Hot and Sour Soup

The weather here in central Illinois has been a bit crazy. From sunny and highs in the upper 70’s one day to cool and dreary 50’s the next. When the cool weather starts to set in I crave warming soups like nobody’s business. Hot and Sour Soup has to be one of my favorite soups, unfortunately I have not been able to find a great Chinese restaurant here in Peoria. (If you know of any please let me know! ;)) Since I have been going through hot and sour soup withdrawal I have been searching for a recipe to make in my own kitchen. Many of the recipes that I have found called hard to find ingredients such as wood ear mushrooms, cloud ear mushrooms and day lily buds. I am all about ingredients that I don’t have to order online and receive six pounds of. I should have looked at the Cook’s Illustrated recipe first because they always have easy to find ingredients. This recipe includes easy to find shiitake mushrooms (no cloud ears here!) and substitutes if you cannot find black Chinese vinegar in your local store. This soup was incredible and surprisingly easy to make! It is also low in calories and high in protein which is always a plus. 🙂 Want to make a full Chinese meal in your home tonight? Check out some of my favorite Chinese dishes here.

One Year Ago: Brown Sugar Meatloaf 

Hot and Sour Soup

Printer Friendly Version


  • 7 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, plus an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons, divided
  • 1 boneless, center-cut, pork loin chop (1/2 inch thick, about 6 ounces), trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch by 1/8-inch matchsticks
  • 3 tablespoons cold water, plus 1 additional teaspoon
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots (from one 5-ounce can), sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 1 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons black Chinese vinegar or 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 medium scallions, sliced thin


  1. Place tofu in pie plate and set heavy plate on top. Place 2 heavy cans on top of the plate and let stand at least 15 minutes (tofu should release about 1/2 cup liquid).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Add the pork and set aside for at least 10 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes).
  3. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water; set aside, leaving spoon in bowl.
  4. In a separate small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with remaining 1 teaspoon water in small bowl; add egg and beat with fork until combined; set aside.
  5. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the bamboo shoots and mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are just tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. While the broth is simmering, dice tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Add tofu and pork, (including marinade) to soup, stirring to separate any pieces that stick together. Continue to simmer until pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
  7. Stir cornstarch mixture to recombine. Add to soup and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens and turns translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, chili oil, pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce; turn off heat.
  8. Without stirring the soup, use a soupspoon to slowly drizzle very thin streams of egg mixture into pot in circular motion. Let soup sit 1 minute, then return saucepan to medium-high heat. Bring soup to gentle boil, then immediately remove from heat. Gently stir soup to evenly distribute egg. Ladle into bowls and top with scallions.

Yields: 6 to 8 servings as an appetizer

Source: Cook’s Illustrated, January, 2006

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Main Dish, Soup and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Hot and Sour Soup

  1. Looks great! There was a sign this morning at the bank that said enjoy fall and the thermostat next to it said 68. That means it’ll probably be in the 80s. Everytime I make soup I pick the wrong day!

  2. Judy says:

    I am loving all the soup recipes popping up everywhere! Am making soups on Thursday every week for plenty of leftovers on Sundays (I don’t cook on Sundays). Here’s another one to add to the list 🙂

  3. Caroline says:

    I’m craving soup as we speak! I just got three cavities filled at the dentist (ick), therefore, the left side of my mouth is completely numb. I figure soup is my best bet for lunch. Though, I don’t think the soup I’m about to order is going to be half as delicious as yours!

  4. My in-laws would LOVE this soup!

  5. The Teenage Taste says:

    Hot and sour soup is my go-to soup at chinese restaurants! I’m a spicy foods kind-of gal!
    Thanks for posting the recipe. I never even thought of making it myself! 🙂

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    I have loved this soup for ages and never once thought to look up a recipe for it. I just assumed it was beyond my reach. Your recipe proves me wrong and I can’t wait to make some. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Oh I can’t wait to try this soup at home. Here at Madrid we are having these rainy days that scream for a good, hot, spicy bowl of soup like this.
    Thanks for a great recipe.

  8. rumpydog says:

    Yum! Jen is gonna make that!

  9. Declared my own soup-freakness on my own blog this week! Must try this!!

  10. Sour soup? I haven’t tried a sour soup yet. I need to give this a try and I’ll comment again after I am finish whipping this up.

  11. Oh my gosh this soup looks AMAZING. I love this!!

  12. My husband orders this every time we have Chinese , but I have never made it for him! Great recipe, Thanks!

  13. I love this soup but have never made it. I think I could just about get hold of (or make do) the ingredients for this lovely recipe!

  14. Pingback: General Tso’s Chicken | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  15. Pingback: Soup’s On! A Soup Roundup! | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  16. Hope says:

    I just made this after trying the “packaged” soup. This soup is AMAZING!!! I think it tastes like the chinese soup I always get when ordering out! And it makes enough for leftovers….if there is any!!!!!!

  17. Pingback: Valentine’s Day, Take 1 – Recipe: Hot and Sour Soup | Cooking for My Kids

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s