Hot and Sour Soup
Bamboo shoots (1 can or 300 g fresh)
pickled red peppers (1 medium glass= 300 g)
250 g Tofu
about one dozen dried Shiitake (=Tongku-) mushrooms
the same amount black Chinese fungus
3-4 spring onions
250 g beansprouts
100 g dried glass noodles
dried red chillies, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, tomato paste
1 1/2 litres vegetable stock (or water plus cubes)
Soak mushrooms and fungi in cold water for at least an hour before preparation. (Hint: they tend to rise to the surface, use a plate that is slightly smaller than the bowl to keep them under water)
Heat vegetable stock with about one teaspoonful of ground, dried red chillies in a LARGE pot. In a separate bowl, pour boiling water over the glass noodles.
Cut mushrooms and fungi, bamboo shoots, red peppers, spring onions and tofu into small pieces. Rinse the beansprouts. Add everything to the vegetable stock including the soaking water from the mushrooms and the vinegar from the red peppers.
Dissolve about 3 tablespoons of starch in cold water, add tomato paste, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. Add this mixture to the boiling soup and stir. Drain the glass noodles and add them to the soup.
Taste the result. It may be necessary to add more soy sauce and/or vinegar.