Hot and Sour Soup

5 from 101 votes
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Hot and Sour Soup is a common dish you can find just about any Chinese restaurant. It’s an extremely flavorful soup made with a variety of mushrooms & tofu, and seasoned perfectly a bit of spice from the red pepper and tanginess from the vinegar, with layers of silky egg ribbons floating throughout the soup. It’s a budget friendly Chinese classic that is so delicious!

Hot and Sour soup is super easy to make (done in 20 minutes!) and just as classic as chicken noodle soup in my opinion! If you’re a fan of Hot and Sour soup, you’ll never need to order takeout again after trying this recipe!

hot and sour soup in a pot

Watch the Hot and Sour Soup Recipe Video Below!

Ingredients for Hot and Sour Soup

This Hot and Sour Soup recipe is comfort in a bowl! Here is what you’ll need for the recipe:

  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar (you can substitute rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp white pepper (you can substitute black pepper)
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce low sodium
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp msg
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Vegetables

  • 12 oz assorted mushrooms I used sliced wood ear, shiitake, and king oyster mushrooms
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 3 dried red chili peppers or 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz firm tofu cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 oz bamboo shoots sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 3 eggs

Cornstarch Slurry

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

INGREDIENTS TIPS

MUSHROOMS
Feel free to use whatever mushrooms you like in this dish. I’m using a variety of shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, and king oyster mushrooms due to their flavor and variety in texture. If you are using dried shiitake mushroom, make sure you rehydrate them with hot water until soft prior to slicing. Some people like to add sliced pork for extra meatiness.

CORNSTARCH SLURRY
This is the KEY ingredient to thickening the soup base. The cornstarch slurry will help thicken the stock to the consistency you like! If you like the soup thinner, add less, but if you like an extra thick soup add a little more! You can always adjust with more chicken broth if the ratio is off.

Hot and Sour Soup: Recipe Instructions

1. Prep your ingredients

This soup does not take long to make, and most of the work is prepping the ingredients. Slice the tofu, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots into strips. Next, beat 3 eggs along with a tablespoon of water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing together 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water.

For some spice, I’m using 3 dried red chilis, but you can omit them or adjust the spice level to your preference.

prepped ingredients on a cutting board

2. Fry the chilis

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 1/2 tbsp of neutral oil over medium heat and add the chilis. Infuse the chilis in the oil for about a minute until they release their flavor into the oil, then remove the chilis from the pot.

frying chili peppers in oil

3. Add the chicken broth and season the soup

Next, add 8 cups of a high quality chicken broth or stock (I always use Kettle & Fire – get 20% off your order when you use code CJPINS!). Turn the heat up to high and season with white pepper, salt to taste, sugar, msg, light & dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. The broth with turn a dark brown color like the photo below.

seasoned broth in a pot

4. Add the mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots

To the broth, add in your sliced mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots. Mix those in and cover to bring the soup to a boil.

Mushrooms and tofu added to a pot

5. Add the cornstarch slurry

Once the soup comes to a boil, give your cornstarch slurry a final mix to pick up any cornstarch that has sunk to the bottom of your mixture, then pour in the slurry. Mix until the broth has thickened to your preference.

adding cornstarch slurry to the soup

6. Form the egg ribbons

Now that the soup has thickened, turn the heat to low. Slowly pour in the beaten egg in a thin stream while simultaneously mixing the soup and egg with a ladle or spoon in a circular motion. If done correctly, you will begin to see the egg form silky egg ribbons throughout the soup that gives Hot and Sour soup its signature look!

7. Garnish and serve!

To finish the soup, add the white vinegar along with freshly chopped scallions. Give the soup a final mix and adjust for any seasoning if needed. Serve it up and enjoy!

hot and sour soup in a pot

If you liked this Hot and Sour soup recipe, check out some of the most popular Chinese Take-Out recipes on the blog!

hot and sour soup in a bowl

RECIPE TIPS

SUCCESS IS IN THE PREP
For a recipe that comes together extremely quickly, the key to pulling this recipe off successfully is having your ingredients prepped and in bowls right next to your pot!

SILKY EGG TECHNIQUE
When adding the egg into the soup, make sure the egg is being poured in a steady stream from the bowl, ideally using a ladle in the other hand to stir the soup as the egg is being poured. This will help create those restaurant style silky ribbons rather than clumped up scrambled eggs!

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5 from 101 votes

Hot and Sour Soup

Servings: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
hot and sour soup in a pot
Better than takeout Hot and Sour Soup! This rich and flavorful soup is packed with wood ear mushrooms, tofu, and silky egg with a bit of spice and tang to make for an incredible comfort meal!

Ingredients 

Vegetables

  • 12 oz assorted mushrooms, I used sliced wood ears mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and king oyster mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 dried red chilis, or 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz firm tofu, cut into 1" pieces
  • 4 oz bamboo shoots, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 3 eggs

Cornstarch Slurry

Instructions 

  • Slice vegetables and tofu and set aside. Mix together cornstarch slurry and beat eggs in two separate bowls.
  • Heat wok or heavy bottomed pot on high and add 1/2 tbsp of oil. Add chilis and saute for 1 minute and remove once the chilis have infused in the oil.
  • In the pot, pour in 8 cups of chicken stock and season with white pepper, sugar, msg, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix and season with salt to taste.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and tofu and mix well. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Uncover the pot and mix in the cornstarch slurry and stir until the broth has thickened to your preference.
  • Turn heat to low, then pour in the beaten egg in a steady stream into the soup while simultaneously mixing the soup with a ladle to form egg ribbons throughout the soup
  • Add 3 tbsp of white vinegar and additional sesame oil to taste. Mix together, garnish with green onions and serve.

Notes

If you are using dried shiitake mushrooms, be sure to rehydrate them in hot water until they’re soft before slicing the mushrooms.
For the egg ribbons, my key tip here is to stir the soup in a circular motion and slowly pour in a thin, steady stream of egg. Ensure the soup is not too hot (test a small amount of egg to see if the ribbons form correctly) – this is another reason for less than ideal egg ribbons!

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 15gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 996mgPotassium: 412mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 171IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating




96 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was trying to attach a picture, but am unsure how to do so. I’m wondering if my soup was to hot or to cold. My egg did not make ribbons but diluted the color of the soup. The soup seemed to absorb the egg, you can’t see any egg. Can anyone advise what I did wrong?

    I mixed the slurry as directed but my soup seems very thin and runny compared to the local restaurant. The local restaurants soup will congeal when cold. Any advise here?

    The soup is still good but doesn’t have the same flavor as the local restaurant.

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of the best Hot and sour soups I’ve tried! It’s super easy and packed with flavor! You have to try it!