Hot and sour cuttlefish soup

Serves 4-6

30g black wood ear fungus, soaked for 2-3 hours in warm water
300-400g cuttlefish, cleaned
1.5 litres fish stock
1tsp salt
1tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
2tbsp light soy sauce
1-2tbsp Chinese black rice vinegar
2tsp cornflour
1-2tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 eggs, beaten
A few sprigs of coriander, chopped roughly
4-5 spring onions, sliced on the bias

Remove the mushrooms from the water and and strain the water into the stock. Trim any stalks from the mushrooms, shred them and add to the stock with the salt, rice wine, soy and black rice vinegar and bring to the boil. Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir into the stock and simmer for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lay the cuttlefish flat on a board and with a sharp knife score the flesh as closely together as possible, then cut the cuttlefish into rough 2cm squares. Place the cuttlefish in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and strain in a colander.

Bring the soup to a simmer and add the cuttlefish, pepper, spring onion and coriander, then stir the soup and trickle in the egg, stirring vigorously to form thin shreds and serve immediately.

You can get the soup to the stage before adding the cuttlefish, spring onions, coriander and eggs a few hours – or even the day – before, then just reheat and finish the soup off at the last minute.

To see Mark Hix's exclusive cookery videos, see http://www.independent.co.uk/hixcooks

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