Whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant, my favorite soup to order is the Hot and Sour Soup. It’s often spicy, a little sweet and sour, packed with vegetables, and always hits the spot. It’s also very easy to make for a quick weeknight dinner. If you have a well-stocked Asian kitchen, you’ll have all the ingredients to make it.
Hot and Sour soup is super versatile. You can make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth (instead of beef broth that I use in the recipe), and you can also thinly slice any of your favorite vegetables and add it.
Traditionally, Chinese Hot and Sour soup is made with dehydrated mushrooms (such as shiitake and wood ear fungus). I have both of these in my kitchen, but I decided to use fresh mushrooms for this recipe because I had it on hand.
This recipe for Hot and Sour soup is not spicy because I live with white people who can’t handle spice. Also, my toddler isn’t quite ready for spicy food. But if you’d like to make your version spicy, add red pepper flakes or white pepper to kick up the spiciness. If you’d like to have a more sour flavor, add more vinegar.
I used rice wine vinegar, but you can also use white vinegar or even red cider vinegar.
For this recipe, I didn’t add any extra protein. I felt that tofu and egg were perfect. However, if you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you can always shred it and add it at the end, before you add in the cornstarch slurry.
This recipe was simply so delicious that my entire family wants me to make it again soon. Enjoy and happy eating!
Easy Hot and Sour Soup
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 knob (1/2 inch) ginger, minced
- 1 carrot, shredded into thin strips
- 1/2 package baby bella (or shiitake) mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 8 oz can bamboo shoots (sliced), drained and rinsed
- 7 cups beef broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup)
- 6 oz firm tofu, cut into cubes (half a tofu container)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 3 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with 3 tbsp water)
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped (for serving)
- Prepare your vegetables and tofu. I shredded my carrot using a vegetable peeler. You can also buy pre-packaged carrot strips. Remove the tofu from the package. Dry it on paper towels. Then cut into bite-sized cubes. I sliced my fresh mushrooms thinly. If you are using dehydrated mushrooms, soak them in boiling water for 20 minutes or until softened. Discard the stems and slice.
- In a large stock pot, heat your choice of oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.Add the carrots, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the beef broth and firm tofu. Bring the soup to a boil.In a bowl, stir together the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, and black pepper. Add to the boiling soup.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender.Taste the soup and season with more vinegar, if you desire a more sour flavor. Add more pepper (or red chili pepper flakes) for a spicy flavor. If the soup is too salty for your preference, add more water.
- When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, whisk in the eggs, stirring the soup in a circular motion.
- Add the cornstarch slurry and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the soup has thickened slightly.
- Remove from heat and serve with chopped green scallions. Enjoy!