Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a wok or pot. If the pork has clumped and stuck together, it is best to add another tablespoon of water to loosen it up before adding it to the soup.
Stir in the pork and quickly break up any clumps that may form. Once the soup is simmering again, skim off any foam that floats to the top with a fine meshed strainer.
Add the salt, sugar, dried chili pepper (if using), white pepper, both soy sauces, and sesame oil.
Next, add the lily flowers, wood ears, shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots and bring the soup to a simmer once again.
Next, add the two kinds of tofu and the vinegar and stir. It should start to look and smell like the real thing about now!
Combine the ⅓ cup cornstarch with ¼ cup water to make a slurry. Ensure it’s well-combined, as the cornstarch tends to settle to the bottom of the bowl.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and use your soup ladle to stir the soup in a steady circular motion to make a whirlpool while slowly drizzling in the cornstarch slurry. This prevents the cornstarch from clumping. Stop when you’re about ¾ of the way done with your slurry and keep stirring until the soup comes back up to a simmer.
Check the consistency of the soup, as it should be thick enough to coat your spoon or ladle. Add the rest of the cornstarch slurry if you like it thicker.