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Feb 12, 2007 01:46 PM

Hot and Sour Soup recipe request

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

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  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.