How do I make hot and sour soup?
March 7, 2012 6:00 PM Subscribe
I want to make hot and sour soup, except there are two difficulties: I'm not sure how to shop for Southeast/East Asian ingredients and I can't eat hot peppers.
posted by griphus to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
So, I've always been fond of hot and sour soups, usually in Chinese restaurants. The other day, we got take-out Thai food (if it matters, it was Thai Tony's in Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn) and I ordered the tom yum kung. And it was fantastic. Seriously, I haven't had soup that great in a long time. Sour, and lemongrassy, and with a nice kick but, surprisingly, no capsaicin burn. Which is good because I can't do capsaicin without having horrible gut problems.
So, now I want to make some, but all the recipes have ingredients I'm not sure how to purchase and involve hot peppers in some form or another. I can have a bit, but definitely not the amount people advise in something caled "hot and sour soup." I live in a neighborhood with a signifanct Chinese immigrant population, so getting ingredients won't be a problem. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to pick out stuff like kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and galangal, much less what to substitute for hot chili paste to keep in the kick.
So does anyone have a good, non-spicy recipe (or a good subsitute for the flavor of chili paste) and some advice on how to pick the ingredients you generally don't find in a run-of-themill grocery store? The recipe doesn't have to be for tom yung, specifically, although I did enjoy that one more than the viscous Chinese version I was used to. Extra points for vegetarian recipes. I am genuinely terrible at cooking, but my vegetarian girlfriend isn't and it would be nice if she could partake in what she's going to have a major hand in cooking.