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:

Print
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!


Scale

Ingredients


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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455 comments on “Hot and Sour Soup”

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  1. Just made this literally 10 minutes ago. Soo good, thank you so much. I am a hot and sour soup junkie, and have never before seen a recipe I felt comfortable making. Just a tad more vinegar and a touch more heat for my tastes. This will be my go-to from now on!

    • Loved this recipe! Makes a lot of soup. We get a grab bag of wild mushrooms at the farmers market and add them all.

  2. Can you freeze this soup? It is my favorite soup but I am the only one that loves it

    • The best hot and sour soup I had was in a small town in Virginia. It was a family run business. When I moved back to Florida, I thought, I’ll have plenty of places here to find the flavors of that soup. No, I’ve tried a dozen places and have been back in Florida for 17 years. I am also a cook who catered @ 26 parties a year for 50-100 people, so I was being picky about the ingredients. . This is exactly what I was looking for and I did use pork and tofu .I will be freezing portions as well! Awesome job Ali!!!

    • Recommend!

    • I am new to Hot and Sour Soup. I always decline it at the restaurant and request extra eggrolls. But recently the waiter brought a bowl anyway and it was so good and smelled wonderful – I decided to cook a lot. This recipe was very easy! It took no time at all to prepare.

    • Sooooo delicious 😋

    • Yes! I froze it and it reheated excellent.

  3. I thought this had WAY too much tofu. I also cut the mushrooms back a little. We like ours spicy so I added more chili garlic sauce and white pepper. I also like Mongolian Fire Oil in it.

  4. My first time attempting to make and by nature I am not a stellar cook, but this recipe turned out great! Added a little more chili sauce because we like it on the hotter side. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. This is a great place to start for Hot and Sour soup recipe. I made 1.5 recipe for 4 people. Although I added chicken, this did have too much tofu for 1.5 recipes, so def need to half the tofu if not more. Additionally, this needed much more vinegar, and a touch more soy, and a lot more heat to be a true HOT and SOUR soup. Finally, hot and sour soup is not right without bamboo shoots, do not leave this out, and if anything use 1.5 to 2 cans instead of just 1. Was delicious, of course, but I felt there was too much to be tweaked at the same time.

  6. My 12 year old son made this first-we LOVED it-only had to add some more vinegar and chili sauce to our taste. SO, now we double it for our family of 5, add chopped baby bok choy for some greenery and make homemade wonton strips to put on top. So glad we found this recipe!!

  7. Made this tonight for the second time and what a great recipe. I did make a couple of changes this time though. I used a heaping tablespoon of the garlic chili, a 1/4 cup rice vinegar and a 1/4 cup black vinegar and had some pork which I sauteed and added and a can of bamboo shoots. Great either as the original recipe or with the few changes. Also, more than a pinch of of white pepper! Thank you!

  8. I’m a hot n sour soup junkie too. Lol. Just made this and its great! Perfect amount of tofu, and mushrooms. (I never get enough of those from the local restaurant) I substituted xantham gum for the cornstarch for lower carb, and added more heat for my taste. Very yummy!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!! I love it😋

  9. This soup is amazing! So fast and so easy.For protein, I use a mixture of half firm tofu and half rare grilled pork tenderloin cut into matchsticks. Shitakes are a must and I use fresh ginger root as well. Garnish with hot oil is a must!

  10. Loved this recipe! Super simple and easy to follow. If you’re only cooking for 1-2 people, you may want to cut the recipe in half. I also listened to some of the other reviews and added more rice vinegar, soysauce, and garlic chili sauce. Otherwise, it’s perfect ☺️

  11. I’ve been trying to recreate my favorite Chinese restaurant soup recipes for years now and had mixed success until recently. The flavors were always close but the consistency was never quite right with corn starch.

    My wife recently suggested I try kudzu starch instead and it was exactly what was missing. It’s not something your local grocery store will likely carry but if you have an Asian market nearby they definitely will (or Amazon though it’s very overpriced).

    Hopefully that helps someone! :D

    • Great recipe!! I love hot and sour soup but have never seen a recipe that was easy enough for me. This was was perfect. I just made it and it was so good and simple to make. I love the fact that it so easy to tweak for your specific tastes. I followed the recipe close this first time (and it was awesome) but next time will experiment with more of heat and vinegar. Thanks for posting it!!

  12. I made a large batch of this soup using five types of foraged wild mushrooms. My extended family, neighbors, and I all loved it. It was easy to make, too.

  13. Super easy to follow and turned out amazing. As the other comments mentioned, I increased the vinegar, soy sauce and chili paste. I also added sliced water chestnuts and baby corn and it tasted just like the one you get at Big Bowl restaurant.

    Thank you for my new favorite soup recipe!!

  14. My husband just loves Hot and Sour soup. He was craving it but where we live does not have none available. So I looked it up and found you on google. I’m so happy I did! I made your Hot and Sour Soup and it turned out perfect. It was a hit with my husband. I will be making this again for sure.

  15. I made this exactly as written. It was fantastic!

  16. sounds and looks delicious

  17. Thank you. Prepared as written (always do fir first preparation). Very good.

  18. this is the second time using this recipe. it’s the BEST. substituted rice vinegar with acv and it does just the trick! me and my family love it. especially my grandmother (:

  19. Can I make this in the crock pot?

  20. Recipes for Hot and Sour soup can be intimidating, especially if the recipe is really “authentic,” because you have to shop at an Asian grocery store to get many of the ingredients. My favorite thing about this recipe is that it tastes really good and the recipe is simple. My husband gave it a thumbs up and he’s pretty picky. In fact, I’m eating the leftovers from last night right now for lunch! Wish I had more! I will definitely be making this again. THANK YOU!

  21. I’ve made this a few times and winter is on the way so making this more often. I love it big time and its so easy
    . Being a shroom lover and anything hot, this is great. You can make is hot or mild as you want. Its fun stirring in the eggs at end :)

  22. Nice! I’ve been hunting for a decent hot and sour recipe and this did the job. I made some substitutions to ingredients but it seemed to work out well.

    I used apple cider vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar and also used sweet chilli and garlic stir fry sauce pouches in place of chilli garlic sauce and added in some extra chillis and extra garlic. Added tofu and pork, next time I will probably omit the tofu as it didn’t do anything for me or the soup IMO. Also cornstarch failed to thicken adequately and I used more than stated, I’m thinking I’ll use xantham gum next time I make it.

    Overall the soup was tasty and went down well with everyone who tried it.

  23. Hot and sour soup is not my thing, the flavor profile is very strange to me but I made this soup for my husband who said it was the best hot and sour soup he’s ever had!! I also ate it and despite it not being my scene, I also enjoyed it. :) We’ll definitely be making this again.

  24. How many calories are in the Hot and Sour Soup?

  25. I think this is a keeper. I added a lot more soy sauce and vinegar. Didn’t have tofu on hand so omitted it. It’s a good base recipe to tweak to my family’s tastes. Thank you.

  26. I can never eat hot and sour sauce bc I can’t have meat. This vegetarian hot and sour soup was amazing! I’ll do a few alterations next time but it was so good!

  27. I love hot and sour soup; this is my first time making it. Great base recipe that can be tweaked in many ways. I too am not a fan of bamboo shoots and did try some thinly slice pork. Awesome. I will try mixing vinegars in the future and am sold on the toasted sesame seed oil. Who knew? I used dried mushrooms – will do fresh next time. Thanks for sharing!

  28. It was easy so tasty sent recipe to family

  29. My whole family has been sick with a cold for about a week. Husband and son have been craving hot & sour soup. This recipe does not disappoint. They LOVED it! So quick and easy and delicious. I ighly recommend trying this recipe! Thank you!

  30. I made this recipe while sick after eating canned soups for a few days. I wanted something healthy that would be warm and comforting. This soup fit the bill. I will be making this again, maybe with dumplings. :-)

  31. Excellent! I had a excess shredded cabbage and turnip greens, so I threw a handful of these in. I also added extra chili garlic sauce and extra rice vinegar for more of a kick. Having said that, I don’t like to see reviews that reinvent the recipe. This recipe is great as is!

  32. Finally a recipe that really works! Thank you so much, I’m really happy about finding this one.

    White pepper is the deal! Bamboo shoots are a must for me, I add way more of the chili-garlic-sauce because I like my hot & sour soup really hot :)

    I also like to use yuba (tofu skin) in this soup, if you want a vegan option it’s also a great substitute for the egg.

  33. Very good! Very easy, and can be modified to help use up ingredients. I had some leftover smoked pork loin, fresh broccoli and cauliflower from a holiday relish tray. I didn’t have mushrooms, or bamboo shoots, and wife doesn’t like those ingredients anyway. I used 4C chicken and 4C vegetable stock, more green onions, and put it all together in about 15 minutes. It was so good, after a few days of over-eating during Christmas. Warmed our tummies on a cold December night! I will be making this soup again, since it is so quick and tastes like I spent hours on prep and simmer!

  34. What would you add to make it a little more spicy?!

  35. Hi, so excited about this recipe! It looks simple to make and so full of flavor.
    However, I could not help but notice you wrote “chicke” instead of “chicken”. Thought you might want to fix it, as typos take away from the neatness of a good thing. :)

  36. Soooo Good!

    I made this just now and I know it will taste even better when it has a chance to sit.

    The sesame seed oil really brings all the taste together.

    I added double the chili garlic sauce…. love, love, love!!!

  37. This is a very good base recipe, as I didn’t know what was actually in Hot &Sour Soup but I love it! I like to sweat when I eat it (haha) so I added extra garlic chili sauce and vinegar at the advice of commenters. It still wasn’t enough for me though. I probably needed up doubling the called for amount of both. I didn’t have any bamboo shoots so I added thinly sliced carrots. I do wish I had bought some bok choy for it. I completely failed at the egg ribbons. I had never done them before and they just kind of blended in to the soup. Some commenters said theirs didn’t get thick – mine didn’t either however most that I’ve had from restaurants were not super thick. I find that the more soy sauce that is used, the thinner it makes the soup. I will definitely make it again though with my modifications.

  38. This recipe is so well balanced I love it!

  39. Excellent Hot & Sour Soup Recipe! Hot & Sour Soup is my favorite soup to purchase at restaurants and also found at a local grocery store that sells it by the pint. This recipe tastes like I purchased it from the store or restaurant. Yum!

    I followed the recipe exactly. Only change was to use 2 tsp chili garlic sauce rather than 1 tsp because I like it spicy!

  40. Oh my goodness!! I made the recipe except I didn’t have green onions. IT was the best ever!!!! Thank you so much for posting. I usually buy hot and sour soup—no more, i can make it myself. It was simple and easy to make with your recipe. I will definitely be making it once a week.

  41. This is comparable to the recipe in my chinese cookbook without the difficult to find ingredients. I added 4 tsp of Chili Garlic since we like spicy . The only difference from the restaurant is that it came out a little thinner. Thanks for the great recipe!

  42. Love hot and sour soup and have been searching for a recipe using easy to find ingredients for some time. Made the vegetarian version using baby bella mushrooms and tofu. Substituted black pepper because I didn’t have white pepper, otherwise made as written. Delicious. Will be making this again!

  43. First time making hot and sour soup and it tasted amazing! Loved this recipe, however, I added way more Chilli Garlic sauce and rice vinegar than the recipe called for, I like my soup super hot and sour. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Tastes very authentic. Will definitely make again!

  45. This is a fabulous recipe! Thank you! It’s definitely going in our rotation. It was especially good with Trader Joe’s spring rolls!

  46. Overall a good recipe but next time I would omit the ginger. I felt like it threw off the taste.

  47. This was my first attempt a making hot and sour soup and this recipe is sooo incredibly tasty! Thank you!!! My husband absolutely loved it!