Hot and Sour Soup

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Hot and Sour Soup is the PERFECT combo of spicy and savory, made with pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and eggs in a savory seasoned broth with soy sauce and vinegar.

This soup is the perfect addition to our popular list of take-out Chinese food recipes, and you can serve it along with Lo Mein, Chow Mein, and Orange Chicken!

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup is one of my all-time favorite Chinese food recipes, made with pork and tofu in a savory broth that’s a little bit hot, a little bit sour, and full of flavor. This is a lot like egg drop soup, but with heartier ingredients like meat and vegetables instead of mostly egg. Serve this with one of my other popular take-out recipes, like Hunan Chicken, or Mongolian Beef.

This recipe takes a total time of a little over an hour to cook, so be ready. I also recommend having your veggies prepped and cut up before starting the recipe.


You can either store your hot and sour soup in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for several weeks. Reheat hot and sour soup in a large saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.


Hot and Sour Soup

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  • Hot and sour soup is usually made with pork and tofu, but you can use chicken, shrimp, or beef if that’s what you have. Or leave the meat out entirely and just use tofu for a vegetarian hot and sour soup.
  • Make sure you buy firm or extra firm tofu, or the tofu cubes may fall apart in the broth.
  • You can substitute the woodear mushrooms for shiitake mushrooms. A lot of sweet and sour soup recipes will call for shiitake mushrooms because they add a deeper flavor to the broth, but you can add even more complexity by using a combination of both.
  • Add extra spices, like white pepper or cayenne pepper to make this hot and sour soup even hotter.
  • I like to use low sodium soy sauce to lighten up this recipe a little bit.
  • This hot and sour soup recipe traditionally uses mushrooms, bamboo, and onions, but you can add other veggies that you have on hand like carrots, green onions, bok choy, cabbage, or leftover stir-fried veggies like broccoli.
  • This sweet and sour soup recipe uses chicken stock, but you can use vegetable stock if that’s what you have, or if you’re making this vegetarian.
  • Add a few dashes of sesame oil for flavor. You can add the sesame oil to each bowl when serving, or to the whole pot. Using sparingly, because it’s really strong.
  • Be careful when adding your eggs, if you drop them in too quickly you won’t get the ribbon-like strings that are a signature for this dish.
  • It’s not traditional but you can add lo mein noodles or rice noodles to this dish if you want to or have them leftover from another dish.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

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Hot and Sour Soup

5 from 11 votes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Course: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Hot and Sour Soup is the PERFECT combo of spicy and savory, made with pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and eggs in a savory seasoned broth with soy sauce and vinegar.


  • 1 ounce  woodear mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onions cut into thirds
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2  yellow onion quartered
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin sliced thinly into 2" pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 1 cup  bamboo shoots sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon  red chile paste
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound firm tofu cubed
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup water
  • green onions for garnish


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the mushrooms to boiling water and let sit in a small bowl for 30 minutes before slicing very thinly and discarding any pieces that are still very tough.

  2. Add the green onions, garlic cloves, onion and peppercorns to a bouquet garni bag or to a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes until reduced by 1/3 (If you didn't use a bag, fish out the ingredients) then keep on low heat while you continue cooking.

  3. In a large skillet add the oil on medium-high heat and cook the pork tenderloin then remove from the pan and add in the ginger, bamboo shoots, chile paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper and sugar stirring well to combine and bring to a boil before moving the mixture to the dutch oven with the chicken stock.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pot along with the tofu  and the cornstarch/water mix and bring the heat back up to medium-low for 10 minutes.

  5. Stir the soup in a clock-wise direction at a slow speed and slowly pour in the eggs while whisking slowly to cook the egg while it also spreads out while it cooks (be careful not to let it cook in a giant puddle or in too thin of a stream).
  6. Garnish with green onions if desired.

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 servings, Amount per serving: 294 calories, Calories: 294g, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 1082mg, Potassium: 597mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 85g, Vitamin C: 3.1g, Calcium: 102g, Iron: 2.4g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: hot and sour soup

Chinese Hot and Sour Classic Soup

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  1. I very seldom ever rate or comment on recipes. But THIS! I have been looking for this hot and sour soup recipe for years! It tastes so much like the yummy soup we would get at our local Chinese restaurant that closed. I’m going to implement some of the suggestions to give it more thickness and deepen the complexity of flavors but it is wonderful as is! Thank you!!

  2. Great recipe. After tinkering, I like to do roughly 60-40 chicken and beef stock. To really thicken it like restaurant soup I bloom 4 tsp (2 pack) of gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold water and mix it in at the end. I didn’t have great results with corn starch but the gelatin gives it that restaurant thickness.

  3. I just made it with the shitaki mushrooms because I could not find the Woodward which I prefer. I also used Cheyenne pepper instead of white pepper cause my family can’t handle the heat. I thought this was an amazing flavor and I enjoyed it with a little bit of rice with it.

  4. Oh my goodness!! Your hot and sour soup was absolutely delicious!! I’v been trying to find a recipe like this one for years to duplicate from our favorite chinese restaurant who moved and this one was it!!! I can’t believe how good it was!! You are a wonderful chef……THANK YOU!! It’s a KEEPER FOR SURE!! CW

  5. Ingredients call for 8 cloves of garlic, but the directions never call for them to be added to the soup. At what point do you add the garlic?

    1. The last step of adding egg to the soup seems unnecessary to me. I had a wonderful broth going, and it looked just like Chinese restaurant style soup, then I added the egg and it all turned to an unattractive goop

      1. Sorry to hear that! You can always leave it out next time. Pouring the eggs in slowly while also keeping the stirring at a good pace can be tricky to get the hang of.

  6. You say “sweet and sour” a lot throughout this article where I think you meant hot and sour. It doesn’t take away from how wonderful this soup is though 🙂