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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


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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526 comments on “Hot and Sour Soup”

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  1. I love that you’re making Asian soups too! And I loveeee egg drop soup.

    Charmaine Ng

  2. Do leftovers hold up?

    • Yes, we think they do (it’s best to reheat slowly on the stove though) — we hope you enjoy!

  3. So happy to see this post this morning. After seeing it on your instagram I was hoping you would post it soon. Cannot wait to make this!

  4. Next up— Sizzling Rice Soup?  That is one of my favorites, but its not always good at all restaurants. 

  5. Hello!
    What kind of chili garlic sauce do you use?

  6. I always love getting this at Chinese restaurants, but I’ve never tried making it!

  7. Making this tonight!!! Thanks!

  8. This looks yummy except the mushrooms – I hate mushrooms. Do you think it would be good without them? Is there something you recommend substituting for them?

    • Hi Andi — we think you would be just fine to leave the mushrooms out. We hope you enjoy!

  9. Chinese Hot and sour soup is nothing like what you created, it has black fungi mushrooms, and many other ingredients not listed in your recipe.

  10. Black Vinegar!

  11. In college, I went on a fun restaurant scavenger hunt, and one of the clues led to “hot and sour soup.” But I’d never heard of “hot and sour” soup before. So I totally missed the clue, to the utter astonishment of my companions. Once I got to actually eat the soup, I realized what I had been missing out on!

    • It’s so good, right?! We hope you can give this version a try sometime soon! :)

  12. This is one of my husband and my favorite things.  Sometimes I drag him to Chinese food just so that I can slurp up some of this soup!!  Luckily, he doesn’t mind;) 

  13. So excited to find this  recipe for my favorite soup! For years I have found recipes with all these elaborate directions/ingredients  for this soup and never dared to make it. Thanks I look forward to making it! 

  14. OMG!!! My mouth is watering as I’m reading this post. I can’t wait to try this…and never did I expect it to be as easy as it seems to be. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Thank you for this! I already love your egg drop soup…I can’t wait to try this one! ❤

  16. Sauteed my tofu in sesame oil first, yummy dish, thank you!

  17. What is the nutritional info on this recipe please?

    • Hello! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  18. This looks awesome. I usually add fungus and some other things but is an excellent base to start with.

  19. This hot and sour soup was delicious! I will say that I added triple the amount of garlic chili sauce and added a heaping teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Next time I may double the mushrooms, too! Thanks for a great recipe ☺

  20. thank you! looks exactly like the many restaurant versions I’ve had, right down to the egg ribbon that you’ve noted (technique noted!) and can’t wait to make this!

  21. I’m new to this blog, but I’ve made a couple of your recipes and they’ve been really tasty. This? THIS WAS AWESOME. I love hot and sour soup and I had no idea I could ever make it at home, at least not easily. The store was out of shiitakes so I used creminis and I doubled the amount of sambal olek. It was soooo good. I blogged about it (not much of a food photographer so it doesn’t look as good as yours). Going to add this into the rotation.

    • Thank you so much for sharing with us, Michelle — we’re thrilled that you loved this! :)

  22. Hi! You mentioned it should be served immediately – will it keep good in the fridge? (Whenever I make soups, I make a big batch for at least a couple of days…)

    • Hi Zee — this should be fine in the fridge for a couple of days — we’d just recommend re-heating it gradually on the stove. We hope you enjoy!

  23. Just made this, really good!  I had some North Carolina pulled pork in the fridge and cut it into slivers and used it for the soup. I’m quite proud of myself. After all the pork is marinated in vinegar and hot peppers! Perfect! ?

  24. Hi- love your bog and recipes!! Was wondering if you could tell me what kind of chili garlic sauce you use.
    Thank you!

  25. This is currently simmering on the stove, and it smells SO good. Thanks for another great recipe!

  26. Can you freeze this soup? This is a lot of soup for me, myself and I.

    • It’s not terribly ideal to freeze this, but we think it should probably be fine, though the tofu may have a different texture after freezing it. We hope this helps!

  27. I’ve made this a couple of times and it’s terrific and fairly easy to throw together. We made the following modifications: doubled the chili-garlic sauce and only used 1/4 tsp. of sesame oil (we found a full tsp to be overpowering). I think we the eggs in too vigorously the first time, so the soup just got cloudy, but the second batch we stirred very slowly to get nice egg ribbons. I would also caution others to taste before adding final salt; between the chicken stock and the soy sauce, it was salty enough for us. Thanks so much for posting this recipe – I have other ones for hot and sour soup that are far more complicated and you’ve shown me that it needn’t be so.

    • Thank you for sharing with us, Kate — we appreciate your feedback, and we’re glad you enjoy the recipe!

  28. Made this tonight and loved it! Your soups always hit the spot!!

  29. I made this and it was really good, thanks for sharing! One question is why is the hot and sour soup in the restaurant a bit darker in color? It still tasted just as good but I’m just curios. Thanks!

    • We’re glad you enjoyed it, Dee! As for the darker color though, we’re really not sure!

  30. So glad I found your site. The soup is delicious! And your chicken breast technique works every time. Find myself craving it. Went through the last few years of pounding and hating the final product for nothing. YOU rock.

    • Thank you for your sweet words, Betty! We’re so happy you enjoyed the soup and that you like the baked chicken as well! :)

  31. This was so delicious and flavorful. I think it was the best hot and sour soup I’ve ever had, and I adore hot and sour soup. I added extra rice vinegar, and sirachi(garlic chile sauce) and added a fresh jalapeño! I’ve been eating it for a couple of days and it gets better and better! Thanks!

  32. Just made this and it was delicious!! Thanks for sharing! Will definitely be making this again.

  33. This is one of my favorite soups and I looked for years to find a recipe that was easy and full of flavor. Thank you for posting this one. I tried it tonight (so easy) and loved it. I don’t like tofu and settled on sauté some ground pork and adding it. 

  34. Please don’t use the words “classic” or “traditional” to describe something that is so far from. This is such an Americanized version of what it should be, it’s almost offensive.

    You’re missing AT LEAST wood ear mushrooms, lily buds, and bamboo shoots (which I see you did mention wasn’t to your liking). But these three ingredients are integral to hot and sour soup. It’s supposed to be a balanced soup of different flavors and textures. Just because you’re dropping an egg doesn’t mean it’s form of egg drop soup. Egg ribbons are common in Asian cooking.

    I understand if you don’t like something and omit it. Totally okay. But don’t mislead others into thinking that this recipe is “classic.” I’m not sure if I can trust anything on this site now.

    • Oh get of your horse. There are many different versions of this soup, Thai, vietnamese Chinese, they all have their own ingredients, just as this soup recipe has, and fyi its australianized now!
      This soup is so easy and tastes just like the real deal delicious!. Thanks for sharing the recipe !!!!

  35. After you put in the egg and tofu do you serve immediately or how long should I cook the tofu and egg in the soup?

    • Hi Laura! Yes, we serve immediately after adding the egg, tofu and seasonings. We hope you enjoy!

  36. This soup is one I would like to make, but as there is only me to eat it I will need to freeze it. This would last me 10-12 days. Will it freeze O.K.

    • Hi Pam! Unfortunately because of the egg in this (it’s a pretty delicate soup), we wouldn’t recommend freezing it.

  37. This soup is amazing!!! I am loving how easy it has s and the flavors are great!  A definite keeper!

  38. The soup looks absolutely delicious. I’m definitely a fan of soups, so I will probably prepare this one pretty soon :)

  39. Does this keep well in the fridge for at least a few days? This looks delicious but my family is not vegetarian so it would just be me eating this. I love vegetarian food, it makes me feel like I’m detoxing in my own way.

    • Hi Melissa, it does! We would just suggest reheating it slowly and gently on the stovetop before serving. We hope you enjoy!

  40. I would definitely try this as Soon as possible. And yeah thanks for the recipe and also for the Awesome pictures

  41. Oh my goodness Ali .. this soup is off the chain!  I love hot and sour soup and now I can make it at home!  Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

  42. Made this soup tonight. It was so so so delicious! 

    Thank you for this recipe! My vegetarian father is now chomping at the bit to make it since I raved about it to him :)

  43. Soup was quick, simple, and clean (vegetarian, if you’re not using pork). The 1/4 cup cornstarch didn’t create a thick enough texture for me – maybe it’s the brand I used. This soup definitely isn’t authentic, but it’s yummy enough! In fact, it’s better after a couple of days in the fridge! 

  44. Easy to make and delicious. Added potstickers and shrimp. 

    • Awesome, Kelly — we’re so glad you enjoyed it and we bet the potstickers and shrimp were wonderful additions!

  45. OMG! I saw the photo of your soup and immediately started craving hot & sour soup. I made it tonight and it lived up to every single expectation. Honestly, I think it was WAY better than any restaurant hot & sour soup (probably because I know what went into it and was able to work around my family’s allergies). And I was completely shocked at how easy it was to make. My family LOVED it! I will be making this again and again and again.

    Here were my minor modifications: I used 1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar, 1/3 cup Coconut Aminos (instead of Soy Sauce…soy allergies in our house), and used ground sausage instead of tofu. I added the bamboo shoots and I think I liked them. I put the whisked eggs in a ziploc bag and cut the corner to slowly drizzle them into the soup while I stirred. It helped make the egg ribbons form pretty easily — I stole that idea from another website when I was researching how to make egg ribbons. Thanks again for the fantastic recipe!!!

    • Thank you for your sweet comment, Kristi — we’re so happy you and your family loved this, and we think your modifications sound great (especially the bamboo shoots you added)! :)

  46. This looks so good–definitely something I’d make for my family!

  47. Just made a double batch – followed the recipe but added slivers of carrots and red pepper, chicken & shrimp…sooo tasty! Now I have a huge pot to serve for dinner for at least 2 nights!

  48. This looks delicious and easy. Will definetly try this!

  49. Earlier I hated soups… But this one looks very tasty and I certainly want to taste it!