Hot and Sour Soup

4.67 from 3 votes

Hot and Sour Soup has those signature Asian flavors and textures to satisfy your hunger and warm you up from the inside out! The spice of pepper and sharpness of white vinegar soak into the soup’s tofu and shrimp, while the thickened broth coats the mushrooms without adding a heavy taste.

Hot and Sour Soup in blue bowl

The list of delicious dishes that China has given us is endless, with many soups topping the list! Pork, tofu, and mushrooms are ingredients shared in many of these — hot and sour soup included. 

This recipe packs in plenty of protein and nutrients, but also boasts healing properties as well. Chinese culture believes that soup nourishes vital body systems, prevents disease, and strengthens the body. You’ll get a kick of heat and a bite of tangy vinegar that can clear congestion and soothe a sore throat when you’re sick, but will satisfy your tastebuds any day of the year.

Even though my list of ingredients might seem a little long, don’t be intimidated — this soup is easy to put together and doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to cook! Try it with my pork pot stickers, crab rangoon, or chicken lettuce wraps.

blue and white bowl with Hot and Sour Soup


  • Shiitake Mushrooms – Chewier than other mushrooms with a woody flavor.
  • Dried Lily Flowers – These can be substituted with enoki mushrooms.
  • Shrimp – These can be left whole or cut into smaller bite sizes. Just be sure to clean, devein, and remove the tails.
  • Chicken or Pork – Any boneless cut of chicken will work for this recipe. If using pork, opt for pork loin or tenderloin.
  • Cornstarch – Acts as a thickening agent for your broth.
  • Soy Sauce – Use this in your marinade and also for a kick of flavor in your broth.
  • Tofu – Made from bean curd, it adds texture to your dish and absorbs flavors.
  • Chicken Stock – Thicker and more flavorful than chicken broth. Can use vegetable stock in a pinch.
  • Red Chili Peppers – Dried peppers cooked in stock distribute heat throughout the soup.
  • White Vinegar – Helps create that sour flavor and balances the savory ingredients.
  • Sesame Oil – A distinctive nutty taste that makes a big impact on the overall flavor of this dish.
  • Water Chestnuts & Bamboo Shoots – Add texture and crunch to your dish.
  • Chili Oil – Oil infused with chilis that comes in varying levels of heat. Feel free to reduce or omit if you want your hot and sour soup a little less spicy.
  • Eggs – These will cook when added to the broth.
  • White Pepper – Milder than black pepper and slightly floral. It also blends seamlessly into the broth.
  • Green Onion – Use as garnish to add a fresh, crisp taste.


  1. Soak Dried Mushrooms & Flowers. Cover the dehydrated ingredients with hot water for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse. Slice mushroom caps thinly, discard stems, and cut the lily flowers in half.
  2. Prep & Marinate. Combine the pork or chicken with the cornstarch, salt, and ½ teaspoon soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate while the mushrooms soak, for 15 minutes. Cut the tofu into half-inch cubes and the shrimp into similar-sized pieces.
  3. Cook Peppers. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large pot and add dried peppers. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then discard peppers. Stir in vinegar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and sesame oil.
  4. Make A Slurry. Stir the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with the 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Over medium heat, stir the mixture into the broth until the soup starts to thicken.
  5. Add Remaining Ingredients. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except for the eggs and onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir In Egg. Lightly stir in the beaten egg to create egg threads. Add more vinegar and chili oil to taste, sprinkle with green onions, and serve.

Is Hot and Sour Soup Healthy?

This soup has many nutritional benefits and is low in calories. It’s packed with nutrients like manganese, niacin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, and iron. Plus, it can work as an anti-inflammatory, help clear up sinuses, and it is often used to help cure other cold symptoms.

pot with Hot and Sour Soup

How Long Do Leftovers Last?

Homemade hot and sour soup can be refrigerated for up to four days in an airtight container. However, we recommend only adding egg to the soup if you’re eating it immediately. If not, add fresh egg to the broth as you reheat it instead.

two bowls with Hot and Sour Soup

Can Hot And Sour Soup Be Frozen?

You can prepare a large batch of this soup and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Having some on hand during cold and flu season is a great idea, since it’s known for helping to relieve sinus pressure. I recommend leaving out the tofu and the egg if you want to freeze it. Add both to the thawed soup when reheating.

spoon with Hot and Sour Soup
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Hot and Sour Soup

4.67 from 3 votes
Pepper and vinegar in Hot and Sour Soup combine with the full flavors of mushrooms, soy sauce, shrimp and tofu perfect this tasty Asian dish.
Servings: 4
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes


  • 8 large dried shitake mushrooms
  • 20 dried lily flowers (optional)
  • 20 medium shrimp cleaned and tails removed
  • 1/4 pound chicken or boneless pork loin sliced into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 oz firm tofu drained and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 5 dried red chili peppers (like chile de arbol)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 8 oz water chestnuts drained and sliced
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots sliced or shredded
  • 1 tbsp chili oil (or chili paste of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 green onion sliced thin on the diagonal


  • In a bowl place dried mushrooms and lily flowers, cover with hot water to soak and rehydrate for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and discard stems from mushrooms. Slice the mushroom caps very thin lengthwise, cut the lily flowers in half. Set both aside.
  • In a small bowl toss the chicken or pork with cornstarch, salt, soy sauce. Cover and refrigerate while mushrooms soak. Cut tofu half inch cubes and set aside. Chop shrimp if desired, I leave whole after cleaning.
  • In a Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the chicken stock and dried red peppers to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cook for 10 minutes, discard the chili peppers. Add the vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Stir the cornstarch and water mixture, pour into the broth. Stir as soup thickens over medium heat.
  • Add the marinated chicken, shrimp, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, chili oil, and white pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the beaten egg and lightly stir the soup so it turns to egg threads. Season to taste with more vinegar or chili oil. Serve immediately with green onions sprinkled on top.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1018mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: soups
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
spoon with Hot and Sour Soup and bowl with soup


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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    1. I get them at a local H Mart, but you can look at other Asian markets or online, too. They add a great flavor and slight crunch. Thanks for coming back to let me know Charley.