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Chinese Hot and Sour Soup in Under 30 Minutes

Hot and sour soup is a staple of Chinese restaurants and a personal favourite, this vegetarian version runs with tofu and Shiitake mushrooms.

Chinese hot and sour soup with shredded spring onions in a bowl decorated with a blue flower

Classic Spicy Sour Egg Drop Soup.

There are a few dishes that seem to appear on all Chinese restaurant and takeaway menus the world over.

I have more than a few of them here on my site, stuff like kung pao chicken and sweet and sour pork are perennial favourites here.

This hot and sour soup recipe is yet another of those recipes that appear on every menu.

It is essentially an egg drop soup, just like my Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup.

It takes less than 30 minutes to cook, it is vegetarian and it tastes fantastic!

A steaming bowl of soup in an Asian soup bowl decorated with a blue flower

Preparing the Tofu.

For many people, me included, tofu is a mysterious ingredient.

I don’t use it often, in fact, this recipe and my Vietnamese fried tofu recipe are the only two that I regularly use it for.

I buy firm silken tofu and remove it from the packet the night before I use it and then press it.

To do this wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and then sandwich between two trays.

Place in the fridge then add some weight to the top, tinned foods are great for this!

This removes any excess liquid from the packing process.

Square picture of hot and sour soup in an Asian style soup bowl and porcelain soup spoon

The Preparation.

It does not matter whether you are cooking this version of hot and sour soup or my hot and sour prawn soup the secret is in the preparation.

In fact, this is so often the case with a lot of wok cooked dishes.

This is because the process often reads, add X for 1 minute, add Y for 30 seconds.

It is clear to see that you do not have time to hunt for ingredients or prepare them.

As a result, you should invest in some prep bowls.

They are cheap, then it is nice and easy to get everything ready. Then all you need to do throw things into the pan in order.

Hot and sour soup is a staple of Chinese restaurants and a personal favourite, this vegetarian version runs with tofu and Shitake mushrooms and is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Yield: 2 Servings

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Close your eyes and take a spoonful of this hot and sour egg drop soup and you will be transported to your favourite Chinese restaurant!


  • 150 g (5 oz) Firm Silken Tofu
  • 125 g (4.5 oz) Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 500 ml (17 floz) Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Hot Green Chilli Pepper
  • 25 g (1 oz) Ginger
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflower
  • 1 Spring Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Slice the Tofu into batons 3mm in profile and 2cm in length.
  2. Thinly cut the mushrooms into 3mm thick slices.
  3. Slice the chilli and spring onion as finely as you can.
  4. Cut the garlic into slices as thinly as possible.
  5. Mix together the soy sauces, vinegar and sesame oil together with the cornstarch and set aside.
  6. Heat a wok over a high heat with the flavourless cooking oil.
  7. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir fry for a minute.
  8. Then add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  9. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  10. Add in the soy, vinegar & corn starch mix.
  11. Pour in the beaten egg and whisk.
  12. Then add the tofu, this does not need cooking just to heat up.
  13. Finally, dress with the spring onions.


This like many Asian dishes really flies at a rate of knots so make sure everything is shopped mixed and prepared before you get started for the perfect dish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 1264mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 12g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Jacqueline Debono

Sunday 4th of March 2018

I adore hot and sour soup! But here in Italy good Chinese restaurants are hard to come by! Am def going to try this out. It sounds wonderful! BTW I have almost the exact same bowls as yours which I bought in Budapest!!

Brian Jones

Sunday 4th of March 2018

Such a small world :) I find good Chinese restaurants are tough to find right across Europe, I can count the good ones I have found on the fingers of one hand :o


Sunday 4th of March 2018

I love hot and sour soup and this recipe looks delicious! I need to pin and try this ASAP!

Brian Jones

Sunday 4th of March 2018

Thanks Amanda.


Saturday 3rd of March 2018

I love hot and sour soup...I make it often...will try your version with tofu and egg...never used egg ....and yes loved your bowls...

Brian Jones

Sunday 4th of March 2018

Thanks Renu... There are a bewildering array of "hot and sour soups" from all over Asia so it is not surprising really that we encounter different versions. This is a pretty classic egg drop soup with hot and sour elements.

Byron Thomas

Tuesday 2nd of August 2016

TOFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brian, I'm so impressed! And proud!! Hahaha! I bet you loved it too, because this soup reads like a good book.

Brian Jones

Monday 8th of August 2016

Hahaha, it is a really great soup and took a while to get right... I'm not sure you will be seeing tofu here too often but there are some places where it is perfect!


Sunday 31st of July 2016

I've never thought to make my own hot & sour soup, but this seems easy (as long as I have everything ready)! And it looks perfect!! Bravo again Brian!

Brian Jones

Tuesday 2nd of August 2016

Defo get everything ready, I've tried prepping in the past as the cooking progresses and there just aint time and it always ends up in carnage!

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