4 dried Chinese mushrooms 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter 2 squares (3 inches each) ¼ tsp. ground white pepper 2 T. white vinegar 1 T. soy sauce Fresh Chinese bean curd, about ½ inch thick 2 T. cornstarch, mixed with 3 T.cold water ½ cup canned bamboo shoots 1 egg, lightly beaten ¼ lb. boneless pork or chicken 2 tsp. sesame seed oil (vary to
1 qt. chicken stock, fresh or taste) Canned 1 scallion, including the green top, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
In a small bowl, cover the mushrooms with ½ cup of warm water and let them soak for 30 minutes. Discard the water. With a cleaver or knife, cut away and discard the tough stems of the mushrooms and shred the caps by placing one at a time on a chopping board. Cut them horizontally into paper thin slices and then into thin strips. Drain the pieces of bamboo shoot and bean curd and rinse them in the cold water. Shred them as fine as the mushrooms. With a cleaver or sharp knife, trim the pork (chicken) of all fat, then shred, by slicing the meat as thin as possible and cutting the slices into narrow strips about 1 ½ to 2 inches long. To Cook: Combine in a heavy 3-quart saucepan the stock, salt, soy sauce, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and pork (chicken). Bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low, cower the pan and simmer for 3 minutes. Drop in the bean curd and the pepper and vinegar. Bring to a boil again. Give the cornstarch mixture a stir to recombine it and pour it into the soup. Stir for a few seconds until the soup thickens, then slowly pour in the beaten egg, stirring gently all the while. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle it into a tureen or serving bowl, or simply serve in the pot using the lid as a trivet.
Stir In the sesame seed oil and sprinkle the top with scallions. Serve at once.