Place your dried fungus and black mushrooms in two separate bowls and cover with warm water. Leave them to one side to soak overnight - or at least 2 hours for the mushrooms and 20 minutes for the fungus - until they have softened and the fungus has expanded significantly.
Fill an empty wok almost a third of the way up with water, and bring it to a boil over a high heat. Add the bamboo shoot slices and keep them at a boil for approximately 3-4 minutes (this blanches the bamboo and therefore removes the ‘tinny’ smell that canned shoots often retain). Drain the contents of the wok and set the blanched bamboo to the side.
Once they have been fully soaked, return to your mushrooms and fungus. Remove both from their respective bowls of water before cutting out and discarding the stems from Chinese black mushrooms, as well as squeezing any excess liquid from the mushroom caps. Trim off any hard nubs from the black fungus and set both aside.
Finally, get chopping! Finely slice all of your chicken, tofu, vegetables and fungi to roughly the same size, about ¼-inch thick strips. If preferred, you can cube the tofu for a denser texture - it’s up to you!
Stir fry your meat! Heat 1 tbsp of oil in your wok - this can be standard vegetable oil, or if you really want to add some flavour then use School of Wok’s homemade Garlic Oil (check out the quick recipe here!). Add your chicken, and stir fry over a medium heat until it just changes colour.
Now add approximately 1 litre of stock to your wok, and bring it to the boil. Stir in your vegetables: the sliced carrot, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, Chinese black fungus, tofu and 1 tbsp of the salty Szechuan preserved vegetable.
Time to flavour. Start by adding the hot broad bean paste to your soup mixture (we use approximately 1 tbsp, but moderate this to your personal spice preference!). Follow by adding the sugar, salt, ground white pepper, sesame oil, as well as 1 tsp each of light and dark soy sauce, and 3-4 tbsp of Chinkiang black vinegar.
Turn down the heat and leave your soup to simmer. Meanwhile, grab two bowls. In one beat two eggs, and in the other mix 2 tbsp of potato starch with approximately 110ml water to make a thickening paste.
Crank up the heat once more, bringing the soup back to the boil. Slowly add your thickening paste until you achieve your desired soup consistency - we look for a thin, syrup-like texture.
Final step: egg time! Turn your heat right down to get a very slow boil. Gradually pour in your beaten egg in a thin stream, slowly folding the soup as you do so as to get wisps of yummy egg throughout the soup (the egg will cook in just a minute).
Serve your soup into bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of School of Wok’s homemade chilli oil (recipe here!) and a sprinkling of sliced spring onion and fresh coriander. Enjoy with a splash more black vinegar on the side!