Hot and Sour Soup

8 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 large pieces of wood ear (black fungus)
1 oz (¼ package) bean thread noodles, optional (mung bean threads, not rice noodles!)
8 oz firm tofu
8 oz boneless pork or chicken cooked and finely julienned (I prefer Chinese barbeque pork for this)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 cups chicken stock
½ cup bamboo shoots, julienned
½ cup small cooked shrimp
¼ cup vinegar
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp white pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp chilli-garlic paste
2 green onions, finely sliced, optional

In small bowl, cover mushrooms and wood ear with 2 cups hot water; let stand for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain, reserving liquid. Discard mushroom stems and finely slice caps.  Cut wood ear into fine julienne strips. Set aside.
In bowl of hot water, soak noodles for 5 minutes; drain, and place in pile on cutting board and chop into 1 inch lengths. Cut tofu into small cubes.
In large pot, bring chicken stock to gentle boil. Add pork (if using raw pork, cook for 30 minutes or until tender), mushrooms, wood ear, mushroom liquid, noodles, tofu, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, pepper; return to gentle boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
In small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water; add to soup slowly and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
In small bowl, whisk eggs with 1 tablespoon water, then slowly drizzle into soup, stirring slowly with spoon.
Stir in shrimp, sesame oil, chilli-garlic paste and onions, let stand for 2 minutes.
Serves 4 perhaps, if you want to share.
Note this is Hot and Sour so you can adjust the vinegar, chilli-garlic paste, soy sauce and sugar to your specific taste.  In the picture below I have added another a large dollop of chili garlic paste to make it hotter for me.

Snowy Palms Resort