Hot and Sour soup

Because this soup is Chinese in origin many of the ingredients are rather exotic. If you are unable to obtain bamboo shoots; use a small can of drained asparagus tips instead. Ordinary open mushrooms can. be used instead of the dried Chinese kind and sunflower oil can be substituted for sesame oil.

- 850 ml [1½ pt] beef stock
- 50 g [2 oz] dried sliced Chinese mushrooms or 4 fresh mushrooms sliced
- 30 ml [1 tablespoon] soy sauce
- 2.5 ml [½ teaspoon] chili sauce
- salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 100g [40z] rump steak
- 100g [40z] canned bamboo shoots
- 4 spring onions
- 30 ml [1 tablespoon] dry sherry

  1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid.
  2. Bring the stock to the boil. Add the soy sauce, chili sauce, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the meat into very thin strips.
  4. Drain the bamboo shoots and cut into small pieces.
  5. Trim the spring onions and cut in half.
  6. Return the stock to the heat and bring back to the boil.
  7. Add the meat, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the. bamboo shoots and onions and simmer for a further 4 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat, stir in the sherry and serve immediately.
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