutie!
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
Suzanne Beecher