Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

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

Hot and Sour Soup.

Hot and Sour Soup is a commonplace dish in Chinese restaurants around the world.

It is a dish that I  adore and as odd as it may sound the best hot and sour soup I have tried was in Budapest.

A restaurant, that despite our hunting, we have been unable to find again. It is also and one that we cannot remember the name of, go figure!

In our defence, we are country folk so a trip to the big city always results in distractions.

โ€˜OOooo that looks nice we will eat in there and come back for the Chinese another timeโ€™ kinda thing!

I digress, the one thing that really stood out was the Shitake Mushroom and Tofu mix which gave it such a beautiful and silky texture.

It is in stark contrast to my other iteration of this idea which is a hot and sour shrimp soup.

This soup recipe is my way of rectifying that loss and having a Chinese Hot and Sour Soup recipe ready all of the time.

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

Asian Soup Recipes.

This hot and sour soup recipe is very different to the other Asian soup recipes I have here on my site.

This recipe is essentially a light and simple egg drop soup made as a lunch or starter.

As a geenral rule most of the soups I make are much heartier and as a result, use noodles.

If you are looking for something with a little more bodycheck out these Asian Soup recipes.

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

Cooking with Tofu.

Now tofu is far from my favourite ingredient, in fact, I am really not that keen on it. Food that has no flavour has little place on my plate, well usually. It tastes fantastic in this crispy fried tofu recipe!

But the aim of this recipe was to recreate something I tried and loved. For this recipe it just has to be tofu, it is a texture thing!

The flavours in this hot and sour soup are relatively simple and relatively common to any one who cooks Chinese or Asian food.

The cooking is really very simple and stripped back.

As a result, this soup takes just 25 minutes to cook from start to finish.

I must stress though that you can rapidly come undone if all of your preparation is not done in advance, this dish flies by really quickly!

Steaming hot bowls of Chinese Hot and Sour Soup against a dark backdrop
Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

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


  • 150 g Firm Silken Tofu
  • 125 g Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 500 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Hot Green Chili Pepper
  • 20 g 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 slice the mushrooms.
  3. Slice the chili, cut the ginger into batons and finely slice the garlic and spring onion.
  4. Mix together the soy sauces, vinegar and sesame oil together with the cornstarch and set aside.
  5. Heat a wok over a medium high heat with the flavourless cooking oil.
  6. Add the garlic,ginger and chili and stir fry for a minute.
  7. Then add the mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  8. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  9. Now add in the soy, vinegar corn starch mix.
  10. Pour in the beaten egg and whisk.
  11. Then add the tofu, does not need cooking just to heat up.
  12. 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:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 93mg Sodium: 1264mg Carbohydrates: 13g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 5g Protein: 12g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

22 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. 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!!

    • Such a small world ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  2. 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…

    • 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.

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

    • 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!

  4. 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!

    • 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!

  5. My favourite restaurant soup! I’ve attempted this once at home and it came out well.
    Yours looks fab, I also love how silky and smooth the texture of the homemade version is.


    • Cheers Sue, it really is so simple… I think I over complicated things when I was working on this recipe but there really is no need ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Brian, this truly looks to die for. It can be hard to master restaurant-style asian food, but I think you’ve nailed it with this recipe! Pinning for later ๐Ÿ™‚ p.s. lucky you living in rural Hungry!! I spent a week in Budapest last year with my husband an we adored it.

    • Thanks Sarah, I hop you enjoy the dish as much as we do! Budapest is a fabulous City, we probably visit half a dozen times a year but it is chaotic and noisy compared to our wee village of just 180 people ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I ADORE a good Hot and Sour soup! This recipe sounds fab! I’m pinning this for later this year as we are having a massive heat wave and the only soup I’ll be eating is cold! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Cheers Christina, I love spicy food when it is hot… To put it crudely sweating is a great way to cool down and I find a healthy dose of chili really helps on that front ๐Ÿ˜‰ If cold soups are your thing you should do a search for Hungarian Fruit Soups, crazy popular over here, not my thing but the locals swear by them on hot days!


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