8 medium dry shiitake mushrooms (about 3/4 o; z. total)
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 quart regular-strength chicken broth
1 lb soft or regular tofu, rinsed, cut i; nto 1/2-inch cubes, and
1 drained well
3 tablespoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 to 1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)
4 green onions (ends trimmed), thinly; sliced
1 crisp noodles (recipe follows)
1 crisp-creamy peas (recipe follows)
Soak mushrooms in hot water to cover until soft, about 20 minutes.
Drain; cut off tough stems and discard. Cut caps into thin strips; set aside.
Pour oil into a 4- to 5-quart pan. Place over medium heat and add garlic and ginger; stir until garlic is light gold. Add broth and mushrooms; bring to a boil on high heat. Add tofu; cover and simmer until tofu is hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix rice vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch until smooth; stir into soup. Cook, stirring, until soup boils. Add white pepper and chili oil to taste. Stir in onions. Pour into a tureen. offer noodles and peas to add to taste.
Makes 6 servings.
Pour about 1 inch salad oil into a 2 1/2- to 3-quart pan. Heat oil to 350F. Add a handful of fresh Chinese noodles or fresh taglierini (you'll need 3 oz. total) to oil; fry, turning, until crisp and golden, about 1 minute. Lift out; drain on paper towels. Repeat to fry remaining noodles. Serve, or let cool and store airtight for up to 5 days. Makes 3 cups. Or omit this step and use 1 can (5 oz.) chow mein noodles.
Rinse and drain 1 can (16 oz.) black-eyed peas. Spread out on a double layer of paper towels and pat dry. Place beans in a 10- by 15- inch baking pan. Add 1 tablespoon salad oil and mix to coat beans. Bake in a 400F oven until beans are lightly browned and crisp on outside, about 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Serve hot or warm. Makes 1 cup.
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