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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”

  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.

    • What kind of chicken cut did you use and how/when did you incorporate it into the soup?

    • Do you still use the egg when you make it with the noodles? If yes when do you add the egg?

    • Great recipe! I’ve made it twice now. I had to adjust the red chili sauce. I don’t know if my chili sauce is hotter or if you just like more spice. All around great flavor!

  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!

    • So delicious! Couldn’t find a good chili garlic paste so ended up substituting some Sriracha (a lot of Sriracha) and dried sambal chilis which are technically Indian but delicious anyway. Added extra rice vinegar and it really enhanced it. Will be making again!

    • 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?

    • I was so excited to try this. Yesterday afternoon I started it to have for dinner. It was so quick— I had it for lunch too!

      I rarely cook anymore because all my kids are out of the house. But, this recipe is so delicious and quick I will make it a lot after COVID!

  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. I’m making this today. I’m super excited. I live on hot and sour soup and would love to save some money making my own, especially if it’s easy. Thank you so much!

  22. Loved this recipe.

  23. Do you have any nutritional info for the hot and sour soup recipe? I like to track

  24. This hot and sour soup is delicious.

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. Can I use dried Chinese black mushrooms rehydrated?

    Thanks!

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

  32. 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!!

  33. 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. ??

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

  35. 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 :)

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

  38. Unless I’m missing it I don’t see an amount for the cornstarch.

  39. I’ve made this recipe twice and love it! I’ve missed out on Hot and Sour Soup most of my life thinking it was hot and sour, and it’s neither! There’s so much to add on to the base recipe if you want to. I tend to add everything I can to make it a full, complete meal. I know..maybe not traditional but..Here’s my list of add-ons: Cooked ground pork, leftover cooked meats like chicken or pork, 2 sliced baby bok choy (so good), another green veg substitute, cooked Chinese noodles like ramen- added at the last minute. I’ve been into tofu lately and drain, slice, and saute with sesame oil and seeds. It’s perfect in the soup! I found the amounts of all the main ingredients in the recipe spot-on. Thank you for this recipe.

    • I can’t say how many times I’ve made this since my first time almost a year ago. . Just made again. It’s definitely a staple in my house any time of year.
      I thank you so much for helping me realize how much I love this soup!! It’s a perfect recipe and I don’t say that lightly.

  40. This turned out so good! My husband and I are both fans of this soup and he is on his 2nd bowl already and told me not to wash his bowl as he wants more later on! I’d say that’s 100%.

  41. I like a sore intense flavor so I doubled the soy sauce and added and extra teaspoon of sesame oil and 1/3 cup of the vinegar and an extra table spoon of the chili sauce

  42. Can I skip the toasted sesame oil? Will it make a big difference in the taste?

  43. Wow, I’ve been looking for a good H&S Soup recipe and this is awesome. I’ve made it twice in a month and I’m making another batch tonight. The only thing I changed is no tofu, double mushrooms, and I use beef broth instead of chicken. I swear it rivals any restaurant that I’ve tried.

  44. This was exactly what my family wanted, authentic, delicious and easy as heck. Thanks gimmesomeoven.

  45. I have made this soup twice now, and it is so good, and so simple! Hot and sour soup is what I always get at restaurants, but homemade is even better!! And what a great immune system booster, with the ginger and garlic! I add lots and lots of both, plus cayenne or crushed red pepper. Thanks!!

  46. Made this recipe last night. It was amazing! My husband and I love hot and sour soup but with what is going on in our world right now we are avoiding restaurant eating. I saw this recipe and had most of the ingredients so thought I would try it. We like our hot and sour soup really spicy so I increased the hot level. I also did not have fresh green onions and the store was out. So I substituted fried onions, as we have been to a restaurant that used these. I think it would be better with the green onions but the soup was so amazingly good. I am so happy we found this recipe. I will be making many more times. Thank you for sharing!

  47. Great!!
    Also try
    NON VEG HOT AND SOUR SOUP

  48. I don’t have rice vinegar, will any other vinegar work? I have balsamic and regular white vinegar. I want to make this today so hopefully someone can help me out asap :)

  49. I have made this soup probably four times now. It is fantastic! My husband and I love the egg ribbons. I have made it many times exactly as stated in the recipe and very much enjoyed the results. It is good with and without the scallions.

    This is an easy weeknight soup. Very little chopping and everything just goes straight in the one pot.

  50. This soup is flavorless without jazzing it up. I would suggest not using shiitake and go with the Bellas. I made this without egg so it was a vegan soup. Will not make this soup again.