1. Slice the chicken into small strips and place into a bowl with the last teaspoon of cornstarch, a pich of salt, a pinch of sugar and 1/2 tsp of oil. Mix well.
2. Soak the mushrooms for an hour or two until hydrated. Once they’re ready, slice the mushrooms.
3. Slice the winter bamboo shoots into the same shape. Beat the 3 egg whites in a bowl. Wash and chop the scallion and mince the garlic cloves. Set aside.
4. Cut the the firm tofu into 2-inch long and ¼-inch thick pieces.
5. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a wok or pot and add the pork. Stir to ensure the slices are not clumped together. Skim off any foam that floats to the top.
6. Add the chili pepper, white pepper and both soy sauces, and check the soup for salt. Add the shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, minced garlic, carrots and bamboo shoots and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the tofu, sesame oil, vinegar and a pinch of sugar and stir.
7. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch with an equal amount of water and use a spoon to stir until completely dissolved.
8. Bring the soup to a simmer and use your soup ladle and stir the soup at the center of the wok in steady a circular motion to make a whirlpool while slowly pouring the corn starch slurry in a thin stream. This prevents the cornstarch from clumping. Stop when you are about 3/4 of the way done with your slurry to check the consistency of the soup. It should be thick enough to coat your spoon or ladle. Add the rest if needed.
9. Keep the soup simmering and use the same technique with the beaten eggs and again, make sure the motion is fast enough or you will end up with egg clumps instead of the beautiful swirls. Add the spring onion and sesame oil and take off the heat.
10. Serve Hot