Soft, chewy ramen noodles take traditional Hot and Sour Soup in a whole new direction. 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, and return the soup to a simmer. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved 1/4 cup of stock and then drizzle the mixture into the soup, stirring gently until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ramen noodles and simmer for the amount of time specified in the manufacturer's instructions.
Taste and add more of the vinegar and soy sauce if desired. Divide into bowls and top each with half a boiled egg. Garnish with the scallions. Serve with chili oil.
Steps 1 and 2 can be made the day before. Cook the ramen noodles directly before serving.
Lily buds, wood ear mushrooms, and Chinese black vinegar are available at Asian grocery stores.
Where does one typically find dried lilly buds