8 cups water or chicken or pork stock
1/4 cup soy sauce, or more to taste
1/4 cup white vinegar, or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground white pepper, or to taste
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced
1 small block medium or firm tofu, cut into strips
1/2 cup wood ear, cut into strips
1/2 cup bamboo shoot strips
1/4 cup pork strips (see note)
1/4 cup cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup water to make a slurry
3 eggs, beaten
Chopped onions, for garnish, optional
Chopped cilantro, for garnish, optional
In a large soup pot, add water or stock, soy sauce, vinegar and white pepper. Then add the mushrooms, tofu, wood ear, bamboo shoots and pork. Let mixture come to a boil.
When soup reaches a boil, turn down heat to medium. In consecutive slow pours, add the cornstarch slurry to the soup while stirring. The soup will start to thicken. When the soup returns to a boil, drizzle the egg on top. When the egg blossoms, give the soup a gentle stir to incorporate the egg. Taste the soup. Add more soy, vinegar and white pepper, if needed. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with garnishes.
Note: Take a small piece of pork from the loin or chop. Cut into rough strips or little chunks. Saute in a skillet in 1 tablespoon of vegetable or peanut oil. Add a dash of soy sauce to help it caramelize a little. Cook for about 1 minute, then add to soup.