HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Hot and Sour Soup recipe request

Whats your favorite recipe?
Also, is it detremental to not add the tofu?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't have a recipe, I have a a method.
    You can add all or any combination of the following: wood ear mushroom, firm tofu stiprs, pork/chicken, scallion, egg, bamboo shoots.

    Cut the meat into strips, marinated with some soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. Stir fry that in some hot oil, which it's cooked, stir in your veggies and everything except the egg. Stir fry for some time, then add in your chicken broth. Add in soy sauce, hot sauce and black vinegar to taste,

    Bring to a boil and turn off the fire. Crack an egg into a bowl and scramble it and pour all at once into the soup and give it a big stir so the egg 'flowers'.

    Garnish with scallion and serve.

    2 Replies
    1. re: OnceUponABite

      No corn starch huh? Is the soup brothy or does the egg thicken sufficiently?

      1. re: laylag

        hehe, I said it's a method not a recipe. Okay, if the amount of soup isn't a lot, then the egg will do enough thickening. If you there is a lot of liquid, then a cornstarch slurry will be helpful. Make a slurry by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoon of cold water, drizzle it into the boiling soup before you add in the egg.

        But adding cornstarch doesn't add taste, it gives body. Some restaurant adds more than others...but sometimes it's a trick to make you think the soup is heartier than it is. If it's home-made and you have it chockful of stuff, then you don't need to thicken it a lot.

    2. If you decide to use lily buds, (some hot and sour soups contain them) be advised that they have a purgative effect. At least for me.

      1. Here is the recipe that I have used for years.


        4 dried mushrooms
        1-2 T ground black pepper
        2 squares fresh bean curd
        2 T cider vinegar
        ½ cup bamboo shoots
        3 T cornstarch (dissolved in cold water)
        ¼ lb pork, may add more
        1 qt chicken stock
        1 egg lightly beaten
        1 T soy sauce
        ¼ cup tiger lily buds (golden needles)
        ¼ cup wood ears (cloud ears)
        2 t sesame oil
        1 scallion, minced

        1. Soak the dried mushrooms, wood ears, and golden needles in hot water until soft, about ½ hour. Then remove stems from mushrooms and cut into large shreds. Divide golden needles lengthwise in half by hand. Slice wood ears. Reserve soaking liquid.
        2. Shred bean curd, pork, and bamboo shoots.
        3. Combine in pot the stock, soaking liquid, soy sauce, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, golden needles, pork, and wood ears. Bring to a boil over high, heat. Then immediately reduce the heat to low and cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
        4. Then drop in the bean curd, pepper, and vinegar. Bring to boil again.
        5. Add some soup to the cornstarch mixture to warm it, and then pour it into the soup. Stir until the soup thickens. If it doesn’t within a minute or so, just add more cornstarch paste.
        6. When thickened, slowly pour in the beaten egg, stirring in a figure-eight pattern all, the time to avoid lumps
        7. Just before serving, add sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions.
        NOTE: It is important in this dish to have an equally strong flavor of vinegar and pepper. Keep adding either until you are satisfied with the tartness and spiciness.

        4 Replies
        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

          A word of caution: wood ears apparently contain significant amounts of a rather potent anticoagulant. If you're on prescription anticoagulant drugs, they should not be consumed at all. For all other people, make sure you're not eating them several times a week, as excessive consumption has led to a condition physicians dubbed, "szechuan purpurea" after some asian buffet patrons started developing hematomas. That's why some cookbooks recommend soaking the wood ears separately and discarding the water before using them for a recipe.

          1. re: Pzz

            Pzz, can you source your information for us? My Mom takes prescription anticoagulants and I adore wood ears. The place where we eat buffet lunch at least once a week uses these alot.

            I also think that preserved vegetables are an important ingredient for this soup.

            1. re: Quine

              Here's a mercifully-shortened tinyurl link to a relevant article in the medical journal, "Thrombosis Research":


              There are other similar species that are regularly eaten in Asia, but it appears that they may have similar properties. And why take chances...

              1. re: Pzz

                wow, interesting to know! thanks!

        2. The first Ch. cookbook I ever bought was in college, because it had a likely sounding recipe. I draw the line at the coagulated duck blood, though, don't really fancy scabs in my soup.

          1. My go-to version is modelled on Toronto Chinatown style - vegetable stock, black woods ear fungus, bean sprouts, soft tofu, shitakes, dried lotus blossoms, rice vinegar, Chinese rice wine, and chili oil.

            The local stuff I get where I live now features a meat based broth, egg, adn slivers of congealed pigs blood.

            1. Got to say that the best I've made (and tasted, for that matter, though it was made by someone else) is from James Peterson's book Splendid Soups. A terrific book and a truly delicious soup!

              1. MMMM, I love hot and sour soup. I see the original post date is roughly 4 years ago, but I think there are a lot of great variations out there, and I would love to hear some others.

                Here is mine:

                4-5 cups vegetable stock
                4 cups water
                2-4 tbs good soy sauce (to taste)
                1 small diced yellow onion
                2-3 cloves of garlic
                1 tbs sesame or vegetable oil
                1 carrot
                1 celery stalk
                1/2 cup rice (I like brown rice)
                1/2 14 oz. can of bamboo shoots
                1 14 oz. can cut baby corn
                2 stalks of bok choy
                2 tsp powdered ginger (or 2 slices of fresh)
                2 green onions
                1-3 tsp Sriracha
                1 1/2 tbs jarred lemon grass
                1/2 medium lime

                How to make Hot and Sour Soup

                Heat oil in a large pan on medium high heat

                Add yellow onion. Saute for about 1-2 minutes and add chopped garlic and ginger. Saute about 3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and not burned.

                Add vegetable stock, water, soy sauce, lemon grass, Sriracha, lime juice, and about 1/2 of green onions. Simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes.

                Meanwhile, in a medium pot, cook rice until mostly tender. *Here is where the optional extra cup of vegetable stock comes in. I think it gives the rice more flavor. I also like to add a dash of soy sauce and Sriracha.

                When rice is about 3/4 cooked, add chopped carrot and celery to the stock. Simmer until carrots are cooked. Add rice, bamboo shoots, bok choy and baby carrots to the stock. Simmer until warm and bok choy is tender.

                Serve garnished with the rest of the green onions.

                **Many different vegetables can be added to the recipe depending on your taste.


                I realize it's not very traditional, but I love it! (I don't add tofu because, sadly, my boyfriend is not really a fan...)

                1. Here's a Hot and Sour Soup recipe that we like a lot.
                  We use to eat out a lot just for this soup. Making it at home saves a lot of money. It tastes very close to what you get at a Chinese restaurant. All of these ingredients should be available at most U.S. supermarkets, some in the Asian foods section. The white pepper and sesame oil are the "secret" ingredients that seem to give the authentic taste.

                  Easy Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

                  4 cups of chicken broth
                  4 tablespoons soy sauce
                  1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken or pork (canned chicken ok)
                  1/2 cup drained canned mushrooms (type of your choice), sliced or diced
                  1/4 cup canned bamboo shoots, drained and julienned
                  1/2 tablespoon Thai Chili Garlic Sauce (Tabasco Sauce and a little garlic powder as a substitute is ok)
                  1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
                  2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water
                  1 egg, beaten
                  3 oz firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch dice
                  2 green onion stalks, diced (including green tops)
                  1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
                  1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

                  Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a 2-quart saucepan.
                  Add soy sauce, meat, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, Thai Chili Garlic Sauce and white pepper.
                  -Simmer for five minutes.
                  -Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water in a cup. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to soup and stir well.
                  -Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes until soup is thickened.
                  -Beat egg in a cup until yolk and white are combined. Pour beaten egg slowly, in a fine stream into soup. Stir soup several times.
                  -Wait 30 seconds.
                  -Add tofu and green onions to soup. Stir well. Remove from heat.
                  -Add distilled white vinegar and sesame oil.
                  -Stir a few times and serve.

                  Makes about 4 cups.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Antilope

                    Here's my recipe - i'ts not thickened and glossy like Chinese restaurant style soups. it's my take on the hot and sour soup served at Kosmos Deli in Ann Arbor. I wrote about in detail here http://motherskitchen.blogspot.com/20...

                    Korean style Hot and Sour Soup

                    1 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut in 1/2 in dice
                    4 14 or 15 oz cans reduced sodium chicken broth
                    1 cup grated carrots
                    2 small onions, sliced thin
                    3/4 c. white vinegar
                    10 small Thai chili peppers, diced
                    1 t. fresh ground black pepper

                    1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (I forgot these
                    )1/2 brick extra firm tofu
                    1.4 c. reduced sodium soy sauce

                    Here's how I cooked it - I put the pork and the chicken broth in a crock pot and cooked it for about 4 hours on low. I skimmed off lots of the floaties - Kosmos has floaties in it, too, so I didn't worry too much about getting them all out. I added the carrots, onions, peppers and pepper and let it cook for another 4 hours on low. I then added the tofu and soy sauce, and would probably add the mushrooms and let it cook until the tofu was heated through. It's pretty darn close to what they serve at Kosmo's!

                    1. re: Antilope

                      I just made your soup this evening, and it was DELICIOUS!
                      You're right-- it's very close to what I've experienced in restaurants, and the ingredients (or close approximations) were all available in our local grocery store.
                      Thank you so much!

                      1. re: EdBakesBread

                        You're welcome. When ordering Hot & Sour Soup from restaurants, even the same restaurant, we noticed that the flavor varied. Sometimes we liked it, sometimes we didn't. Now that we make our own, it's always consistent.

                      1. Americas Test Kitchen has a fantastic recipe that I've made many times. Calls for Black Chinese Vinegar (available in most Asian Markets) that really makes it work. I like things spicy, but I found it necessary to cut the white pepper back to 1/4t to 1/3t (but maybe my white pepper was particularly powerful).


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: PoppiYYZ

                          I second the America's Test Kitchen Hot & Sour Soup Recipe. I make it even spicier by adding some Sambal Hot Sauce.