I really wanted chinese food for dinner and I didn't want a gloopy takeaway. So I rummaged through the house and decided that I'd make some sort of stirfry. Which then morphed in my head into soup. But I'd started the rice, so I had to get creative. Here is the result.
Hot and Sour Chicken Soup with Rice
Put some brown rice, some water, and a chicken stock cube in a pan and start boiling it. (I think I used about 1/2 cup of rice and two cups of stock.)
Smash two cloves of garlic, chop an onion, chop a red chili (seeds and all) and grate about a thumb of fresh ginger.
Chop up some baby bok choy, greens and all.
Chop up some mushdogs.
Slice a chicken breast into mouthsize pieces.
Open a can of bamboo shoots.
Okay. Now heat up a soup-holding pan, add some oil (healthy not-olive), and toss in the garlic/onion/chili/ginger and two tablespoons of chili garlic paste you've purchased at your handy dandy asian market. Stir it around for a minute or two.
Add the chicken, and stir some more. Maybe a minute?
Add the bok choy, bamboo and mushies. Stir another minute. Then add three cups of chicken stock, and dump the rice/stock boiling mixture into the soup. Cover, and simmer/boil for about 20 minutes, or until the tooth of the rice is where you like it.
Add about three tablespoons of white wine vinegar, another tablespoon of rice vinegar, a teaspoon or so of sesame oil and a tablespoon of soy, then stir it and taste the broth. Sour enough? Spicy enough? Salty enough? If not, adjust. (Sesame adds the nutty bite, soy or sea add good salt, more rice vinegar will adjust the sour, and tabasco is a perfect way to adjust the hot.) Grind in some black pepper, too, because it adds bite.
Put two tablespoons of cornstarch in a measuring cup, add some boiling water from the kettle and dissolve it, then add this to the soup. Stir/boil/simmer for about three minutes until it starts to thicken. (You can up or down the cornstarch to your personal preference of goopiness to the soup...I prefer just a bit of a sheen but a genuine brothiness.)
Ready for eating. Excellent way to take a half an hour away from the books.