White Fungus and Chicken Soup

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Okay, that title is a little bit misleading. For one, I just used plain old white mushrooms from the grocery store. And there isn’t much chicken in here. But I can explain! It’s a funny story: I wasn’t sure what to make for China, there’s so many different regions and cuisines, I was sort of overwhelmed. Until my mentor gave me a great idea- this soup! Gosh, I just love her. And I loved the recipe! It was perfect. But, I tweaked it slightly (read: I went rogue). I couldn’t find any other mushrooms, so these ones had to do. And I don’t really like chicken, so I didn’t put much. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. You must be thinking, that wasn’t a funny story, why would I say it was? Well, people listen/read better when they think it’ll amuse them. Dang shame President Agent Orange didn’t say all those “speeches” would be funny. Maybe then people would’ve listened better. Onto the soup!

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Vegetables:

1 head garlic

3 oz ginger

8 scallions

8 mushrooms

½ lb. bok choy

2 shishito peppers

2 oz cilantro

Other jazz:

 

2 chicken breasts (Yeah, I know you don’t usually make soup with chicken breast. Deal with it)

5 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons coriander

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons turmeric

 

Grab a cutting board, and a good sharp knife- or in my case, a cleaver. Use aforementioned knife or cleaver to peel and dice the garlic and ginger. The base of any good soup! Surprisingly, I didn’t add onion. I listened to some Celine Dion this morning, so I’ve done my crying for the day.

Slice up the lemongrass, and then spend five minutes sniffing it. I love lemongrass. I may or may not have tried to boil lemongrass and use the liquid as a perfume. Yeah, like you’ve never tried something like that.

Fetch the scallions, slice off the hairy white bit, and slice them up. And yes, you do need this much. They have a mild flavor, especially when used in small quantities, and I do not do mild. It’s never been my thing.

Dump this flavorful mess

into a big pot,

and then grab the shishito peppers. You can use more than this, if you have the guts. I don’t, if you were wondering.

Grab the bok choy, and then slice it up. Discard the ends. I love bok choy! They’re one of my favorite leafy vegetables. Set those aside,

and then wash and dry the mushrooms, make sure to get all the dirt off. Dirt kind of messes up the flavor profile of this soup. And I’ve never trusted dirt. Which, coincidentally, is also my answer when people ask me about the president.

Slice them up,

and then grab the last thing- the cilantro. Chop that up, and throw everything in the pot.

Vegetables are so dang photogenic!

Pour in all the broth- you may need to add a bit more than 5 cups.

Pour in the vinegar,

soy sauce,

and sesame oil,

and then chuck in the spices.

The flavors! Mix it up, and throw in the chicken.

Now cook it on high until it comes to a boil, then reduce the heat, put a lid on, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Once it’s all done,

throw in some noodles, or serve it over rice! This is a really spiffy soup- nice and strong!

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