Hot and Sour Patch Kids soup
fusion cuisine the world never knew it needed
Hello, fellow clowns!
I’ve done some soul searching and I’ve decided to turn Food is Stupid into a whole different kind of newsletter. It’ll be called “How to Lose All Your Money in Bitcoin.” Basically, there’s only one rule, and it is: invest in Bitcoin.
Shit. Now that you’ve all instantaneously lost your money, I suddenly have nothing else to talk about. Back to food, I guess.
This week’s idea comes to you from a friend, Joe Avella. Joe has a pretty cool job as a senior video producer at Insider, where he hosts a very popular YouTube show called Food Wars. He and an overseas co-host compare food from big brands like KFC, to show you the difference in the types of food we Americans get versus what it’s like in, say, Japan. It’s fascinating, so go subscribe. Over four million people already do.
Joe sent me a bunch of laugh-out-loud ideas for the newsletter, all of which were excellent. The concept for this week’s edition just rolled so smoothly off my tongue that I had to take a stab right at it, so I’m here to introduce you to some serious Chinese-American fusion cuisine.
Hot and Sour Patch Kids soup, let’s fuckin’ go!
This recipe is perfect since we’re celebrating AAPI Heritage Month right now.
I’ve never made hot and sour soup before, but I’ve had it plenty of times. It’s a Chinese takeout staple, and it’s popular for a reason, mainly because it’s fucking good. Considering my relative inexperience with this dish, I did some research and found some suitable inspiration from the most authoritative source I could find, which is of course, a white guy. And not just any white guy, but a Food Network TV show star, Tyler Florence.
His recipe came up in a Google search pretty quick, and since he’s obviously an expert on Chinese cuisine, I’d have to take his word as gospel. But as usual, I’d contribute my own brand of silliness to go with it!!!!!!!!!!
First off, I minced some ginger and tossed it into my Dutch oven with some shiitake mushrooms and canned bamboo shoots, then I sautéed everything until it softened up.
Then I added some soy sauce and some sriracha to create the base flavors of the soup.
As the flavor base continued heating up, I whipped out my secret weapon, which is this weird energy drink we found at the grocery store yesterday, called Ghost.
What’s remarkable about this energy drink is that it is Sour Patch Kids flavored. It seemed like a sign from God that I had to cook with it, since I was out shopping for the ingredients for this very edition of the newsletter. Before I poured it into the Dutch oven, Davida and I tried a little, and surprisingly, it tasted exactly like red Sour Patch Kids. Like, 100%. It was pretty remarkable, because normally products flavored like other products generally miss the mark, or taste like complete asshole.
I poured the whole fuckin’ tallboy right into the Dutch oven and let the thing simmer away.
I stood there just staring at the pot, and after a while I said to myself, “Is this when Tyler Florence would pour the chicken broth in?”
I closed my eyes, channeled my innermost Food Network star, and said loudly, “Yes.”
Once everything was back up to a boil, I poured in an actual cup of Sour Patch Kids.
Normally my photos turn out like shit, but this was the perfect action shot. You can practically hear that Sour Patch Kid screaming once it hits the hot soup. Which they all did. In my kitchen…everyone screams.
Did Tyler Florence add Sour Patch Children to his soup recipe at any point? No. Does he have the greatest food newsletter on the face of this planet? Also no.
At this point, the apartment started to smell real weird. Multiple times during the cooking process, Davida said, “It smells like pee in here.” She eventually wandered in, sniffed the pot, and said, “Yup. Smells like pee.”
In order to negate any potential ill effects of the Ghost energy drink in the soup, I added a bunch of tofu.
Many people think tofu is a special Asian health food. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. We just think it’s food.
After the candy was done dissolving and the tofu heated up, I mixed up a corn starch and water slurry to thicken the soup.
Corn starch slurry looks exactly like milk to me. I know deep in my heart that it isn’t milk, that it won’t taste like milk, and even if I want it to be milk, it won’t be milk. But there’s another part of me that wants to pour it into some cereal and eat it. Would greatest Chinese chef Tyler Florence do that? Probably. Actually, now that I think about it, I bet he’d get real mad that I wrote a newsletter based off his recipe.
Last of all, I drizzled in some eggs.
Eggs make everything better, in my opinion. You can cook them in your Instant Pot for three hours, you can use them to make Eggs Bananadicked, and you can shove them up your ass. At the last minute, I dumped in some green onion, along with some extra Sour Patch Kids for additional garnish and unnatural color.
It was finally time to dig into the soup that made our apartment smell like pee.
After my first sip of the broth, I started laughing. Because it actually tasted like a fucked up version of hot and sour soup. Normally the recipe contains vinegar (that’s where the “sour” comes from), but I’d made the correct assumption in that between the acidic flavor of the energy drink, plus the acid in the candy, I wouldn’t need to add any vinegar.
Of course, the soup was exceedingly sweet in multiple ways, from the fake sugar in the energy drink, along with the real sugar in the dissolved Sour Patch Children. That’s also what made the soup entertaining, because no soup should be this ungodly level of sweet. The mushrooms and tofu made it feel like the genuine article, and each mouthful hovered in this strange gray area between “decent” and “really weird.”
I asked Davida what she thought, and she said, “If I didn’t know what was in this and someone served it to me, I would think, ‘Huh. This is interesting,’ and probably finish my bowl.”
Hot and Sour Patch Kids soup had the effect on us that all food should have, which is confusion and confliction. Was it good? Was it not good? I still to this moment have no idea.
All I know right now is that I kinda want some more of it, but at the same time, I don’t.
Okay, everyone, brief announcement! I know a lot of you have been asking for video content for the newsletter, so Joe and I are planning a streaming session at some point, where he gives this recipe a shot. I’ll give you all a heads up so you can tune in when it happens.
That being said, thank you Joe for the delicious (?) idea, and if you liked Hot and Sour Patch Kids soup, don’t forget to share it on social media. It’s really important since it helps grow the newsletter:
And here’s the part where I ask you to sign up for a paid subscription. Nope, you’re not just handing me money for nothing—you’ll get exclusive extra editions of the newsletter (two to three times a month!), occasional recipes, and more hijinks of me doing shit like running over chicken carcasses with my car.
Trust me, it’s worth the price of admission, since you’ll also gain full access to the Food is Stupid archives when you sign up, via the web. That’s a ton of shit.
Thanks again to Joe, and as always, I love you all. I’ll hop into your inboxes as soon as I can, but until then, go do something cool like challenge your local mayor to a breakdancing competition.