If you have ever been in Sichuan in winter, you will understand the need for this soup. With its lusty vinegar sharpness and warm peppery heat, it’s like lighting a blazing fire from within. Sichuan peppercorns (fagara), the tiny berries of the prickly ash tree, and Sichuan preserved vegetables can be found at Asian food stores.
Cut pork into thin matchstick shreds and mix with salt and cornflour. Cut mushrooms, bamboo shoots, beancurd, green onion, ginger, vegetables and fungus into the same size matchstick strips.
Bring broth to the boil. Add pork and all sliced ingredients. Cook for 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt and cornflour mixture. Keep the broth at a gentle bubble, and stir well.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then pour very slowly into the bubbling soup through the tines of a fork. Remove from heat, add sesame oil, pepper, and coriander. Taste, and adjust vinegar and pepper accordingly. Serve hot.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.