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.

Hot and Sour Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 servings as an appetizer


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


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).
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).
In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water; set aside, leaving spoon in bowl.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Recipe Notes:
To make slicing the pork chop easier, freeze it for 15 minutes.
If you cannot find black Chinese vinegar you can substitute 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Cal 120; Fat 5 g; Sat fat 1 g; Chol 12 mg; Carb 12 g; Protein 8 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 1110 mg

Source: Cook's Illustrated, January, 2006

One Year Ago: Brown Sugar Meatloaf 

19 Responses to “Hot and Sour Soup”

  1. #
    Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide — October 26, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    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 — October 26, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    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 — October 26, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    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. #
    Rach @ This Italian Family — October 26, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    My in-laws would LOVE this soup!

  5. #
    The Teenage Taste — October 26, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    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 — October 26, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    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. #
    Bluejellybeans — October 26, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    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 — October 26, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    Yum! Jen is gonna make that!

  9. #
    Christine @ The Savoury Traveller — October 26, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

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

  10. #
    Irene @ H.V.R. — October 27, 2011 @ 5:49 am

    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. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — October 28, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

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

  12. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — October 28, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

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

  13. #
    chicaandaluza — October 29, 2011 @ 3:49 am

    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 — November 17, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    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!!!!!!

    • Christina replied: — November 21st, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

      It is one of our favorites! I am so glad that you enjoyed it! :)

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

  18. #
    Liz — September 11, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

Leave a Comment