After a Fox Theater matinee, four of us went to Masterpiece, a Sichuan restaurant, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner. We tried several new dishes and some that we had eaten at other restaurants. One dish, the Sichuan Hot and Sour soup, was a hit with all of us. We even said it was the best we had ever had. Is there any way that the chef would share his recipe? The soup was so thick and inviting. — Darlene Clott, Marietta
There are many variations of Hot and Sour Soup and our testers agreed with our reader that this version, created by James Beard Foundation nominated Best Chef: Southeast Rui Lui, is a hit. It’s a dark, rich, thick soup that has many ingredients in its depth.
The heat comes from the white pepper and the sourness from the vinegar. Lui says it’s important to add the vinegar at the end so you don’t lose the tang, so you’ll add a tablespoon to each bowl before serving.
One important direction from the chef, “taste for perfection.” With a complex combination of ingredients like this, you might want to tweak by adding just a touch more soy or a bit more white pepper.
Wood ear mushrooms are often labeled as “fungus” and they, along with the sour pickled cabbage called suan cai, can be found at Asian groceries such as H Mart or the Buford Highway Farmers Market. Granulated chicken bouillon is a dry powdered version of chicken bouillon cubes and can often be found in the soup section at your grocer. For the seaweed, we used slivered nori.
Masterpiece, 3940 Buford Highway, Duluth. 770-622-1191. www.facebook.com/pg/Masterpiece-658304740912215/
Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “From the menu of” and the name of restaurant in the subject line.
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