Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup
Bill Boch / Getty Images
Ratings (32)
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
222 Calories
11g Fat
15g Carbs
19g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hot and sour soup is reputed to be good for colds. To increase the health benefits, feel free to add 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger.

For a vegetarian version of Hot and Sour Soup, leave out the pork.


  • 1 square tofu (fresh, if possible)
  • 2 ounces pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 tbsp. black fungus (Wood Ear, or Cloud Ear fungus, or 3 - 4 Chinese dried black mushrooms or fresh mushrooms)
  • 1 small handful lily buds (dried)
  • 6 cups water (or 6 cups water and 1 cup Campbell's chicken broth)
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. sugar (granulated)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar (red, white rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch (dissolved in 1/4 cup water)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 green onion (finely chopped)
  • White pepper to taste (no more than 1 tablespoon)
  • Optional: chili oil (hot, to taste)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. tapioca starch (or cornstarch)

Steps to Make It

  1. Shred pork. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate pork for 20 minutes.

  2. Cut tofu into small squares. Cut bamboo shoots into thin strips and then into fine slices. To reconstitute the fungus, soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Rinse, and cut into thin pieces. (If substituting Chinese dried mushrooms, soak to soften, then cut off the stems and cut into thin strips. If using fresh mushrooms, wipe clean with a damp cloth and slice.)

  3. To reconstitute the dried lily buds, soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut off the hard ends.

  4. Bring the water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the bamboo shoots, fungus or mushrooms, and the lily buds. Stir. Add the tofu. Bring back to a boil and add the marinated pork.

  5. Stir in the salt, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar and sesame oil.

  6. Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more rice vinegar).

  7. Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.

  8. Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and the white pepper to taste. Drizzle with chili oil if desired. Serve hot.

Tips and Variations

Hot and Sour Soup can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. When making the soup, leave out the tofu. When ready to serve, thaw, add the tofu and bring to boiling. When the soup is boiling, add the egg.)  Adjust the ratio of water to chicken stock as desired.