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!
- 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (or baby bella mushrooms), thinly-sliced with stems discarded
- 1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained (optional)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 8 ounces firm tofu*, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Kosher salt and white pepper (or black pepper)
- Set aside ¼ cup of the chicken or vegetable broth for later use.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.