Hot and Sour Soup

By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk

Hot and Sour Soup
4 dried Chinese fungi (Sometimes I use Shiitake- or Portobello mushrooms instead)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon red chili paste (or fresh chili sambal)
½ cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced
Grilled chicken or turkey pieces
Cumin seeds to taste
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper or ½ tsp cayenne pepper
Xylitol or raw, organic honey to taste
2 cups Chinese Chicken Stock
100 g soft feta cheese or mock cottage cheese
3 tablespoons gluten free cornstarch mixed with 1¼ cup water
1 large egg, lightly beaten (or 1 tsp egg substitute)
2 Garlic gloves
5 Cloves
2 chopped onions
Gluten free pasta of your choice - optional
Chopped green onions and cilantro leaves, for garnish


  • Put the wood ears in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes to reconstitute. Drain and rinse the wood ears; discard any hard clusters in the centers.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large pot over medium-high flame. Add the ginger, chili paste, wood ears, bamboo shoots and chicken/turkey; cook and stir for 1 minute to infuse the flavor. Combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and sweetener in a small bowl, pour it into the wok and toss everything together - it should smell really fragrant. Pour in the Chicken Stock, bring the soup to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the “cheese” and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir until smooth. Mix the slurry into the soup and continue to simmer until the soup thickens. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in 1 direction to get a current going, then stop stirring. Slowly pour in the beaten egg in a steady stream and watch it spin around and feather in the broth (it should be cooked almost immediately.) Garnish the hot and sour soup with chopped green onions and cilantro before serving.
  • Enjoy! ♥