Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

 Bill Boch / Getty Images

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
222 Calories
11g Fat
15g Carbs
19g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 222
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 1188mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 19g
Calcium 405mg 31%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hot and sour soup is a classic Chinese dish. It's easy to make your own. If you'd like, feel free to add 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger.


  • 1 square tofu (fresh, if possible)
  • 2 ounces pork tenderloin (cooked)
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons black fungus (Wood Ear, or Cloud Ear fungus, or 3 to 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 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (red, white rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon 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 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)

Steps to Make It

  1. Shred pork. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate the 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.


  • Hot and sour soup can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. If you are planning to freeze it, make the soup and leave out the tofu. When ready to serve, thaw the soup, add the tofu and bring to a boil. When the soup is boiling, add the egg. Adjust the ratio of water to chicken stock as desired.
  • The bamboo shoots, mushrooms, fresh tofu, and lily buds can be found at better grocery stores in the international aisle or in Asian grocery stores.

Recipe Variations

  • For a vegetarian version of the hot and sour soup, leave out the pork.
  • If you have leftover cooked pork tenderloin, don't use the tenderloin in the recipe and simply add your leftovers to the marinade.
  • If you cannot find the lily buds, feel free to omit them from the recipe.
  • For a heartier soup, add frozen wontons or dumplings to the boiling soup and cook them in the broth.