Chinese New Year Tea: Sweet and Sour Soup

Of all the many delicious Chinese soups, this is my favorite. This soup is not difficult to make but you can buy it from your favorite Chinese restaurant for this tea if you can't find the ingredients.

4 mushrooms
4 ounces lean cooked pork, thinly shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 ounces firm bean curd, drained
½ cup canned bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 teaspoons white pepper
Chopped scallion

Combine the pork, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch. Thinly shred the bean curd and bamboo shoots to the same size as the pork.

Bring the stock to a boil. Add the pork and stir to separate the meat; then add the mushrooms, bean curd and bamboo. Return to a boil and add the salt, red pepper flakes, rice wine, soy sauce and vinegar. Slowly pour in the egg, whisking to form thin threads and cook for 1 minute. Combine the remaining cornstarch with enough water to make a paste, add to the soup and simmer until thick. Put the pepper in a bowl, pour in the soup and stir. Garnish with scallion.