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:

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


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!




  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.


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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379 comments on “Hot and Sour Soup”

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  1. The best hot and sour soup recipe. I made it for 6 adults and everyone loved it.
    The amount are perfect, although I added some dark soy sauce.
    Dont miss on the chilli garlic paste – it is a must!
    I used fresh ginger as instead of dried.

  2. Hi! Love your recipe. Made it several times before, now with Winter upom us I’m curious if you have any feedback on freezing the soup? Thanks!

  3. It’s great by itself, but I prefer to leave out the mushroom and tofu and add the chicken, noodles and veggies to make a Hot and Sour Chicken noodle soup. Up the heat a little and it’s great for a cold.

  4. I made it exactly as written and it was amazing!! I did add the bamboo because I love them.
    I will make this again!

  5. I didn’t add tofu, but it came out wonderful. Thanks for making it so easy!

    • traditionally, I’d never add tofu… but today… WOW. IT’s about texture. forget where or from what it came from.
      Personally, I like Black Mushrooms. I also like the lily flower blossoms. They add texture and this soup is all about textures and flavors. Go the extra mile and find an Asian store with these items, including Black Chinese vinegar. It adds a lot to the flavor.

      Enjoy – and as to freezing? It’s fine. you might want to taste and add a bit of black Chinese vinegar to freshen it up but it’s great!

  6. IS there a nutritional breakdown for this soup?

  7. Was pretty good! Definitely needed some extra rice vinegar and I added a little bit of sriracha to give it more heat but it’s a solid soup. Can’t wait to make it again! Especially happy about the egg drizzles that I had no clue how to make before going into this.

  8. This soup is wonderful! So easy and good.

  9. I’m curious if you have ever frozen the hot & sour soup? Would love to make and have in my freezer over the holidays.

  10. I love this recipe! I’ve made it for me and my boyfriend twice now. I used canned chicken instead of tofu on the second batch, and added twice the amount of chili sauce. Next time I’ll try using fresh ginger!

  11. One of my favorites on the blog! My daughter came home from college this past weekend and requested this soup!! I add some shoestring carrots and sliced red pepper for added veggies!!

  12. This is soooo good! Better than the restaurant! Added a pinch more white pepper & 1/2 of chili garlic. Wow so so good!

  13. Love this recipe! I actually added white pepper. I also used 1/4 lb of ground pork and 4 oz of silken tofu instead. It turned out really nice and delicious. Everyone in my family loved it!

  14. I had to use arrowroot as the thickener. I don’t think that I used enough, because it didn’t thicken, but the soup still tasted great! I added chicken instead of the tofu or pork. Excellent! Definitely a make-again!

  15. Made this today exactly as written. I did use bamboo shoots and white pepper. It is absolutely delicious!

  16. This was delicious. I doubled the amount of spicy garlic sauce because we love it hot. My husband really liked it and he can be picky!

  17. As a former San Franciscan who ate hundreds of bowls of hot & sour soup all over town, I was skeptical that a recipe so simple and easy would be remotely similar to what I was craving.

    It’s brilliant! I’ll be making this often. So glad to have found it. Cheers!

  18. Is there a way to do this in a crock pot?

  19. This was utterly, freaking delicious. The only change I remember making was sautéing the mushrooms (shiitake, white beech, and baby bella) along with garlic, shallots, and red onion (I know, but it’s what I had). I made it with tofu. From this point forward, I believe I will be able to make better than I could have in a restaurant. I am dumbstruck.

  20. Delicious & easy to make. I recommend sliced the mushrooms as thin as possible. I used the pre-cut baby bellas from the store but wished I had bought whole ones and sliced them myself.

  21. This hot and sour soup is delicious.

  22. I made this twice. First time didn’t have all the “correct” ingredients. Second time all the ingredients but added to it. Recipe is almost spot on. It is a “forgiving” recipe as long as you follow the basics. The second time around I added Bamboo Shoots, Sliced Water Chestnuts, and Mung Bean Sprouts. Thank you!

  23. Yummy! I couldn’t find all the ingredients so made my own modifications, but l was able to make the base per the recipe. I’ll be making this again!

  24. This was the bomb! I used 6 cups of broth plus more vinegar and chili paste, will make again and again.

  25. I am really disappointed with this recipe as I had such high hopes! I found it way too watery and too vinegary. I added some hoison sauce to try to balance the strong vinegar taste, but it left a chemical taste. I wish I knew how to fix it as I have so much of it left and don’t want to throw it away.

  26. Hello, when it says 8 cup of broth – how big should the cup be? And do you use 8 cubes for 8 glasses? Sorry it’s this seems like a silly question. Thanks

    • When a recipe says cup, it means 8 oz.
      1 cup = 8oz
      1/4 cup = 2oz
      1/2 cup = 4oz
      3/4 cup = 6oz

  27. Can I use dried Chinese black mushrooms rehydrated?


  28. Most amazing soup. I am serenely underweight and it stimulates my appetite. I have have shared it with many and they all love it

  29. Easily one of my favorite go-to vegetarian recipes. It’s so simple/quick and absolutely delicous every time! I must have made this recipe 20+ times since discovering it a few months ago. Better than the hot and sour soups I’ve ordered from just about any resturant! I will treasure this recipe always!!

  30. Dynamite recipe. Very easy to make
    I used ponzu sauce in place of regular soy. It’s available in a citrus flavour and less saltier than tamari or regular soy sauce. 👍👍

  31. Do you think the soup would be ok to freeze?

  32. Just curious as to how well this reheats. I’d like to make it this week since I have everything on hand and I’m practicing cooking from my pantry, but there’s just 2 of us who will be eating it :)

  33. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I’m back again because this was the best hot and sour soup I’ve ever had in my life! I’m currently planning out meals for the week to limit my grocery store shopping due to COVID – 19 and this is going on the list! I added more chili garlic sauce cause I love my soups spicy! So yummy!

  34. With the pandemic and everything being shut down. I decided it was time to make my own since I can’t get it anywhere. And it was great! Going to try with veggie broth and less ginger next time. But highly recommend this recipe! Simple and delicious!