Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

The Chinese restaurant classic! Spicy, Savory, and a little sour. It is most definitely an acquired taste, but once you develop your palate for this soup you will find yourself craving it on cold winter days! Tasting Guidelines: Taste is spicy, savory, and sour. Weight is medium. Texture is soft and soupy. Best categorized as Chinese American.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese soup, hot and sour soup, soup, spicy soup
Servings: 6 People
Author: Chef Ryan Callahan
Cost: $15


  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • 1.5 Gallon (spaghetti pot)


Food Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces firm tofu Sliced into 1/4” x 1/4” x1” strips
  • 2/3 cup wood ear mushrooms Chopped fine
  • ½ cup bamboo shoots thin julienne
  • ½ cup carrots thin julienne
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. Water cornstarch slurry
  • 3 eggs scrambled smooth (uncooked)
  • 3 quarts hot water

Flavor Balancers:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper ground
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 2 Chinese red peppers
  • ½ tablespoon white pepper ground


  • In a large spaghetti pot bring water to a boil. Add all flavor balancers and return to a boil. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and carrots. Return to a boil, and allow to boil together about 30 minutes. Taste soup for flavor. Soup should be savory, spicy, and sour with a touch of sweetness to mellow the soup. If flavor is correct, stir in the cornstarch slurry, and return to a boil for 5 min to thicken the soup. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly stir in tofu, cover with a lid and allow to simmer 15 additional minutes. Remove pot from heat. Put eggs into a liquid measuring cup with a pour spout. Slowly pour scrambled eggs into broth. The key is to create thin long ribbons of eggs. This is achieved by pouring the eggs out slowly in a long ribbon-like motion. Start at one end of the pot, begin to slowly pour and move your hand to the other side of the pot. Then stop pouring at the other end. Use a fork or preferably, chop sticks to slowly move ribbons of egg through the soup. Do not whisk, Do not return to a boil. Repeat this motion allowing the egg to cook for about 30 seconds in-between ribbons. After egg has been added and cooked, give it a good stir and it is ready to serve!


Using exact proportions of Sugar and Vinegar allows the soup to be sour but balanced. If the soup isn’t sour enough add extra vinegar to add that refreshing sour pop.
If Wood Ear mushrooms are unavailable in your area baby bella (crimini) mushrooms are an effective and flavorful substitution.
Wood Ear mushrooms have a unique flavor and texture. Un-cooked they are not very aromatic or flavorful with a texture akin to rubber. But when you cook them down they develop a rich almost beefy flavor, and a jelly-like texture. This is why I recommend chopping them as finely as possible, they release more flavor this way and there is no strange texture to notice!

About the Author:

Chef Ryan Callahan is a 2x Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Chef. He is also the author of "Cooking for Chemo ...and After!" Chef Ryan acted as his mother's primary caregiver while she herself went through chemotherapy treatments. He has dedicated his life to helping cancer fighters navigate the difficulty that eating related side-effect present to the cancer fighter.