1teaspoonground white pepper(black pepper is fine)
12ouncesfirm tofudrained and cut into ¼-inch strips
1canbamboo shootsdrained, rinsed and sliced thin
½smallpotatopeeled and cut into small cubes
6shiitake mushroomsstems removed and sliced thin
1teaspoontoasted sesame oil
crushed red pepper flakesoptional
To prepare the pork:
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Add the pork and toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature while preparing the soup (about 15 minutes)
To prepare the soup:
In a large soup pot whisk together the chicken stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, cornstarch, pepper and cayenne. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pork (and any sauce) to the broth and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally until the soup thickens, about 30 minutes.
Add the tofu, bamboo, potatoes and mushrooms to the broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Whisk the egg in a small measuring cup with a spout and without stirring the soup, slowly drizzle the egg into the simmering soup in a very thin, steady stream. When the egg strands float to the top, add the sesame oil and stir to combine.
Serve the soup garnished with chopped cilantro, green onions and a dash of crushed red pepper if desired.