5 ounces (about 15 to 20) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
5 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine, such as Shaoxing wine
2 teaspoons chile oil
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dried whole red chiles
1 (8-ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained and finely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 ounces extra-firm tofu, small dice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons (about 4 to 6) thinly sliced scallions, green parts only (optional)
Makes:10 to 12 servings as an hors d'oeuvre
Many ingredients yet minimal work makes for a full-flavored soup that’s great served in small cups at a cocktail party or simply as a warming meal on a cold night.
What to buy: Chinese black vinegar is a robustly flavored rice vinegar that can be found at most Asian markets.
Game plan: The soup can be made through step one (minus the tofu) up to 1 day in advance, then cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Rewarm over medium heat, add tofu, and simmer over medium-low heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes.
1Place broth in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add mushrooms, vinegar, both soy sauces, rice wine, chile oil, sugar, sesame oil, chiles, bamboo shoots, ginger, and tofu. Simmer until just heated through, about 5 minutes.
2Mix together cornstarch and water until evenly combined, and stir into soup. Serve topped with scallions, if using.
Beverage pairing:Domaine des Baumard Crémant de Loire Brut NV “Carte Turquoise,” France. Sparkling wines make good textural contrasts for soups, and the earthy flavors of this Chenin Blanc–based sparkler will work with the mushrooms, ginger, bamboo shoots, and soy sauce in the soup.