Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hot and Sour Soup with Black Garlic

So here you are, starting with me on my journey of blogging food. Today I decided to make my version of hot and sour soup with things that I had on hand. I've made many versions of hot and sour soup, some successful, some just ok. Just to give you fair warning I didn't have several things I would normally like to use, including wood ear mushrooms, lemongrass or silken tofu. I did have something that I don't normally have, or I should say I've never used: black garlic.

I ran across black garlic on Gilt Taste a while back and wanted to try it so bad but couldn't make myself purchase $35 worth of an unknown ingredient. I went to visit family in San Antonio last week, I stopped by my all time favorite grocery store, Central Market. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but as always I found a bunch of stuff that I suddenly needed. If garlic and tamarind had a baby this is what it would taste like.  Regular garlic would work too but this added an interesting touch. If you do use regular garlic, you should saute it with some oil for about 30 seconds as your first step. This was not necessary as black garlic is quite mild and soft already.

 The can is straw mushrooms, which is available at most Asian markets or if you are unfortunate like me and don't live near an Asian market you can get them on The box is the best vegetarian bullion, Edward and Sons Not-Beef bullion. I also got this on Amazon but it is available at my local Kroger as is the Not-Chicken. It has palm oil in it and has a very rich flavor. Also the Not-Beef tastes more mushroom-y. The green top jar is Hoy Fong Chili Garlic sauce which I prefer to their sambal oelek because it has garlic (obviously). Oh and just a plug for my favorite lime juice (when it's off season and I can't get good limes in West Virginia), the Santa Cruz Organic brand is the only one that I think actually tastes like limes and not just citric acid in water. The only thing not pictured that I used was some cherry tomatoes that I threw in at the last minute. Oh you've never had hot and sour soup with cherry tomatoes? Try it!

Now for the recipe:

Hot and Sour Soup with Black Garlic
serves 2

Soups On!
1/4 head of sliced cabbage
2 cloves of black garlic
2 green onions, chopped in 1 inch segments
6 cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
1/2 can straw mushrooms, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 Not-Beef bullion cube
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons of garlic chili sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Here's how easy it was. Put everything in a pot except for the onion and tomato. Boil until cabbage is tender. Add the onions and tomato and cook for about another two minutes. 

The response from my husband was promising. "I don't like hot and sour soup and I like this." I also liked it but in the future I would add firm silken tofu in small cubes. Lemongrass would have been nice. I don't particularly like egg in my hot and sour soup but if you do then just crack and egg, stir it up like you are making scrambled eggs and just stir it into the soup as a last step.

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