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Hot and Sour Soup

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This restaurant-style Hot and Sour Soup recipe is the best!! It’s quick and simple to make, easy to adapt to your personal taste preferences, and so delicious.

Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Can’t stop, won’t stop with the soup recipes this winter.

And today’s recipe is one that I’ve been meaning to share with you on the blog for years, after literally dozens and dozens of you have requested it. (This usually comes up when I’m chatting about my favorite egg drop soup recipe — apparently many of you usually opt for the hot and sour soup at your favorite Chinese restaurants and have wanted to learn how to make it!)

Well, good news, friends! Traditional hot and sour soup is actually incredibly easy to make as well. And the bonus of making it at home is that it’s also incredibly easy to customize to your taste. Like it extra hot? Add in more chili garlic sauce. Like it extra sour? Add in more rice wine vinegar. Like it vegetarian? Make it with tofu. Like the meat version? Just add in some pork.

Trust me, this is one of those restaurant recipes that will taste just as good at home. And on chilly winter weeks like this one that we’re having here in Kansas City, it’s guaranteed to warm you up in the most delicious of ways.

Hot And Sour Soup Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Shiitake Mushrooms for Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup Ingredients:

To make this hot and sour soup recipe, you will need:

  • Broth: Either chicken or veggie stock (or broth) will do.
  • Mushrooms: I highly recommend using shiitake mushrooms, but baby bella or even button mushrooms would also do.
  • Rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, ground gingerTo flavor the broth.
  • Cornstarch: To thicken the broth.
  • Eggs: Which we will whisk, and the drizzle into the soup to make those lovely egg ribbons.
  • Firm tofu: Which we will cube and add to the soup.
  • Green onions: To stir into the soup and also sprinkle on top as a garnish.
  • Toasted sesame oil: An essential flavor in the soup, which we will drizzle at the very end.
  • Salt and pepper: Hot and sour soup is traditionally made with white pepper, which (heads up) has a different and much stronger flavor than black pepper. I recommend adding in a pinch, and then you can always add in more later. Or if you don’t have white pepper, black pepper will also do.
  • Optional: Many restaurant versions of hot and sour soup are also made with bamboo shoots. I’m personally not a fan of them, but you are welcome to add some in if you would like.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

How To Make Hot and Sour Soup:

To make this hot and sour soup recipe, simply…

  1. Make your cornstarch slurry. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the stock and cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
  2. Bring the soup to a simmer. Add the remaining stock, mushrooms, bamboo shoots (if using), rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and chili garlic sauce to a large stock pot, and cook until the soup reaches a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and continue cooking for a minute or so, until the soup has thickened.
  3. Drizzle in those beautiful egg ribbons! While stirring the soup in a circular motion with one hand, use your other hand to slowly drizzle the whisked eggs into the soup.
  4. Season the soup. Stir in the tofu, half of the green onions, and sesame oil. Then season the soup with salt and black pepper (or white pepper) to taste.
  5. Serve.  Ladle up your servings while the soup is nice and hot, garnished with extra green onions.

How To Make Hot and Sour Soup

What To Serve With Hot & Sour Soup:

Here are a few of my favorite dishes that pair well with hot and sour soup:

Hot and Sour Soup Recipe with Mushrooms and Tofu

More Favorite Soup Recipes:

If you love egg drop soup, feel free to check out these other favorite soup recipes:

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Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Hot and Sour Soup

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x

Description

This classic Chinese hot and sour soup recipe is quick and easy to make, full of delicious flavor, easy to make vegetarian (with tofu!) or with pork, and it totally rivals any soup I’ve tried at a Chinese restaurant!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Set aside ¼ cup of the chicken or vegetable broth for later use.
  2. Add the remaining 7 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth, mushrooms, bamboo shoots (if using), rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and chili garlic sauce to a large stock pot, and stir to combine.  Heat over medium-high heat until the soup reaches a simmer.
  3. While the soup is heating, whisk together the ¼ cup of broth (that you had set aside) and cornstarch in a small bowl until completely smooth.  Once the soup has reached a simmer, stir in the cornstarch mixture and stir for 1 minute or so until the soup has thickened.
  4. Continue stirring the soup in a circular motion, then drizzle in the eggs in a thin stream (while still stirring the soup) to create egg ribbons.  Stir in the tofu, half of the green onions, and sesame oil.  Then season the soup with salt and a pinch* of white pepper (or black pepper) to taste.  If you’d like a more “sour” soup, feel free to add in another tablespoon or two of rice wine vinegar as well.  Or if you’d like a spicier soup, add in more chili garlic sauce.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the extra green onions.


Notes

Pork option: Or, you’re welcome to make this with pork instead of tofu.  Just add in a half pound of cooked pork — ground pork, or you can thinly-slice pork chops or pork loin — in place of the tofu.

White pepper: I prefer using a pinch of white pepper in this soup instead of black pepper.  But if you are new to cooking with white pepper, heads up that it has a much stronger (and slightly) different flavor than black pepper!  I recommend starting with a small pinch, then you can always add more to taste.

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Recipe rating

563 comments on “Hot and Sour Soup”

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  1. This was DELICIOUS and incredibly easy, made from things I always have. I had the right mushrooms but certainly could be made with any kind. I doubled the heat and added an additional healthy splash of vinegar to my taste. A one pot meal for this super snowy Boston blizzard.

    • Just finished making this! It is better than take out and I’m obsessed with hot and sour soup.
      I doubled the recipe and added just a bit of diced onion and thinly sliced red cabbage. I ended up adding extra vinegar and chili sauce to my liking but this recipe is amazing!
      Just a tip: make sure you truly are stirring in the egg thin and slow. I went too fast and as a result my soup looks kind of mucky and doesn’t have the good ribbons. It tastes great though!

  2. Very tasty, and very easy to make. I added extra vinegar and chili sauce for extra kick, and a sheet of nori for a little texture. Will definitely make again. Thanks!

  3. Wow this soup was amazing!! Will defiantly be making it again!! Not a big fan of tofu, so I put in some extra bamboo instead. Also added some thin chopped bok choy!

  4. I’m not even finished cooking the soup and my kitchen smells delicious. I could not wait, I scooped out some broth and cannot wait to pour myself a bowl.

  5. Delicious! Super easy to make.

  6. I definitely recommend this recipe! I added more vegetables. I added baby corn, water chestnuts, shredded carrots and bean sprouts. Also, sprinkled some crushed red pepper for more kick. Will make this again!

    • I have made this soup many times and I will keep on making it. I add spinach and cilantro. It is extremely good!

  7. Excellent recipe. I used a little more chilli sauce and pork instead of tofu. It was amazing!!!

    Thank you!😋😋😋

  8. All I taste is ginger.

  9. This recipe is amazing. I regularly crave hot and sour soup in the winter but this is the first recipe I’ve attempted myself. No more carry out for me! I do doctor it a bit, after making it a few times. I add very thinly sliced cooked chicken, and I reduce the amount of ginger by half. I also up the vinegar and chili garlic cause I like extra spicy and sour. Sooooo good. And sooo easy I can make it at lunchtime!

  10. Absolutely NO, and I mean ZERO chili pepper belongs in hot sour soup. 100% of the heat comes from white pepper, you will need a lot of it.

  11. Just tried this soup last week and it was FANTASTIC! Excellent depth of flavor for such a fast and easy recipe. I made the soup exactly as written and added more veggies and udon noodles because I love to eat those in soups. I’ve been craving it again every day since. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you!

  12. WooHoo! Tastes like a better Asian restaurant! Hard to come by too! I did add a bit more vinegar and chili, thinly sliced pork (sautéed) and a cup of chopped spinach! Delicious! I’m writing this one down because I never want to lose it! Thanks !

  13. This soup is amazing! I’ve been craving this for so long but sadly no restaurants nearby sell hot and sour soup… this was better than I could have imagined! I’d definitely add the bamboo shoots, it really elevates the flavour.

    I didn’t have chili garlic paste, so I used a combination of garlic powder, chili flakes, and sriracha – it turned out great! I also added ginger paste which was easier than grating fresh ginger.

  14. I did a half batch to try out the recipe and my ENTIRE family (including picky teen and tween eaters) LOVED it! Can’t wait to make it again :) Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe.

  15. Made this tonite and really liked it. Had to substitute for chili garlic because that’s not something I keep (used a good bit of garlic that sauteed and sirracha) Omitted tofu b/c hubby thinks he doesn’t care for (think I will sneak in next time). Had bok choy I had to use, so that went in. Used combo of shitake and cremini. Added twice the rice vinegar for the extra sour as noted in recipe. And used white pepper I’ll black. I think I will add extra slurry next time. Will try with shrimp as someone suggested, and will do it with pork too.

  16. doesnt taste anything like hot and sour soup

  17. Made without tofu and ginger and a bit more vinegar and chilli sauce. 10/10 from both mum and I!

  18. im not a fan of tofu but i used it in this and it was great it didnt taste like tofu at all i so think everyone should try it this way

  19. Great hot and sour soup. Pretty sure hot chili oil is why I haven’t caught Covid…so far. This beats all the others for easy sourcing, cooking and clean up.

  20. I am making this recipe for the third time tonight. I added a little extra ginger and garlic. I love it!

  21. Oh my goodness! This soup is amazing!! It’s seriously addicting. I was so full but kept eating it! Definitely one to save forever.

  22. I love (really love) hot and sour soup. This was my first attempt at making it and will do so again. Simple and quick recipe yet so delicious. No longer will I need to wait for Chinese date night out to enjoy. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Simple and delicious!

    I like the taste of sesame oil, and I couldn’t taste it in this dish. Turns out I had bought oil that was not toasted, and that’s only for frying at high heat, not to flavor. I’m going to buy a bottle of toasted sesame oil for the next go round.

    Normally this is served as an appetizer. I don’t care for Tofu, and I had it as a meal and was delighted by how light it was, but also found myself hungry again quickly. So maybe it should be paired with something. Egg rolls maybe?

    The soup wasn’t as good as my local restaurant, but then I realized I hadn’t added the green onion garnish. That gave it the flavor pop I was looking for!

    Anyway, very enjoyable. Thanks for posting.

  24. Great recipe, make this all the time.

  25. Picked your recipe due to simplicity.. .making it this evening & will let you all know what I think….thanks n

  26. So so so amazing. I’m addicted.

  27. I was making some chicken broth, and was headed toward making regular chicken soup, but I learned I have bronchitis and found your recipe. I only had dried shitake, and no green onions (I suspect they got lost in my fridge). but I’m making this with some chicken and tofu and lots of white pepper.

    I am loving this soup, and am grateful for your recipe! Thank you.

  28. What can I use instead of the cornstarch to keep it low carb?

  29. I was very skeptical as I’ve tried other recipes that had so many ingredients and just didn’t have the kick of my favorite restaurant soup. This one is great! I used quite a bit more vinegar and chili in stages as suggested to get the awesome result I wanted. I also used tofu and thinly sliced pork. I’ll be making this many more times.

  30. I made this true to the recipe with one exception, I cut up a large sweet onion and made my own vegetable stock. All of the rest of the ingredients are the same and it is great! We are still enjoying it even though the temperatures outside are in the 90s. I always thought that there was chicken in Hot and Sour soup but nope, it is the way the egg looks when whisked in.. So good!

  31. Just made this, as I love hot & sour soup and wanted to try making it myself for lunches. Really enjoyed it! Flavorful for sure. I added just a little more rice vinegar for a more sour taste. That was the only thing I did different. So looking forward to my lunch this week!! Thanks for the great recipe!

  32. So easy to make and so delicious! I might add more veggies next time but I added extra tofu and I will definitely be making this again

  33. Outstanding recipe! My husband said it was better than a Chinese restaurant. He likes it a little hotter so I added extra chili sauce to his. Great soup to individually customize to taste. Followed recipe using canned bamboo shoots and firm tofu. Have never used bamboo shoots so was a little leary when I saw them. They were sliced and I julienned them for a more uniform look. They add so much to the soup taste and texture . Planning a get together featuring this soup with an Asian chicken salad.

  34. Just made this and it is so delicious, I had to stop and let you know! I always check your site first when I need a recipe!

  35. I never knew how much I LOVED hot and sour soup until I made his easy, well-designed recipe. I found the proportions spot-on. If I have any bits of leftover cooked meat ( like chicken or ground pork) I will add it in. I also like to add in 2 sliced baby bok choy in with part 2. Escarole would work too. I just like having some vegie in there even though it’s not traditional. The recipe is perfect on it’s own!

  36. Wowza!! This was perfect. My son who swore he wouldn’t touch it had two bowls. It’s a perfect balance of hot and sour, I changed nothing. I did add julienne pork loin strips, to make it a meal and served with spring rolls. This is definitely a keeper for the “everyone will eat it” file! Thanks so much.

  37. Absolutely delicious! I used dried shiitake mushrooms and zhenjiang vinegar instead of rice vinegar, but it still turned out wonderfully. So easy and quick, too – I’m a student without much free time on my hands, so this recipe is great. Will make again and again.

  38. This was so delicious and relatively easy. Our favorite Chinese place closed when the owner retired and this is pretty darn close to what we used to get from there. I always crave this when I have a cold and now I can make my own. Thanks!

  39. I love love love your recipes but this is my favorite. I adjust accordingly to which family member in serving but the one thing I have found is the best stock for this soup is beef. Not a beef stock lover normally but the richness works fantastic here. I think it pares best with the sesame oil. Thanks for your recipes.

  40. ‘I’ve made this soup a few times and it is really good. Like many others, I did bump up the vinegar and the chile sauce because I like more of a punch. But I’d recommend making it as shown and then adding more spice if you prefer
    . This time, I varied the vegetables a bit based on what I had and what I wanted to use up. It still turned out perfect. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch today! Thanks for an easy and very tasty recipe!

  41. Just made this today for the first time. Was so easy and delicious! Didn’t change anything from original recipe except a couple extra tablespoons of rice vinegar. Added a little more chili garlic sauce to my husband’s bowl (he likes his extra hot). Will definitely save this recipe to make again and again! Thank you

  42. Add lily flower buds for extra flavor.

  43. just made it and it was an instant hit with the family..its a chilly night in california ..thank you for the recipe