Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

 Are you a Hot and Sour or an Egg Drop person? Seems like that’s the only two soup selections offered in our Americanized Asian restaurants. I order Hot and Sour and quite frankly many times find myself on the receiving end of a heavy gelatinous bowl of brown soup. Other times in higher end establishments, I’ve been served a brothier version, much more flavorful and appealing. At least I feel like I’m getting a bowl of soup that’s been prepared with fresh ingredients, rather than a reheated from a commercially produced canned product.


My search for a homemade version with just the right consistency led me to combine a couple of recipes, and with a tweak or two and the declaration of  “best ever” from the Hubs,  it was promptly added to my database.

Nice and brothy, flavorful with vinegar, kicked up Sriracha,  and with a crunch of matchstick carrots and bamboo shoots, we love it. This batch was especially a treat because when I was shopping for our Thanksgiving meal, Whole Foods had big beautiful orange wings of meaty Chanterelle mushrooms available. I couldn’t wait until I tired of my last bite of turkey to make this and use those mushrooms in this soup. I cut them into chunks, sauteed them in butter then added them in at the last minute.  They had a wonderful fruity and earthy flavor and the meaty texture was divine.

Let’s take a look:

Hot and Sour Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 T. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 T. dry sherry
  • 2 t. soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ t. fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 C. mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in butter
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick size
  • 1-3 ounce can bamboo shoots, rinsed and cut into thinner slices
  • ½ to 1 t. Sriracha sauce, or chili sauce
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 T. water
  • 4 ounces firm tofu, cut into strips
  • 3 green onions sliced thin
  1. In a Dutch oven, bring stock to a boil. Stir in vinegar, sherry, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Clean and slice mushrooms and saute in butter. Add mushrooms, carrot, bamboo shoots and Sriracha sauce to soup. Simmer 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, blend cornstarch and water. Add to soup along with tofu and simmer two minutes longer or until just thickened.
  3. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Hot and Sour Soup…It’s What’s for an Easy Weeknight Dinner.


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  1. says

    Sounds really good Lea Ann – We had some from a box (Knorr’s) our last night in Texas with some smoked chicken we had with us – we’ll have to give the homemade a try. We’re have Asian tonight as bev is making General Tso’s Chicken. I uaually order egg drop and Bev orders hot and sour.

    • Lea Ann says

      I think I’ve had Knorr’s and if I remember, it’s pretty good. I’ve had a General Tso’s Chicken recipe bookmarked for months. Really want to give it a try.

  2. says

    I know! Those are the only two options in American “chinese” restaurants. So strange. I’m usually an egg-drop girl, but occasionally I’ll choose hot ‘n sour. Thing is, I’ve never really had one that blew my socks off. I’ll have to try this one, it sounds great! I love your bowl and spoon- so pretty :)

    • Lea Ann says

      Don’t know if this one will “knock” your socks off” but it’s pretty darn good. Heather, those bowls are 19th Century antique Rose Medallion Chinese. I inherited a bunch of pieces from my father in law when he died. That bowl is worth over $100 and I have larger pieces like Tea pots and large serving platters that are really up there in price. He kept them under lock and key and I use them a lot. Over the years I’ve only managed to put one little chip in one piece. About broke my heart, but didn’t keep me from using them.

      As always, thanks for the comment and the visit.

  3. says

    So true about the options in Asian restaurants, which we don’t frequent very often because there aren’t any good ones near us in the mountains. Love the Sriracha in yours and your presentation with the vegetables cut so beautifully is spectacular. I’ve been behind on my reading and didn’t get to leave you a Happy Thanksgiving wish, but I did read that you had a very nice one.

  4. says

    I’m gonna pass on the sweet/sour soup. I got royally burned years ago and was sick for days. But egg drop? Love it. Made it for my kids for years and still make it for myself.

    • Lea Ann says

      Oh no Barbara. Experiences like that will most certainly ruin it. :/ I like egg drop too and have made it at home. E-a-s-y and delicious.

  5. says

    I just faced this dilemma a couple of days ago. It is always so hard for me to decided because I really like them both. I have to say that I think Pei Wei has the best hot and sour soup ever. It is just one of those dishes that I have never really though about making at home. Yours looks so good.

    • Lea Ann says

      I just Googled a Pei Wei Hot and Sour recipe. Didn’t come up with much. I’ll have to try it next time I’m in there.

  6. says

    I’m a wonton soup gal, if it’s on the menu, so I’ve never even tried hot and sour soup – can you believe it?? This really sounds delicious! Beautiful photo – I love seeing those gorgeous dishes. Perfect with the soup!

  7. says

    I’m a hot and sour soup fan myself, and agree that the brothy version is far better. I fact, this is the only time you’ll see my husband eat tofu. Terrific recipe. This one’s a keeper.

    • Lea Ann says

      It’s about the only time I’ll eat Tofu also. The other exception is the fried and very nicely flavored cubes in the Whole Foods Salad bar.

  8. dan says

    yumm. My mom’s recipe includes cloud ear. I don’t know what that is, a mushroom or fungus or godonlyknowswhat, but we found it at an Asian market and threw it into our last batch…

    • Lea Ann says

      Well I Googled it. Also known as “hairy wood ear” (ewwww) It’s tasteless but sought after for it’s crunch and medicinal purpose. Ok, you need to start a blog and talk about all of those wonderful “mom” recipes. She was obviously a genius in the kitchen.

  9. says

    I am so happy I stopped by for a visit I am in the process of moving all my fav bloggers to google reader and I spotted your recipe. I for the life of me cannot find a great Hot and Sour when we dine out here locally. The options are limited and those they have are horrible. I am bookmarking this for hubby (his fav) yay!!

    • Lea Ann says

      So good to hear from you and glad you stopped by also. I agree, I’ve had some horrible H&S soups in restaurants. And SALLLLty. I use Google Earth also and RSS Feeds. That way if I don’t have access to my email, I have a back up I can access anywhere.

  10. says

    Hot & Sour Soup is my standard potion for chasing the winter crud away. We used to have a Chinese place by us that made a “kill you or cure you” version with tons of garlic and red pepper. I don’t know how many times I picked up a batch to go when one of us was sick.

    This version looks great, particularly with the fresh ‘shrooms. I’ll have to give it a try.

    • Lea Ann says

      You’ve just reminded me that I forgot to add a few flakes of Red Pepper. Good to hear from you Dave and thanks for stopping by and the comment.

  11. says

    Hot and sour soups are always great for appetizers; as they just tickle that part of the taste buds and palates to make you wanna start the meal as soon as possible :)

  12. says

    I’m so thrilled to find this delicious recipe. I share your experience with good and bad Hot and Sour Soup in Asian restaurants. I look forward to making it at home…thanks!

  13. kate says

    I’d like to try making this soup….but I, nor husband, do not drink or cook with alcohol. What would you suggest using in place of the sherry?


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