Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hot and Sour Chicken-Mushroom Soup

The next time you crave a bowl of hot and sour soup, skip the takeout joints and cook up a pot of your own at home. It couldn’t be easier—especially when you use the same ingredients both to create the broth and serve in the finished dish.

Here, I cooked chicken tenders in a mixture of chicken broth, shiitake mushroom stems, Thai chiles, garlic, and ginger along with soy and fish sauces to create the base for the soup. When the flavors have developed, shred the chicken, discard the solids, and build the finished soup with the shredded chicken, sliced mushroom caps, and more chiles, garlic, and ginger.

It’s that easy—and that delicious.

Serves 4

  • 5 oz shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 Thai chiles, 2 stemmed and halved lengthwise, 2 stemmed and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 1 finely chopped
  • 1-1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled, 1/2 thinly sliced, 1/2 finely chopped
  • 12 oz chicken tenders
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and light green parts separated from dark green parts
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • sea salt, as needed
  • 3 oz thin rice noodles, steeped and drained
Shiitake Mushrooms
Sliced Mushroom Caps 
Prepared Ingredients
  1. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place in a soup pot. Thinly slice the caps and set aside.
  2. Add 2 stemmed and halved Thai chiles, 2 crushed garlic cloves, thinly sliced ginger, chicken tenders, broth, soy sauce, and fish sauce to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chicken is just cooked through, 10-12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate. When cool enough to handle, shred into small pieces. Strain the broth over a large bowl and discard the solids.

Solids for Broth
Chicken Tenders Added
Liquids Added
Simmered Broth and Chicken
Cooled Chicken Tenders 
Shredded Chicken
Strained Broth
  1. Reheat the pot over medium-low heat and add the peanut oil, swirling to coat. Add the sliced mushroom caps, white and light green parts of the scallions, and finely chopped chiles, garlic, and ginger. Sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Return the strained broth to the pot and add the shredded chicken and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until hot throughout, 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding a little salt, if desired

Mushroom Caps and Scallions
Softened Mushrooms and Scallions 
Cooked Soup
To serve, divide the noodles among 4 shallow bowls. Ladle chicken-mushroom soup overtop and garnish with green parts of the scallions.

Hot and Sour Chicken-Mushroom Soup

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