Yesterday, I had a hankerin'...a cravin'...a NEED for Hot & Sour Soup. This soup is about the only good use of tofu that I know...the flavors just transform that tasteless disgusting stuff into something altogether OTHER and delicious. When I am sick or sad or need comforting deep down, this is what I want and NEED. So, what is a woman to do when she is in such a desparate need for comforting? A woman has to do what a woman has to do--I got me the soup!
I had hoped to have a few work friends accompany on the hunt for The Soup but alas they were otherwise obligated. So, the huntress had to go alone. With a copy of Mother Earth News tucked in my purse for reading material, off I went. In the big town of Shallotte there is only one place to get the aforementioned Soup--the China Buffet. It's actually run by Chinese but the fare is decidedly Americanized Chinese. But, the buffet has the required and much needed item--The Soup. I saw, I ate, I conquered. Soup--two bowls of it thank you very much. I told you I was in need, didn't I? A few mussels on the half shell, veggies, and lo mein and I was comforted at the core.
What is so special about Hot & Sour Soup you ask? Well, it's a healing food. There is the "hot" which will open your sinuses and put fire in your blood. There is the "fungus" (black fungus--a mushroom) which is nourishing to your cells and your soul. There are lily pods which are also apparently quite adapt at healing what ails you on both a physical and emotional level. The stuff is simply magic-in-a-bowl.
After my adventure, I decided that I simply must learn how to make my own Hot & Sour Soup. The fun thing is, other than a few key ingredients, the rest is up to the imagination and taste preferences...or what I happen to have available. I googled for recipes and will be making a trip in the next few weeks up to Wilmington to the Asian Market in pursuit of the requisite ingredients. Stay tuned for the adventures in Hot & Sour Soup 101!