Hot and Sour Soup

When at a Chinese restaurant and they ask "egg drop or hot and sour?" Do you really even have to think about it?

3 C. Chicken Broth
1/2 C. Water
2 C. sliced fresh Mushrooms
1/2 C. canned Bamboo Shoots, drained and sliced like matchsticks
3 slices fresh Ginger Root
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 can or 1 handful fresh Asian Bean Sprouts
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 lbs boneless skinless Chicken breast halves cut into thin strips (optional)
1 package firm Tofu (optional)
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped fresh Cilantro (optional)
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Egg, beaten


1. In a saucepan, combine Chicken Broth, Water, Mushrooms, Bamboo Shoots, Ginger, Garlic, Bean Sprouts, Soy Sauce, and Hot Pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
2. Place Chicken slices into a bowl and toss with Sesame oil to coat (if you do not use chicken, put 2 drops of Sesame Oil in soup). In a separate bowl, stir together the cornstarch and vinegar, and set aside.
3. Increase heat under the broth to medium-high, and return to a rolling boil. Add Chicken and/or Tofu. Return to a boil, and drizzle in the beaten Egg while stirring slowly to create long strands of egg. Stir in the Vinegar and Cornstarch mixture. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the broth has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Serve and garnish with Green Onions and Cilantro.