Fake Your Own Chinese Take Out, Recipe and How To

10 October 2010 23:00 by SarainAkko
Or "How to Throw together a Speedy Chinese Take-Out Dinner with What You've Already Got"

Again the sudden urge for something that does not exist in my immediate area, the illusive Chinese Take-out in Israel. Sure, there are some imitations in larger cities that mostly showcase the local perversion of classic Chinese flavor, Akko is not a large city and I'd like something not doused in Thai Chili sauce and passed off as "Szechuan Beef."

On tonight's menu:

Egg Rolls: Rolled with mushrooms and bean sprouts (I don't like cabbage in my rolls)

Pot Stickers: Luckily there is a Russian dish, sold in the freezer section which is a dead-ringer for it's Chinese counterpart. In the past I have modified my great-grandmother's Kreplach recipes with green onion to get the right flavor as well.

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup:Mushroom and "Chicken" base (Recipe Below)

& Chicken LoMein for the husband and kids

The only ingredient that was not already on hand was the quintessential white pepper. Easily remedied with a trip to the market and a worthwhile staple for the spice rack.

As is absolutely required by this sort of visual feast of food, we ate off the "fancy china" with our "nice" chopsticks (decorated wooden and not disposable).

But, I promised one very simple recipe to make Hot and Sour Soup when the delivery guy just won't deliver to your neck of the woods.

Vegan (or not)Hot and Sour Soup Recipe, Makes 4 Servings

1 cup of Chicken Flavored Broth, or stock of your choice (I used 2 instant soup packets)
Assortment of dried mushrooms, whatever you have on hand works
1 cup of fresh or canned mushrooms of your choice
6 cups water
1/8 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar (white, wine, red, rice... anything that is vinegar)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoona fresh or ground ginger
Handful of bean sprouts

Additions: If you have access to canned water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, cooked tofu or other trademarks of Hot and Sour Soup use them in proportion. To create the egg drop effect (clearly for a non-vegan version) scramble one egg and pour slowly into the already boiling soup, making sure to continue stirring the soup as the egg becomes stringed but cooked. If you've chosen meat stock, you may want to add either cut chicken or beef.

Directions: Add all ingredients to medium sized soup pot, boil and allow to cook down. Salt and pepper to taste. *If there isn't enough "hot" try a bit more white pepper, and if the "sour" isn't quite right think of adding a bit more vinegar. Too thick add another cup or two of water as soup cooks down. Cook between 30-40 mins. Serve hot.


*Note: I don't believe soup is an exact science and although it might be infuriating to get a recipe with so much give and take variable to the ingredients, this is how I work in the kitchen.

Let me know if you try it out at home.

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