I'm a huge fan of Top Chef. In fact, my kids are convinced I should not only try out but would no doubt win, hands down. Hmmmmm, I'm touched however, I will save myself and them the humiliation of being eliminated on the first show. Contests aside, I decided, after watching the latest episode, that I would "revamp" a traditional dish. In comes Hot and Sour Soup. I love this soup for many reasons, partly for the simplicity and partly for the vast flavor it provides that pretty much makes my taste buds sing.
Hot and Sour Soup has four components; pork, mushrooms, tofu and egg. Everything else is just flavor. In this experiment, (and the pizza guy was on speed dial should it be a flop) I substituted the pork for salmon, the mushrooms for mushroom ravioli's (courtesy of Lucido's, Dallas), ditch the egg and Napa cabbage for the tofu. Broth is the same.
After serving, sitting at the dinner table, praying over our food (to which my son lovingly asked that we not have to call the pizza guy), we closed our eyes and dug in. Surprise! Wow.... quite impressive. I may not be the next Top Chef, but in this house, I rule.
1 small head Napa cabbage, sliced
4 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
4 6oz salmon fillets, skin removed
3 tbs plus 1 tsp cool water
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 pound of mushroom ravioli's (can get at Central Market or Whole Foods. If you can't find, 4oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/2 inch thick, about 1 cup)
1 tbs red wine vinegar plus 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tsp chili oil
1 tsp ground white pepper
3 medium scallions, sliced
In a small Pyrex, whisk 4 tbs soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tsp cornstarch. Toss salmon fillets with marinade and set aside for at least 10 minutes, but no more than 20.
Combine 3 tbs cornstarch with 3 tbs water in a small bowl and mix thoroughly; set aside, leaving spoon in bowl.
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan set over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low; add Napa cabbage and ravioli's and simmer until the ravioli's are al dente, about 4 minutes. Add the salmon, with marinade and cook for additional 2 minutes.
Stir cornstarch to recombine and add to soup. Increase heat to medium high, cook and additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until soup begins to thicken. Stir in vinegars, chili oi and pepper. Turn off heat. Ladle into bowls and top with sliced scallions.