The International Peking Soup Guide

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Tests | Contribute


This is the international version of the Peking Soup Guide (often called Hot and Sour Soup). For Sweden we already have a comprehensive guide and this guide is under development. We need contributions from you to make it complete. Write down evaluations of the Peking Soup you have consumed in different parts of the world and submit them to us.

Evaluations should contain name and address of the restaurant, a brief description, an overall mark on a scale from one to five soup bowls (a broken bowl will be a warning sign), the price and an evaluation of the taste etc. with relevant characteristics from the following list, using the given scales :

Strength (1-7) More or less hot
Spicy (1-7) Taste from aromatic spices.
Sweet and sour sauce taste (1-7) Taste of sweet and sour sauce, where the sweet fruity taste is predominant
Soya taste (1-7)
Foody a (1-7) The amount of ingredients
Foody b (1-7) The subjective perception of satiation
Sour (1-7)
Thin - thick (1 - 7) (where 1 will be equal to water and 6 to slime)
Color (1-3) Disgusting, acceptable, appealing
Tomato taste (1 - 3)
Amount of soup (1 - 3) Small, medium, large
Scent (1 - 5)
Rating (1 - 5 bowls, or a warning - broken bowl)
A summary, explaining the rating should be written. Also other comments and the price should be recorded.

Morphological analysis of peking soup (hot and sour soup)

To achieve a better understanding of the characteristics that are used in the evaluations they can be put in relation to each other in a morphological analysis. Take an example with the qualities consistency - "Thin - thick" and "Foody". The different combinations are given describing names. To really plunge into the nature of the hot and sour soup you schould fill all cells in all the possible tables. In the example below we have left a lot of space for yor own thinking. In a future version of this guide we will elaborate the subject and give instructions for a poetic morphological description.


Thin - thick



1 2 3
F



o 7 Casserole
Stew
o 6


d 5


y 4
Soup
3


2


1 Dish-vater
Slime



How to contribute

First you should perform a few tests. This is to calibrate youself and the other testers as test instruments. Preferably at least two persons should participate in each test. When you feel that you have a good knowledge of the scales it is time to submit one or some of your tests. You should try to choose the tests that stands out from the crowd; the soups that get more then three bowls, the ones that are different in an interesting way, or simply the best hot and sour soup in your city (if you have tested them all at least twice - they change from time to time you know). However, to begin with, rather normal soups will be also be ok.

Send your test protocols to us via e-mail. Note: we ask you to scan a copy of the restaurant bill, and attach it to the mail. The adress can be found at the end of this page). Thank you in advance for your contributions!


Contribution via e-mail.

Take a look at the Swedish guide


Recipes

Of course you should make a try in the kitchen too. We have (see picture) Some recipes from the net to help you:

No 1 CHINESE HOT & SOUR SOUP, Mark Stevens

No 2 HOT AND SOUR SOUP, Regional Coocking of China, Gin and Casle (1975) With improvements from Donna´s Kitchen

No 3 From "We¹re eating Light and Loving it" (A collection of Recipes from participants and friends of the St. Paul¹s hospital Lipid Clinic- Edited by Frances Johnson and Shauna Ratner).

Nr 4 WebXina's Recipe Box

Nr 5 Chu, Grace Zia, The Pleasures of Chinese Cooking, Pocket Books: New York, 1962, p. 138

Nr 6 http://food.from.net

Nr 7 Blair's List o' Recipes





TESTS




Europe | North America

Europe

Restaurang Dinner Sturegatan 22, Stockholm, Sweden
Date: sept 18 1999
Strength: 4 (7)
Spicy: 3 (7) mostly coriander
Sweet and sour taste0 (7)
Soya taste: 1 (7)
Foody a: 4 (7)
Foody b: 3 (7)
Sour: 1 (7)
Thin - thick:2 (7)
Color: 2 (3)
Tomato taste: 0 (7)
Amount of soup: 2,5
Scent: 3 (5)
Ingredients: Eggwhite, bean curd, carrot sticks, chili, grean peas, coriander (fresh leaves), bamboo shoots, leek, beef, paprica, corn.
Price: 45 SEK
Other comments:A rather large test team this time, with some deviating opinions:
- On color one expert from France said a clear three, one tester from Sweden two point five, and two testers two.
- Thin-thick: the french expert said five.
Summary Basic soup with fresh coriander, Nice taste.
Rating Two votes for:

Two votes for:


China Park 30, bis, Rue de France, 06000 Nice, France
Date: 24 - 04 99
Strength 3 (7) Burns a little on the lips, chili type
Spicy 1 (7) coriander
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7) However, a little sweet
Soya taste 3 (7)
Foody a 3 (7)
Foody b 3 (7)
Sour 3 (7)
Thin - thick 5 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 9 (7)
Amount of soup 3 - But not so much substanse
Scent 3 (5) A little sour with coriander
Ingredients Bamboo shoots, wood ears, chili flakes, fresh coriander leaves, noodles, chicken.
Price 32 FRS
Other comments Interrsting soy type, though it contains neither tofu, nor egg-white. Rather thick. The chairs had plastic covering with is rather unpleasant after a while.
Summary Interesting soup with a good taste, a bit few ingredients
Rating



Szanghaj, Warzawa
Date: September 1 1997.
Summary: This restaurant has no Peking Soup/Hot and Sour Soup. Room for improvement!


Chaze 7 St Andrew street, Dublin 2
Date: june 17, 1997
Strength 3,5 (7) a long burning sensation on the lips.
Spicy 0 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 2 (7)
Soya taste 0 (7)
Foody 4 (7)
Sour 4 (7)
Thin - thick 4 (7)
Color 3 (3) rose coloured
Tomato taste 3(3)
Amount of soup 2 (3)
Ingredients Ham, peas, bambooshot, mushroom, a little egg white, carrots, beef.
Price 2.20 pounds
Other comments A rather pleasant sour scent. Plastic bowl, china spoon and saucer. Rather salty.
Summary A salty, boullionish tomato soup, but clearly a hot and sour soup. Rather dull though.
Rating


Le President 120, Fbg du Temple, Belleville, Paris, France
Date: june 21, 1997
Strength 4
Spicy 3
Sweet and sour taste 0
Soya taste 2
Foody 5, Different mushrooms, tofu, chicken, bambooshot, egg white, chili, chopped chive on top (no shrimps). A small amount, but still satisfying.
Sour 1
Thin - thick 2
Color 2
Tomato taste 0
Amount of soup 1,5
Price 32 fr
Other comments Bowl and spoon made of plastic. One of the testers would give the rating six in strength.
Summary Foody soup of soya type. A certain spicyness.
Rating


Kinesiska muren (Great Wall Restaurant) Drottninggatan 71C, Stockholm, Sweden
Date: april 26, 1997
Strength 4
Spicy 3
Sweet and sour taste 2
Soya taste 1
Foody 4 -Tofu, leek, chicken, bambooshot, beef, bean sprouts, chinese shrimps.
Sour 2
Thin - thick 2 (of 3)
Color 2
Tomato taste
Amount of soup 2
Price 49 sek
Other comments Probably based on a fish broth. Has a light scent of cowhouse
Summary Exiting and a bit different taste. With some more spices it could have been a five bowl soup.
Rating


Shao Tao 72 Regent Street, Cambridge, Gt Britain
Date Febr 28, 97
Strength 4
Spicy 3
Sweet and sour taste 0
Soya taste 2
Foody 3 (5 with the spring rolls) Egg white, green peas, tofu, bird meat, mushrooms, bamboo shots.
Sour 3
Thin - thick 3 (of 7)
Color 2
Tomato taste 0
Amount of soup 1
Price 2£ 20p
Other comments Two small spring rolls accompained the soup. This was very nice. Not so much stuffing in them, though.
Summary Nice little soup, Not the best in the world, byt appealingly spiced both in taste and strength.
Rating
Restaurant BAMBOO, Larmtorget 2, Kalmar, Sweden
Date:Oct 18- , 96
Strength 4
Spicy 4
Sweet and sour taste 0
Soya taste 1
Foody 3
Sour 4
Thin - thick 2
Color 2
Tomato taste 0
Amount of soup 2
Price 35 SEK
Other comments A normal bowl with the spoon and plate made of china. A lot of mixed nice tasting things in the soup, chopped leek on top.
Summary Nice soup with a lot of nice ingredients. Though it contained a lot it was just the right amount for a first course.
Rating







North America


Eat first restaurant 728 7th street Washington DC, USA
Date: Nov 4 1998
Strength 2 (7)
Spicy 1 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 2 (7)
Foody a 2 (7)
Foody b 4 (7)
Sour 3 (7)
Thin - thick 3 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 1 (7)
Amount of soup 2
Scent 3 (5) Slighty sour, meat stew
Ingredients Egg white, been curd, carrot, bamboo shoots, chinese mushroom, mushroom, beef (3 pieces), chili flakes. Dry noodles on the side.
Price Usd 1:20
Other comments Porcelain bowl, steel spoon 1
Summary Basic soup with beef taste.
Rating


China Café 1723 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC, USA
Date: nov 3, 1998
Strength 2 (7)
Spicy 2 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 1 (7)
Foody a 2 (7)
Foody b 2 (7)
Sour 2 (7)
Thin - thick 1,5 (7)
Color 2,5 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup 2
Scent 3 (5)
Ingredients Tofu, shredded carrot, egg white, shredded onion, chili flakes. Dried noodles in paper bag.
Price Usd 0:95
Other comments 1
Summary Basic soup with few ingredients.
Rating Two bowls


Ko Gi Bow 1817 Adams Mill Road, NW. Washington, DC 20009
Date: nov 3. 1998
Strength 6 (7) 7 if you happen to eat from the pepper
Spicy 0 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 0 (7)
Foody a 2 (7)
Foody b 2 (7)
Sour 2 (7)
Thin - thick 1 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup 3+
Scent 2 (5)
Ingredients Cellery, mushroom, large pieces of spanish pepper, bean sprouts, broccoli, water chestnut, shrimps, bamboo shoot pieces.
Price Usd 1:95
Other comments Large plastic can and plastic spoon. 1
Summary Only for the brave
Rating
or, if you like extremely hot soup:


Hsin Yu Hunan & Szechuan. 862 2nd AVE (Corner 46 St) New York City, USA
Date: Nov 98
Strength 3,5 (7) Stronger after a few minutes
Spicy 2 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 1 (7)
Foody a 2 (7)
Foody b 2 (7)
Sour 2 (7)
Thin - thick 2 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup 1,5
Scent 4 (5) Sour beef
Ingredients Topped with shredded leek. Chinese mushroom, mushroom, egg white, chicken, bamboo shoots, tofu (bean curd)
Price Usd 1:20
Other comments Bowl of thick porcelain, metal spoon. .Meal included a pot of tea and dried noodles. 1
Summary Beef/peppery type, slightly thin taste. Good fore apetite before lunch. Nothing fancy.
Rating


David's Mai Lai Wah 1001 Race Street, Philadelphia, USA
Date: Oct 29, 1998
Strength 2 (7)
Spicy 2 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 2 (7)
Foody a 1 (7)
Foody b 2 (7)
Sour 2 (7)
Thin - thick 4 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup
Scent 5 (5)
Ingredients Bean curd, bamboo shoots, egg white, spring onion. Topped with leed.
Price Included in meal at totally Usd 4:75 + tax.
Other comments Lots of good dry noodles. 1
Summary Basic soup, no frills. The excellent scent gives a third bowl.
Rating


Mandarine Express The Gallery Market street/8th street, Philadelphia USA
Date: Oct 27, 1998
Strength 2,5 (7)
Spicy 1 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 1 (7)
Foody a 6 (7)
Foody b 4 (7)
Thin - thick 3 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup
Scent 3 (5)
Ingredients Chives topping, bean curd, bamboo shoots, chicken, egg white. Dry noodles (bread)
Price Usd 0:95 + tax
Other comments Styrofoam bowl, plastic spoon. 1
Summary Nice basic soup with lots of bean curd.
Rating


Chinese restaurant Hunan-Szechuan-Cantonese 550, 8 Avenue New York City, USA
Date: Oct 21, 1998
Strength 3 (7)
Spicy 3 (7) White pepper
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 1 (7)
Foody a 4 (7)
Foody b 5+ (7)
Sour 2 (7)
Thin - thick 4 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup 3+
Scent (5)
Ingredients Chinese mushrooms, bean curd (big peaces), bamboo shoots, mushrooms, egg white, spring onion
Price Usd 1:10
Other comments Plastic bowl, plastic spoon (take away type). Lots of big chunks of bean curd. 1
Summary Plain white pepper and bean curd soup.
Rating


Noodle 88 305, West 36th street, New York City, USA
Date: oct 20, 1998
Strength 2 (7)
Spicy 0 (7)
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 4 (7)
Foody a 1 (7)
Foody b 7 (7) - too big bowl!
Sour 1 (7)
Thin - thick 1,5 (7)
Color 2+ (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup 3+ (3)
Scent 3,5 (5) - Sour soy with spring onion
Ingredients Spring onion and selery topping, bean curd, beef, bamboo shoots, chinese mushrooms
Price Usd 1:50
Other comments Tester was not enough hungry to eat all the soup. 1
Rating


Hop Won Express 1117 6th avenue, New York City, USA
Date: Oct 20, 1998
Strength 4 (7) White pepper and chili
Spicy 2 (7) Apple!
Sweet and sour taste 0 (7)
Soya taste 1 (7)
Foody a 3 (7)
Foody b 2 (7)
Sour 2 (7)
Thin - thick 3 (7)
Color 2 (3)
Tomato taste 0 (7)
Amount of soup 2+
Scent 4 (5) Slight apple scent
Ingredients Bean curd, egg white, mushroom, bamboo shoot, sellery.
Price Usd 1:16
Other comments Styrofome cup, plastic spoon. 1
Summary Basic soup. Nothing fancy
Rating



Take a look at this local guide for Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Also enjoy TODD'S HOT & SOUR SOUP PAGE

You may use this gif-image for your links to the guide.








Footnote 1: Note on the tests in USA october and november 1998.
The tester, from Sweden, found the "american soups" rather dull and and uninterestingly composed, compared to the hot and sour soups from Sweden (these soups, however, cost a lot more ). None were of the sweet and sour type found "at home". The soups tested had few ingredients and were sort of bland. However, unfortunately, testing of the high rated soups from TODD'S HOT & SOUR SOUP PAGE was not possible this time.