Magic things happen when the power couple that is bacon and eggs takes a dip in Hot and Sour soup. Slideshow: More Asian Soup Recipes
In a small bowl, cover the lily buds with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. In another small bowl, cover the dried wood ear mushrooms with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse and coarsely chop.
In a large pot, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Measure out 1/4 cup of the stock and set aside in a small bowl.
Add the lily buds, mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and sugar to the pot. Return the soup to a simmer. Using a circular motion, drizzle in the eggs and stir the soup gently until the eggs are cooked, about 30 seconds.Stir the cornstarch into the reserved 1/4 cup of stock, then drizzle the mixture into the soup, stirring gently until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Taste and add more of the vinegar and soy sauce if desired. Divide into bowls and garnish with the scallions. Serve with chili oil.
This soup can be made the day before.
Lily buds, wood ear mushrooms, and Chinese black vinegar are available at Asian grocery stores.