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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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523 comments on “Hot and Sour Soup”

  1. What is the nutritional information?

    • Hi Cindy! 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!

  2. Hot and sour soup was my favorite forever until I had to cut out gluten. Is there a good substitute for soy sauce in this recipe? 

  3. This is the bf’s favorite soup, and now I’m going to have to give it a go at home.

  4. You can also sub in Coconut Aminos for the soy sauce. There is NO gluten in it. :) Awesome recipe – can’t wait to try it out!

  5. Dears, not everyone in the world works with ounces and cups. Could you please convert those measurements for the rest of the world?
    Thanks!

  6. Yea I made this last week and it looked really bad (barf),b man was it ever good 
    I will add the egg very very carefully on the next batch I make.

  7. I made this and altered it with julienned carrots, sliced water chestnuts, sliced red and green onions, 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp white pepper, no bamboo shoots and some garlic powder. I GIVE IT A 10! Holy moly! Deadly! I had two bowls! Into my recipe box for sure! Thanks so much!

  8. Maybe a silly question, but I’ve never cooked with tofu: Do I just cut the tofu and put it in the soup or do I need to pan fry or anything? Thanks!!

    • Hi Kristi! No need to pan fry it beforehand, just make sure you drain it really well (wrap it in several paper towels and put some weight on it (we usually use a cutting board with a big bowl or pot on it (not too big to crush it of course). Let it drain for about an hour beforehand if you can. We hope this helps and that you enjoy the soup!

  9. Can this be made ahead of time and reheated?

    • Yes, we think that would be fine (just slowly and gently re-heat it on the stove, so the egg doesn’t get tough).

  10. I like to make Heston Blumenthals slow cooked chicken, but it always leaves me with a lot of surplus chicken meat and off course the whole carcaus. So I was thinking that a chicken soup of some sort was in order and this seems perfect.

  11. Do you have the serving size and nutritional information for the hot and sour soup?

    • Hi Julia! 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!

  12. This is a fantastic recipe!

  13. Amazing!  I have been looking for a simple recipe for this soup. It is so delicious. I made it the first time with white wine vinegar because it was all I had. While good it just wasn’t it. I made it the right way the second time and oh boy it is so good. Thank you.

  14. I couldn’t find any chili garlic sauce in my asian aisle at the grocery store. I only found plain chili sauce. I ended up adding garlic powder & chili powder & cayenne pepper instead, but it was still missing the heat! Would the plain chili sauce have worked? Or should I have added white pepper? Other than that, it was awesome!

    • Hi Brittany! The chili garlic sauce we buy is called Sambal Olek. Most groceries carry that one, so we would urge you to look for that if you can, otherwise the plain chili garlic sauce will probably suffice. We hope this helps for next time!

    • I’ve noticed that some groceries stores have it with their brand of Sriracha sauces! Look near the hot sauce at your store instead of the Asian section. That’s where I found it.

  15. Looks delicious! Can i use beef/pork stock instead of chicken? Thanks

  16. Love this recipe! You’re entire site is beautiful :)

  17. For those curious about a gluten free option for soy sauce, Braggs liquid amino acids are gluten free and delicious. Haha
    I’m totally making this next week.

  18. I made this last night using your recipe exactly and it was so very good even better than what I get at a restaurant.
    I have never used tofu but I used it in this and liked it. Thanks for a great recipe.

  19. Love it that you made everything looks easy with all the goodness and deliciousness. Made some and everybody loved it. This will now be my No. 1 soup to make on every gathering! Thanks for sharing!❤

  20. Hello. I used to make this soup quite often and mislaid the chinese cookbook with my favourite recipe for it. this looks very close. I w ould advocate some bamboo shoots though fot flavour. Also my recipe called for about 1/4 lb pork mince whichthe butcher would do especially for me. It is ages since I have made it but I would have thought that the pork would have gone into the soup earlier in the process.
    I introduced a friend of mine to this soup at a local chinese restaurant and Anthony has flagged it to me via facebook with your recipe
    Looking forward to trying it again
    The recipe I lost was in a chinese book ttranslated from chinese by a family friend and this is the closest Ive come to it
    Ps I think there may have been some preserved turnip in with the pork
    If you have a very friendly butcher it is even better with a mixture of pork and veal mince
    Many thanks, Carol Simon

    • Hi Carol, thanks for sharing with us! We hope you can give this recipe a try sometime and that it reminds you of your favorite!

  21. Egg drop and hot and sour soup, while yummy, are not remotely vegetarian because they are made with chicken stock or broth. If a vegetarian eats it they will likely throw up and have stomach upset. Anything an animal (including fish and birds) died to create is not vegetarian. Just wanted to respectfully point that out before someone cooks it for a vegetarian guest. Thank you!  Good recipes though!

    • Hi Melissa! We state in the recipe that you can use vegetable stock or chicken stock (if using vegetable stock, the recipe is vegetarian). Since it does have eggs, it’s not vegan, but it is vegetarian, but feel free to leave the eggs out if you prefer!

  22. Question about the eggs? Do you mix before pouring in with the egg yolk.
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Meagan! Yes, you want the eggs to be whisked already before adding them to the soup. We hope you enjoy!

  23. I’ll try to make it ! I always eat this soup in Hokkaido resto!! I loved it Thank you for sharing❤️❤️❤️

  24. In my recipe box. Very good base and the suggestions are all good. I added siracha to up the spice and definitely added more rice wine vinegar.

  25. The best hot and sour soup ever . Even better than the restaurants

  26. Turned out wonderfully! I make this all the time because it’s just so easy to make and comforting to eat.

  27. This was amazing tysm!!! Always wanted to make at home but thought it would be too hard! Only few changes added more rice vinegar and while the broth was boiling and inch of ginger cut in half ( one side we love ginger )Then added pork used thin cut pork loin chops . Pounded paper thin and julienned them while broth boiling drop in boil till cooked very easy ! THis is now a family fav!! Ty

    • Thank you so much, Lelly, we’re thrilled that you and your family enjoyed it so much! :)

  28. I used to ate this,when i was working in a chinese restaurant(somewhere in greenhills)it’s yummier when sprinkled with chinese black vinegar before eaten…the last time we dine at fine chinese resto,was just this may(it was mother’s day).i ordered hot and sour soup,however it was sold out.so we ordered fish head for our soup.and i’m always searching for the best hot and sour soup in youtube and i think this is it.thank you for sharing this.i will cook this,when i’m not busy.
    Cherrypieingco@gmail.com

  29. There are a lot of different versions of this recipe, but this one is nice because you don’t have to search for unusual ingredients. I don’t know that it is exactly authentic, but it’s delicious. I made it exactly as written- with the bamboo shoots, and adjusting both the rice vinegar and chili garlic sauce to my liking. It has a perfect amount of broth to other ingredients, and is a substantial, filling soup. It’s a keeper.

  30. Can u freeze it

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

  31. Thanks for the recipe. One question regarding the ginger. Is is the fresh kind or the powdered spice. It’s one of my favorites and would love to make it soon. Thanks

    • Hi Trish! We used ground ginger (the powdered spice). We hope you can try this soon and that you enjoy it!

  32. This looks so yummy. Can you freeze it?

    • I actually wouldn’t recommend freezing this one, as the texture will be different after the tofu and cornstarch have frozen. But you can keep it in the fridge for a few days! Hope that helps! :)

  33. I love that this recipe comes together so quickly with just a few simple ingredients. I used liquid aminos to replace soy sauce and keep it gluten free. Definitely making this again!

  34. Absolutely fantastic recipe!!

  35. Just made this for dinner, and it is delicious! I used baby bellas, chicken stock, tofu, bamboo shoots, and I added a little extra chili garlic sauce and vinegar. It comes together so quickly, and the flavor is restaurant quality. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  36. Well I made this today with some minor modifications. I only made a small batch for one person, so I used 2 cups of Swanson chicken stock, plus 2 cups of the mushrooms. I omitted the ginger root and sesame oil, and the bamboo shoots because I didn’t have any. For the meat I used some frozen ‘Steak-Um” and • I diced 1 patty of the Steak-Um, and quickly browned it for 1 minute only in butter. • I cut the tofu into two ½ inch slices, then diced it. I basically followed the rest of the recipe.
    • This soup was not like any hot & sour soup I ever had in any of the many Chinese places I have eaten in. My broth was cloudy rather then clear, and my beaten egg did not turn out stringy as it should have. It was cloudy.
    • Bottom line: The soup turned out SUPERB the way I made it. Just the right amount of Hot & Sour taste. The overall flavor was very good. I won’t change a thing the next time I make it.

  37. Absolutely fantastic!! A new family favourite

  38. This is the best recipe!!!! I made my own chicken broth and left out the shoots. I def recommend it. Thanks❤️

  39. This is my new favorite recipe y’all. I have been using an overly complicated recipe that was as good as this, but took me hours instead of minutes. This is a weekly staple for me – make it on sunday and bring a few to work during the week. Thanks!

  40. Made this delicious Hot & Sour soup this evening for my mom and I. It turned out amazing!!! We both were quite pleasantly suprised by how outstanding it was!

    I did make some changes, because I seem to always do that when I cook. Haha I also did that because I have a severe allergy to mushrooms, so I wanted to bump up the flavor profile even if it was missing the mushrooms.
    So I added: baby corn, water chestnuts, the bamboo shoots, chopped tomato and 4 eggs to really give it a nice rich silky texture.

    As I said above, it turned out wonderful! Thank you for such an unbelievable recipe for one of my absolute favorite soups! That one doubt was and is better then any one I’ve had in a restaurant!!!!

  41. Nice and easy was happy with my first attempt with this recipe

  42. Made this last night–the vegetarian version as directed–and it was delicious! We did add more vinegar and chili garlic sauce to taste (more chili for us, less for the kids), and used the baby bella mushrooms, and it was a big hit. The only change we made was to use fresh grated ginger instead of powdered since we had it on hand, but it’s great that the recipe calls for pantry ingredients. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe–I love that it is quick and easily made with things we have on hand.

  43. Loved this soup. I made it with pork and used both ground ginger and some grated fresh ginger. I had chili paste so I added a half of a garlic clove, crushed. This soup was easy and delivious.

  44. This recipe is fantastic! Thank you! I really appreciate your tips at the end too.

  45. With a base of chicken stock, this is not a vegetarian soup. I first made it with vegetable stock, but the flavor was off by quite a lot. Next batch, using chicken stock, was better.
    Pour the beaten egg over very hot soup, let the egg set up – 30 sec or so – stir once. Constant stirring just blends the egg into the soup vase, making for a cloudy soup.

  46. I loved this! It was just wonderful!

  47. Hi Ali! Can you tell me., do the eggs get fully cooked in this soup? I can’t have raw eggs and I’ve never added eggs to soup like this so I wanted to be sure before I tried to make it! Thank you!

  48. Hi!

    So excited to give this recipe a try, but wondering if you could use Siracha instead of the Chili Garlic? Would that work or are the two not interchangable?

    Thank you!!

  49. I can’t wait to try making this. It’s my favorite Chinese restaurant soup, but I’ve never tried to make is myself.