Hot and Sour Soup

(White pepper gives the soup mild heat; for more spice, stir in sambal oelek.)

1 (14 oz) package firm water-packed tofu, drained
1 3/4 cups water, divided
1 1/2 oz package dried sliced shiitake mushroom caps
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp less-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp white pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, drained and cut into julienne strips
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onion tops

1. Place tou on several layers of paper towels. Cover tofu with several more layers of paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Let stand 30 min. Discard paper towels and cut tofu into 1-in cubes.
2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms; let stand 30 min. Stir in broth and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 min, stirring occasionally. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture, tofu, and bamboo shoots into broth mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 min, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Slowly drizzle egg into broth mixture (do not stir). Place pan over low heat; cook 1 minute. Stir soup gently to combine. Sprinkle with green onions.

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