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Egg-Flower Soup With Lemongrass And Mushroom

4 cups chicken stock (or canned chicken broth)
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, bottom 6" only -- lightly crushed
3 fresh shiitake mushrooms -- stem removed, and caps sliced thinly
1 ounce enoki mushroom
1/4 cup thinly-sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup frozen peas -- thawed
1/4 cup thinly-sliced bamboo shoots
1/4 package black moss -- soaked (abt 1/4 cup after soaking or 1/4 cup shredded nori [Japanese seaweed])
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
1/4 package soft tofu - (14 oz pkg) -- cut into 1/4" by 1/4" strips
1/3 cup chopped peeled fresh or canned tomato
2 tablespoons cornstarch -- dissolved in
3 tablespoons water
1 egg -- beaten
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Bring the stock and lemongrass to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Reduce the heat to simmering and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the shiitake and enoki mushrooms, bell pepper, peas, bamboo shoots, black moss, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the tofu and tomatoes, stirring carefully so the tofu does not break apart. Pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook, stirring gently, until the soup returns to the boil and is lightly thickened.

Slowly pour in the beaten egg while stirring slowly to create 'egg flowers'. Ladle the soup into a tureen or individual serving bowls. Drizzle the sesame oil over and serve immediately.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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