Hot and Sour Soup


September 26, 2023

Chinese Main Dishes Recipes Soups Tastier Than Takeout

Hot and Sour Soup is a common dish you can find just about any Chinese restaurant. It’s an extremely flavorful soup filled with a variety of mushrooms & tofu, and seasoned perfectly a bit of spicy 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!

If you’re a fan of Hot and Sour soup, you’ll never need to order takeout again after trying this recipe!

Watch the Hot and Sour Soup Recipe Video Below!

hot and sour soup in a pot

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 – I always recommend Kettle & Fire – use code CJPINS for 20% off your order here!
  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp white 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


  • 12 oz assorted mushrooms I used sliced wood ear, shiitake, and king oyster mushrooms
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 3 dried red chilis or 1 tsp of red chili 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


Feel free to use whatever mushrooms you like in this dish. I’m using a variety of shiitake, wood ear, and king oyster mushrooms due to their flavor and variety in texture.

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

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

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

Mix the Hot and Sour Soup Sauce

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

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

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

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. 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!

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


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!

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!

hot and sour soup in a pot

Hot and Sour Soup

Better than takeout Hot and Sour Soup! This rich and flavorful soup is packed with mushrooms, tofu, and silky egg with a bit of spice and tang to make for an incredible comfort meal!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp white 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


  • 12 oz assorted mushrooms I used sliced wood ear, shiitake, and king oyster mushrooms
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 3 dried red chilis or 1 tsp of red chili 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


  • 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.
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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is fire! I loooove hot and sour soup but have never had the courage to make it. Your recipe changes all that. Followed the recipe, with only one adjustment . . . Had no bamboo shoots so just added wood-ear mushrooms. Love the great combinations of flavors. Better than takeout! Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    Such a good recipe! Just made it for the first time and its really amazing! I felt the need to add a little extra chili flakes at the end as the chili oil didn’t make it spicy enough for me, but overall I’m so happy! It was easy to make and I will definitely be adding this to my regular recipes. Thank you so much!