HOT AND SOUR SOUP

7 1/2 cups chicken broth - use canned over cubes
1/4-1/2 lb pork - shredded

Marinade:
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sherry
3 cups hot water
20 small dried tree ears
20-30 dried tiger lily buds
8-12 dried Chinese (black) mushrooms
6-12 oz fresh mushrooms - sliced
1-2 cans water chestnuts - sliced
1 carrot - shredded
1 can bamboo shoots - shredded (optional)
1/2-3/4 lb tofu - shredded
6 tblsp cornstarch
6 tblsp COLD water
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Vinegar
1 egg - beaten
1/2-1 tsp black pepper
1/2-1 tsp white pepper
2-4 tblsp brown sugar (optional)
1 tblsp sesame oil
Tabasco sauce (to taste)

Start heating chicken broth on low heat.
Mix marinade ingredients and add shredded pork. Let stand at least 20 minutes.
Add tree ears, tiger lily buds, and Chinese mushrooms to hot water and let soak for 20 minutes.
While the meat is marinating and the dried ingredients are rehydrating, slice and shred the vegetables and tofu.
When the dried ingredients are done soaking, remove the stems from the Chinese mushrooms and slice them.
Remove the stems from the tiger lily buds and remove any hard spots from the tree ears.
If the tree ears are too large to fit on a soup spoon cut them.
Mix 6 tblsp. cornstarch with 6 tblsp. COLD water.

Making the soup:
Bring the chicken broth to a full boil and reduce heat to medium.
Add all of the vegetables (tree ears, tiger lily buds, Chinese mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, water chestnuts, carrot, and bamboo) and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add pork (with marinade) and tofu and wait until soup is boiling.
Add Worcestershire sauce and vinegar.
Stir cornstarch/water paste and SLOWLY stir into soup.
Wait until soup thickens slightly.
Stir beaten egg into soup.
Add black pepper, white pepper, brown sugar, sesame oil, and Tabasco.