Hot and Sour Soup

8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

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


  • 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

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.
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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 ¼ cup water
  • green onions , for garnish


  • 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.
  • 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 ⅓ (If you didn’t use a bag, fish out the ingredients) then keep on low heat while you continue cooking.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Garnish with green onions if desired.



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


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1082mg | Potassium: 597mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Keyword: hot and sour soup
Chinese Hot and Sour Classic Soup

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Made this for dinner last night & my husband and I were thoroughly impressed! My 99 year old father had a bowlful.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  2. Made this for dinner last night and it was a little more time consuming that I thought but it was fantastic! Great recipe. I think cutting everything up the day before or at least in advance would have made the process go quicker. The first time I make any recipe I stick as close to the ingredients and directions as possible. In this case, I absolutely love mushrooms, so I used the dried mushrooms listed in the ingredients and then I also added 6 crimini mushrooms sliced.

    This is a keeper recipe and I’m so glad I found your website and I’m looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.

    God bless you for sharing your expertise with us.

    1. aww, thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the 5 star rating!

  3. I love hot and sour soup but rarely have the ingredients on hand or the time to make the “authentic” version. I’ve tried in the past but didn’t find a recipe that was very good, especially without a lot of work. I was looking for an easy base recipe that I could use and be able to substitute items for the things my husband doesn’t like. This was IT! I really wanted to try it even though I didn’t have even the basic ingredients on hand, like mushrooms or tofu, I made the “base” with the broth, vinegar, soy, sriracha, cornstarch, and eggs. I used a jarred ginger and garlic paste, so I saved time chopping and grating. It was great – took just a few minutes to put it together and it tasted pretty good, so I winged it from there. I added a little chili oil because I like it hot, and as crazy as it sounds, I added leftover pork fried rice I had. The rice included bean sprouts and green onion, so although the soup included none of the traditional add-ins, it tasted so good. Now I know that I can make a more authentic version of hot and sour soup without searching for expensive ingredients that I may have trouble finding. And I can use whatever ingredients I have on hand and still have a soup that tastes better than some take-out. I will make this often! THANKS for posting! No more recipe searching for me!!!

  4. I just made this last night as I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. Absolutely delicious! Thank you so much Sabrina, this recipe is a definite winner!

  5. This recipe sounds so good, just like my favorite restaurants soup. I’m just not sure I can find woodear mushrooms around here. Even if I can’t I’m still going to make this soup. LOL

  6. Five stars! Great recipe. If it would help others I used sliced button mushrooms from my produce department and added bok choy. I’m single so I knew that it would last me for a while so I did not add the eggs to thicken it. I’m not sorry. This is a great hot and sour soup and I can’t wait for leftovers.

  7. I made this last night. I used all the recommended ingredients added shrimp and chicken. It was disgusting. I have so much soup that I will throw out. I couldn’t eat one bowl.

  8. Excellent recipe and easy to follow. I used Shitakes because my market doesn’t carry Woodears but I’ve been taste testing throughout the process and it’s delicious. I’m so glad it freezes too but it may be eaten before it makes it to the freezer. Thank you so much for the recipe Sabrina! I look forward to trying your other recipes.

    1. You can leave it out if you like. It just offers a good source of protein to the soup. You can add a different type of protein that’s more to your liking instead. I hope you enjoy it!

  9. It was a lot to get ready and special buys … but well worth the trouble …I made mine to spicy for me but my bunch will love it ;)made crispy noodles to top it off … thank you for your recipe:)

  10. I have a mushroom allergy, what would make a good substitution without ruining the flavor or consistency of this soup?

    1. I am so sorry, I am just seeing this tonight. I am sure the recipe has long been cooked/or not but I still want to try to help.

      I haven’t recipe tested this, but you might want to try zucchini or eggplant.


    It was very close to the real thing, I just added a bit more heat, and it turned out great!!!

  12. I liked this soup although i added 1/2 c cider vinegar. It was too spicy! Despite not having all the ingredients and substituted i thought it turned out great. For the egg i whisked the egg and put it in a bag.and cut a small hole in the corner. Worked perfectly!

  13. I was apprehensive , but gave this recipe a whirl! I ended up increasing the vinegar and the heat level, plus I added some garlic powder to the finished product. I was astounded! I think it was just as good as any hot and sour soup I’ve had eating out. Thanks so much for the gift of this recipe!

  14. 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!!

          1. I am so excited to make this soup. Was wondering if I could add shrimp as a protein? Maybe along with the pork?

          2. Yes, just add the shrimp in towards the last couple minutes of cooking. Pork and shrimp are a delicious combination.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. I’m confused, you say 1/2 pound pork tenderloin sliced thinly into 2” pieces. 2” wouldn’t be thin, right?

  19. 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?

  20. This is my favorite soup when we visit Chinese restaurants. I never knew it was so easy to make at home! You are my new BFF!

    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.

  21. 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 🙂