Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

Hot & Sour Soup

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Wonton soup, egg drop soup and hot and sour soup make up the triad of classic Chinese takeout soups. Hot & Sour Soup is everyone’s go-to when craving something savoury, spicy and of course, sour.

What is Hot & Sour Soup?

You can order it at almost every Chinese restaurant in North America. It’s hard to believe that some people still don’t know what hot and sour soup is. Just in case you don’t know, it’s a very popular soup hailing from Asian cuisine. Most commonly seen in Chinese restaurants, the recipe was westernized and became a classic Chinese takeout dish.

Its iconic taste is unique and there isn’t anything else quite like it. Thick and rich, the broth is packed with flavour and uses fresh ingredients like pork, tofu, dried lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots and beaten eggs.

Hot & Sour Soup Around the World

Since it’s widely available globally, there is going to be variation in the recipe. Some recipes are completely vegetarian while others use pork or chicken broth. In Japan, a dashi broth is used instead.

The soup can be vegetarian but there is usually some protein along with the other solid ingredients. Tofu, shrimp and strips of chicken or pork are popular options.

To get its distinct sour taste, the soup uses vinegar. It is the one common ingredient that is a must for the perfect hot and sour soup. As for the spice, your options are more flexible but Sichuan chilli peppers are the best choice.

About This Recipe

You can tweak this recipe to your own taste. If you like things a little more sour feel free to add more vinegar. Just add small amounts at a time to make sure you don’t make it too sour. You can adjust any of the other seasonings as well to your taste.

As for the solid ingredients, you can essentially add anything you’d like to the soup. The ones used in this recipe are the standard ingredients you’d find in the traditional recipe.

Hot and sour soup is one of the easiest takeout recipes to make. Make it for lunch, dinner or as a snack! Let us know what you think of our recipe on our social media. Don’t forget to try our other popular Chinese takeout recipes like Chicken Chow Mein or Pineapple Fried Rice. Now let’s get started!


Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

Wonton soup, egg drop soup and hot and sour soup make the triad of classic Chinese takeout soups. Hot & Sour Soup is everyone’s go-to when craving something savoury, spicy and of course, sour.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese, hot and sour, noodle soup, vegetarian
Servings: 4


  • cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ cup dried lily flowers
  • ¼ cup dried woodear mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 8 oz firm tofu
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1-2 dried red chilli peppers
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp white pepper powder
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt, (or to taste)
  • 1 stalk green onion

Optional Marinate:

  • ½ lb pork loin or chicken breast
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp cornstarch


  • Begin by prepping all the ingredients. Gently rinse the dried ingredients off with some water and then place them into a large bowl. Soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes or until them become soft and tender.
  • Once rehydrated, slice the shiitake mushrooms into strips. Remove the tough ends of the lily flowers and wood ear mushrooms. Chop the wood ear mushrooms into slices as well.
  • Slice your pork loin or chicken breast into thin strips. Then add it into a bowl along with ½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ tablespoon cornstarch. Mix well and let it marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Cube your tofu into bite-sized pieces and julienne the carrot into thin strips. Slice the green onion and set aside for garnish later.
  • Cut the dried chillies in half and remove the seeds. After mince them finely.
  • Bring the 6 cups of water to a slow boil in a pot over medium-high heat.
  • Once boiling, add in your prepared shiitake mushrooms, lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, carrots and cubed tofu. Let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • After, add in the soy sauce, dried chillies, white vinegar and white pepper powder and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir to mix everything together.
  • Add in your marinated pork or chicken to the soup. Stir well to prevent the meat from sticking together.
  • Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water and mix until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add it into the soup and stir it in. Let everything simmer for 2 minutes. This will help thicken the soup.
  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Carefully pour it into the soup while stirring. The egg should look scattered instead of clotted or clumped together.
  • Add the sesame oil and stir in. after, add salt to taste if needed and adjust the seasoning to your taste. You can add more vinegar or pepper.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with green onion. Hot and sour soup is best served fresh. Enjoy!

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