Hot and Sour Soup

This chilly weather has us craving soup on a regular basis. Elevate your soup game with this spectacular recipe for Hot and Sour Soup from guest chef Michelle Tchea. Your taste buds will thank you!

Hot and Sour Soup from Chef Michelle Tchea

Hot and Sour Soup served in a Flow bowl by Villeroy & Boch

Hot and Sour Soup Served in a Flow Bowl by Villeroy & Boch



Hot and Sour Soup Ingredients

Wood Ear Fungus, 1.5 oz soaked in 3 cups of water

½ a Carrot cut into thin strips

Canned bamboo shoot, 1 oz finely sliced

Sugar, 1 tsp

Black vinegar, 1 Tbsp

Dark soy sauce, 1 Tbsp

Ground white pepper, to taste

Grilled bean curd strips, 2 oz (Recipe below)

Cornstarch, 1 tsp mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water

Ground chili paste, 1 tsp, optional

1 Egg, lightly beaten

Sesame oil to taste


Grilled Bean Curd Ingredients

Firm Bean Curd 5 1/3 oz.

Vegetable Oil, 2 Tbsp

Scallions, to garnish


Grilled Bean Curd

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut bean curd into strips. 

Heat oil in a shallow pan and lightly grill bean curd strips on high heat until golden brown. Move the pan with a heavy jiggle rather than using a spatula to loosen bean curd strips. Remove from heat.


Hot and Sour Soup

Remove mushrooms from water and chop them finely. Set aside, Reserve water.

Bring reserved water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low.

Add the carrot, bamboo shoot, wood ear fungus and simmer until the vegetables are tender; about 10 minutes.

Add sugar, black and white vinegars, and soy sauce. Season with pepper.

Add bean curd strips and heat through.

Add cornstarch to thicken.

Add ground chili paste, if using.

Turn off the heat and slowly drizzle in the egg. Serve hot with extra white pepper and a drizzle of sesame oil.




Recipe by Michelle Tchea 

Q&A with the Author of The Wine Bible, Karen MacNeil

We love a good wine chat almost as much as we love sipping on a wonderful glass of wine in itself. So, as you can imagine, we were thrilled to be able to have a Q&A session with Karen MacNeil, the only U.S. winner of every major wine award in the English language, host of Wine, Food and Friends with Karen MacNeil (PBS nationally), and author of The Wine Bible. Really, we could go on and on about her wine expertise and accomplishments, but in short, she’s a truly fascinating sommelier. Read on for everything from the biggest wine myths to must-try pairings from the expert herself!

All Your Wine Questions Answered

Karen Macneil author of The Wine Bible

Karen Macneil, Author of The Wine Bible

V&B: Your list of wine accolades is amazing! What started your love of and career with wine?

Karen: We often think we choose our careers and our interests. But sometimes they choose us. I’ve always felt that wine and food chose me. At 6, I wanted to cook; at 15 I started having a glass of wine with dinner. I don’t ever remember deciding to fall in love with them. I just always had a passion for them.


V&B: What’s the best glass of wine you have ever enjoyed?

Karen: That’s the kind of question that’s impossible to answer. Here are five:

  • 1945 Chateau Leoville Barton (Bordeaux)
  • 2000 Chateau Margaux (Bordeaux)
  • 1946 Toro Albala Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Jerez, Spain)
  • 1956 Veuve Cliquot (Champagne)
  • 1970 Louis Martini Pinot Noir (Napa Valley)


V&B: What is your absolute favorite white wine and food pairing?

Karen: Dungeness crab with melted butter and a top Puligny Montrachet from Burgundy.


V&B: What is your absolute favorite red wine and food pairing?

Karen: Roast rack of lamb with a top Paulliac from Bordeaux.


V&B: When we think of wine, we think of Italy, France, Spain, Argentina and Napa Valley. What surprising place-outside of these wine renowned regions- have you found to produce wonderful wine?

Karen: Hungarian Tokaji is absolutely one of the greatest (and most historic) wines of the world. It’s very savory and a touch sweet. The European nobility used to drink it when they were near death, believing that a mere sip could restore their health.

In a more modern sense, I am very impressed by the wines of Austria, Slovenia, and Canada; and the very top wines of Australia (many of which are not widely exported) are sensational.


V&B: What are your favorite bottles of wine under $20, $50 and $100?


  • Under $20: Spanish and Portuguese reds.
  • Under $50: Washington State cabernets and red blends, French Chateuneuf-du-Pape, and California sparkling wines.
  • Under $100: The world is wide open at this price. Everything from fine Champagne to great Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon to luscious pinot noirs from California, Oregon and Burgundy.


V&B: If we could only visit one winery in the USA, which would you recommend?

Karen: Schramsberg in the Napa Valley. The dark, winding, underground caves were hand dug in the 1800s by Chinese immigrants who had just finished completing the Transcontinental railroad.


V&B: Chilling red wine: yes or no?

Karen: Yes, but only until it’s slightly cool, not to the point where it is cold. Imagine an air conditioned movie theater. Red wine should never be colder than that.


V&B: What wine myths have you come across that simply must be debunked?


  1. That red wine does not go with fish. (Try grilled salmon and Oregon pinot noir!)
  2. That you should open a bottle of red wine a few minutes early so that the wine can breathe. (Merely removing the cork won’t make much difference. You have to pour the wine out into a glass or decanter and really mix it with oxygen to have it breathe).
  3. That women have better palates than men. (Alas, scientific research suggests this is not true).


V&B: Villeroy & Boch makes a number of wine glasses that are crafted to fully release the aromas of specific wines. How important is it, in your opinion, to select the right glass for your wine?

Karen: Very important. A poorly designed glass can completely undermine a great wine. On the other hand, a well designed glass with a thin lip, a good shape, and a generously-sized bowl will allow a great wine to be fully experienced. It’s very easy to prove this to yourself by trying the same wine out of two different glasses—one, a great glass; and one, a poor glass. Why spend money on a great wine then drink it in a way that negates the wine’s beauty?



Wine Bible 2nd EditionThe Wine Bible second edition by Karen MacNeil is available at all major booksellers. For a signed, personalized copy, go to



Join our Instagram Contest: #inspiredbyvb


Villeroy & Boch is taking a look at the festive season and how those around the world celebrate it. Five bloggers from all around the globe- America, Australia, Germany, Dubai and the United Kingdom- have set their holiday tables with Villeroy & Boch products to show how they celebrate with their friends and family during this festive season. Visit the Inspired By VB webpage and to see all of their lovely tablescapes and be inspired for your own holiday entertainment.

Afterwards, be sure to share your holiday breakfast, lunch and dinner celebration photos with us on Instagram with the #inspiredbyvb hashtag for a chance to win six Artesano Original dinner plates, six Colour Concept Tumblers (in Smoke) and a flatware set! Additionally, the winning photo, which will be chosen by Nicolas Luc Villeroy, Head of the Tableware Division at Villeroy & Boch, will be showcased on our website and in the window of the Villeroy & Boch flagship store on the Rue Royale in Paris!

We wish you all a very happy holiday season and we cannot wait to see how you celebrate this year when we visit #inspiredbyvb.


Enter by 12/6/2015

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