Sizzling Rice Soup

10 squares Rice Crisps (page 82)
6 large dried black mushrooms
pound cooked shrimp
1 large chicken breast
6 cups chicken stock or 5 cups broth with 1 cup water
½ 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
½ cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
White pepper to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4–6 cups oil for deep-frying

  1. Two hours ahead of time, begin preparing the Rice Crisps.
  2. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes to soften. Give a gentle
    squeeze to remove any excess liquid. Cut into thin slices. Rinse the shrimp
    in warm water and pat dry.
  3. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and poach the chicken very briefly in
    the boiling water. Drain. Cut the chicken into thin slices.
  4. Bring the chicken stock or broth and water mixture to a boil. Add the
    chicken, water chestnuts, mushrooms, shrimp, and peas. Bring the soup
    back to a boil.
  5. While waiting for the soup to boil, begin heating oil for deep-frying the
    Rice Crisps.
  6. Add the salt, rice wine, and white pepper to the soup, if desired. Drizzle
    with sesame oil. Pour the soup into a large tureen or serving bowl. Keep
  7. When the oil is hot, add the Rice Crisps. Deep-fry until the pieces puff up
    and turn brown. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towels.
  8. At the table, slide the sizzling rice into the soup. The rice will make
    crackling sounds.