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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

526 comments on “Hot and Sour Soup”

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  1. This soup is amazing and simple, thank you so much!!!

  2. Loved the flavors! Some notes for next time (not enough to deduct a star). Didn’t have near enough heat for my taste…added 2 Tbsp instead of 1 tsp of the garlic chili sauce. Holy mother of god, that 1:1 mix of cornstarch may work for everyone but me, i couldn’t get it to mix together. A 3:1 broth:starch ratio was ok, but majorly thick paste. All in all, a keeper going into the rotation. Thanks! Note to self: a bix of tofu does not last 3 years past it’s “sell by” date. Delish anyway.

  3. I have made this recipe twice now and both times it has turned out great! Very happy with the results. Added a little extra soy sauce and chili garlic sauce. Will make it again.
    Thanks!

  4. sooooo good! used zoup! veggie broth as my base,
    added reconstituted shitake and oyster mushrooms to the broth with softened onions and garlic. added fresh shiitakes and oyster shrooms, shichimi togarashi as well.
    ran out of rice vinegar and still needed more sour, so squeezed in a half lime. white pepper makes all the dif
    and so glad to have more for work lunches!
    bin appétit!

  5. I never thought about making this soup but I had a craving and needed it! This was perfect and simple yet so tasty!

  6. Made this tonight, with just a few adjustments to the vinegar and chili paste (I like it hotter and sourer). This was amazing! My wife said it was the best hot and sour soup she’s ever had, and she ate an enormous bowl of it, as did I! I will be making this many times, I’m sure! THANK YOU.

  7. I was skeptical… but it’s true. This is, hands DOWN, the best Hot n Sour soup I’ve ever had. I used both pork and tofu and even threw in the shoots. I used a third of a cup of vinegar because I love the sour part of Hot n Sour and it wasn’t overbearing. Exactly the right amount.

    Thank you so much for this recipe!

  8. Made this tonight… Really lovely… needed to up the chilli and the vinegar, but overall,great and so easy to follow my 7 year old helped me all the way! She even liked the taste too!

    Just a quick question… is this ok to freeze including the tofu and the eggs? I don’t want to have to always waste the soup… Hate wasting anything, but especially somethings so tasty!

  9. Made this tonight and it was delicious, and I was so surprised that it was so quick from start to finish. Often in restaurants it is made with beef stock, or has bits of pork, so as a vegetarian I can’t eat it. Thank you, Ali!

  10. This soup was excellent we really enjoyed it. I used canned mushrooms & water chestnuts because that’s what I had on hand. I follwed the instructions exactly . I find that the soup didn’t thickened much , however the flavor was great. Will be serving it to company this weekend . Thanks for a great recipe !!

  11. Wonderful taste however I could not get the cornstarch to clarify. My soup came out cloudy and I am not sure what I did incorrect. Ideas?

  12. Yummy

  13. So excited to try this at home and make it for my family. Any alternative options to cornstarch though? I’m not a fan of it. Or if I don’t use it, would it be best to just leave it out entirely without a substitute? Thank you!

    • You could try potato starch. They sell it in Asian grocery stores.

    • Aley, I used arrowroot starch. Also, someone talked of the soup being cloudy the starch does that. I didn’t find that it really “thickened” the soup but after you add all ingredients it kind of does. I thought the soup was so easy and good. I used shredded chicken in place of tofu or pork.

  14. This recipe was fantastic! I’ll be making it again for my in-laws.

  15. Great easy recipe. Authentic restaurant taste. I added matchstick carrots as well and did not add any additional salt or pepper. I do need to work on my technique for adding the egg.

  16. Yes it was fantastic. I do not like mushrooms but all other ingredients were added and wonderful.

  17. Omg I didn’t think it could be done, but this recipe is legit! Best hot and sour soup ever!!

  18. Meant to leave 5 stars…

  19. Quivk and delicious! It has become a weekly favorite! This soup is packed with fresh ingredients and flavor. It is a great meal to prepare when you need something quick and filling. Whether you stick with tofu or substitute with chicken, it’s a winner!

  20. This is awesome 5 stars it is

  21. OMG! Amazing!!! Thank you for this simple and delicious recipe. It was so good! And so easy!

  22. I’ve made this recipe several times. It’s now my go-to when I get a craving for hot & sour soup! Highly recommend.

  23. Made this recipe last night to satisfy my craving on a rainy night for a bowl of hot and sour soup. This was such an easy recipe and delicious!!! Thank you !

  24. So I guess we are never ordering hot and sour soup out again. My husband says its better than any restaurant. Super easy. Had most of ingredients on hand. Like that I can make it as hot or sour as we prefer. Yummy! Will definitely make again.

  25. AMAZING!! I am really picky when it comes to Hot and Sour soup! This is excellent. I did add the extra vinegar as you suggested as well as some red pepper flakes. All I can say is that this is a definite keeper and I will be making this over and over and over!!

  26. I will never buy another bowl this soup is so much better

  27. I’ve made this at least five times and it never disappoints. The BEST hot and sour soup ever. Thank you!

  28. It was tasty, due to using dry mushrooms and dry tofu sticks, may have had too much water. Took a long time to thicken.

  29. Not as sour or as spicy as traditional Chinese soup.

    Also, the bamboo shoots are NOT optional….it is essential to the soup. But this recipe is an ok start.

  30. Delicious and easy!! Happened to have most ingredients on hand except I only had one green onion, but it turned out great. I used firm silken tofu, which I thought tasted great in this soup. Thank you very much for this recipe! I will definitely be making it again. May try freezing a jar of it – has anyone had any luck with that?

  31. I have made it 4 times now. First 3 times I made it more sour and more spicy. This last time I followed the recipe exactly as written. My guests loved it and had two servings each but it wasn’t zingy enough for me. After my guests left I added more vinegar and chili sauce to bring it up to my taste. For me it was a complete success at supper and my leftovers were even better. Tofu not pork. Bamboo shoots. About 10 oz. of mushrooms to stretch the recipe. This recipe is THE BEST! I’ll have a hard time finding a restaurant that serves a comparable soup. – A

  32. Simple and delicious

  33. I made this tonight, terrific! I doubled the mushrooms and sriracha and upped the ginger. I live 20 miles from any place I could get this, and this recipe is great. Wish I had tofu but it was good with chicken

  34. This is better than any hot and sour soup I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant! I tweaked it just a bit to my desired hotness and sourness (more is better). I took some to my daughter and she agreed that it was so goo, she ate two large bowls at one time. I am making another batch today, it’s that good!

  35. This recipe is great and so easy! I’ve made hot and sour soup the ‘traditional way’ before and it takes so many ingredients that you have to buy… I had nearly everything on hand for this recipe and it is even better than traditional! I didn’t have tofu or meat, I just used mushrooms and green onions and the flavor is spot on. I agree with upping the vinegar (I used white) and chili paste. Don’t turn your back on the eggs ribbons until they’re cooked, I did and I ended up with up with big pieces of egg in the soup, my fault though; recipe is great!!

  36. This turned out absolutely delicious! Just the right amount of thickness!

    I tend to like mine a little hotter and more sour, so I added a touch more of the chili garlic sauce. In addition, I added these tiny mushrooms I love called enoki mushrooms which add a wonderful texture.

    I have been ordering hot and sour soup from every restaurant in town in hopes of finding one that tastes like this. Now I know I can make a better version myself!

    Will definitely be making this again. Simple, authentic and delicious flavors.

  37. Follow-up to my last comment, forgot to mention:
    -I doubled both the chili and vinegar and it tasted just right to me
    -I used tapioca starch instead of corn starch because I couldn’t find corn starch at my local Asian market. The ratio is to use 2x more tapioca starch to 1 part corn starch.

    Question: I teach a vegan cooking class and I want to make a version of this recipe. Any ideas of a vegan substitute that would give a similar outcome to egg?

    Thank you!

    • You’ve probably figured this out by now – it’s been a year – but for others – JUST egg is a terrific egg substitute made of mung beans. I’m going to try it in this soup tonight.

    • Yuba (tofu skin) is a great substitute for the egg!

  38. Made this last night and we loved it. Per your notes, we added pork belly instead of tofu. We have not tried anything like this recipe and we really enjoyed it. We will make it again. It was so quick and easy and delicious.

  39. What a great, simple recipe! It is the best hot & dour soup that I’ve ever eaten. I must admit that I used twice the amount of mushrooms; 1 Tbsp of the chili-garlic sauce; the bamboo shoots; pork instead of tofu; and I added two carrots cut into matchsticks with the mushrooms. My guests stated that it is a killer recipe!

  40. This recipe is so tasty. I’ve gotten many compliments and have shared this link with friends and family who asked for the recipe. It tastes just like I expect in a good restaurant. I have tried with multiple types of mushrooms and prefer baby Bella in this recipe. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!

  41. This soup is so delicious. I added twice as much Sriracha because I like it spicy

  42. This calls for two eggs. is that two whole eggs, not just whites?

  43. Yum! Made this last night for dinner with some chicken breast sliced thin and rice on the side for add ins if the family wanted. I will definitely be making this again! Too easy and I usually have everything in the fridge or pantry for it! I just moved to an area where it snows and winters can be, well wintery. This is now going into my recipe box for good! Definitely a belly warmer without worrying about calories or fat.

  44. Fantastic

  45. Thank you so very much. One of my favorites.

  46. I can’t find the amounts of each ingredient that goes into this soup.
    Can’t rate it because I haven’t made it yet.
    Please help or direct me to the amount of each ingredients needed.
    Thank you

  47. This was AMAZING. Do you think it would freeze well?

  48. This soup was a hit with the family! Totally different flavor, but it grew on us quickly and we all had seconds. Thank you!! Tastyyyy

  49. AMAZING!! if you’re thinking about trying this recipe, just go ahead and do it – you won’t regret it! My parents are living with us while their house is being built and my dad can be a picky eater, I made this and he LOVED it – said it was the best hot and sour soup he ever had and tasted so much cleaner than takeout. I nearly tripled the recipe and four of us ate big bowls two days in a row – delicious!!!!