Hot and Sour Soup with Bean Sprouts


1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced
5 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into strips
1 (8 ounce) can bamboo shoot strips, drained
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, leaves picked from stems
1 egg, beaten


Place the minced serrano and chicken broth into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium. Stir in the garlic and ginger, simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the shiitake mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo strips, simmer for 2 minutes to soften mushrooms.

Stir in the bean sprouts, tamari, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and black pepper; simmer for 1 minute to soften the bean sprouts.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the mirin, and stir into the simmering soup; cook for 30 seconds to thicken. Remove from heat and pour in beaten egg while stirring slowly. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with green onion and cilantro leaves.