This authentic flavorful Hot and Sour Soup is the perfect comfort meal this winter season. This recipe is Gluten-free. Vegetarian-friendly.
It’s soup season and I’m introducing you to your newest contender: Hot and Sour Soup.
It’s salty, umami, spicy, and sour – a taste bud explosion.
There is nothing like a warm bowl of soup during a cold fall or winter day.
Moreover, this recipe is near and dear to my family’s heart. My mom has been making it for us for as long as I can remember and I take great joy in sharing it with my family and YOU.
Why I love this recipe
This is about authentic as it gets!
In this case, this recipe is my families’ traditional hot and sour soup recipe – it is one of the soup recipes that reminds me of my childhood. Without a doubt, most of our meals would start with a soup.
Frequently, my mom makes nourishing soups. My dad chops the ingredients, and she prepares the simple recipes.
Generally, the traditional hot and sour soup we usually get in China also has ham, pork and/or shrimp skin. Although, depending on your dietary preferences, you can add thin sliced ham along with the soup add ins.
While it may be true that there are some ingredients that may be hard to find in the US, you can typically find them in international grocery stores. As a result, I will try my best to provide alternatives! However, feel free to comment below if you have trouble finding any of the ingredients.
Is hot and sour soup gluten free?
If you use gluten-free soy sauce, this recipe is entirely gluten-free!
However, if you struggle to find a soy sauce, tamari soy sauce is usually a good bet for being gluten-free.
Is hot and sour soup vegan?
In this case, this recipe is vegetarian friendly – simply, remove the shrimp skins and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock!
However, you can make it vegan by also skipping the egg. By and large, this recipe is super simple to customize.
Is hot and sour soup healthy?
Without a doubt, this soup is full of wholesome ingredients! Here are some of my favorites:
Ginger – has frequently been used to for colds and the flu for its medicinal properties. Moreover, it contains a compound called gingerol, which contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Learn more about the benefits of ginger here.
Dried lily flowers – have been used in China to treat yin deficiency, which manifests in irritability, insomnia, dreaminess, palpitation, and absent-mindedness. The lily flowers promote lung health, the vital fluid, and skin complexion.
Read this interesting article about lily bulbs and traditional Chinese medicine in this article here.
Dried wood ear mushroom – a great source of protein and B vitamins. Not only are they a delicious addition to this soup, but they are anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory.
Explore the nutritional benefits of mushrooms here.
Shitake mushrooms – have become extremely popular supplements in the United States. However, they have long been used in Chinese medicine for their ability to improve circulation and promote longevity.
Learn more about the benefits of shitake mushrooms here.
Rice vinegar – has been shown to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar. Moreover, it’s a great source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous.
Read up on the benefits of rice vinegar here.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know my passion for authentic Chinese dishes and the medicinal properties of their ingredients.
As you can see, this recipe is a prime example!
Ingredients for Hot and Sour Soup
Furthermore, this recipe contains a bunch of other amazing, nutritional ingredients:
Dried chili peppers
Green onion, chopped
Ginger, thinly sliced
Dried lily flowers, dehydrated and rehydrated
Dried wood ear mushroom, rehydrated & thinly sliced
Tofu, firm or extra firm
Shitaki mushroom, dried or fresh
Dried shrimp skin
Ground white pepper
Soy Sauce, dark or regular
Xiang Cu or rice vinegar
Arrowroot starch or corn starch mixed water
How to Make Hot and Sour Soup
Begin by washing the dehydrated lily flowers and wood ear mushroom (if using dried) and soak for 1 – 2 hours or until they plump up.
Then, in a wok, heat up oil to a simmer.
After that, add green onion, dried chili pepper, and ginger and stir and cook for 30 – 60 seconds or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the ingredients!
Following that, add vinegar, soy sauce, and stock and bring to a boil. Then, use a strainer to remove the green onion, pepper, and ginger.
Accordingly, add salt and white pepper to taste.
Then, mix starch and water in a small dish. Slowly add it in the soup broth and stir as you pour in.
Now, whisk the egg in a separate bowl. Following that, very slowly drip it across the soup – it will create a thin, airy, and cloud-like egg mixture on top.
Lastly, mix in the soup add-ins.
Finally, cook for 5 – 10 minutes on medium heat, while gently stirring and tasting to add more seasoning if needed.
Serve hot, and sprinkle some fresh cilantro on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make hot and sour soup less spicy
Personally, I love a good spicy kick to my soup.
However, if you need to tone it down, simply add fewer chili peppers to the soup starter.
How can you thicken Chinese soup?
In truth, the arrowroot or cornstarch is what thickens this hot and sour soup. Generally, they do not affect the taste of the soup.
Thus, add more or less based on your thickness preferences!
Is hot and sour soup good the next day?
Basically, allowing soup to sit overnight allows all the flavors to soften and the ingredients have more time to absorb the tasty broth.
In truth, it’s a meal prep heaven.
How to serve Hot and Sour Soup
My family and I like to have Hot and Sour Soup before any meal!
Nothing like a warm bowl of soup topped with some green onions to wake up your digestion in preparation for your meal.
Additionally, add some Scallion Pancakes to the mix. They are chewy and soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside – the perfect textural addition alongside your soup.
Overall, enjoy this soup however you like!
How to store Hot and Sour Soup
Generally, this soup stays good refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. Allow to cool before storing!
And yes, you can freeze it – it freezes well for several weeks.
I suggest freezing the soup in portion bags or boxes for easy defrosting and reheating.
What other soup would you like to see this season? Leave a comment below!
Other delicious soup recipes
Hot and Sour Soup
- 2 dried chili peppers
- 1 stock of green onion chopped
- 2 inch of ginger thinly sliced
- Dried lily flowers dehydrated and rehydrated*
- 1/2 cup dried wood ear mushroom rehydrated, thinly sliced
- 1/4 of a block of firm or extra firm tofu sliced
- 1/2 cup shitake mushroom dried or fresh, sliced**
- 1/3 cup bamboo shoots
- 1 handful of dried shrimp skin
- 1 large egg
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tsp fresh ground white pepper
- 3-4 tsp dark soy***
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup Xiang Cu you can also use rice vinegar****
- 1/3 cup arrowroot starch or corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup cool water
- Cilantro to garnish
- Wash the dehydrated lily flowers and wood ear mushroom (if using dried) and soak for 1 – 2 hours or until they plump up.
- In a wok, heat up the oil to a simmer.
- Add green onion, dried chili pepper, and ginger and stir and cook for 30 – 60 seconds or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the ingredients!
- Add vinegar, soy sauce, and stock and bring to a boil. Use a strainer to remove the green onion, pepper, and ginger.
- Add salt and white pepper to taste.
- Mix starch and water in a small dish. Slowly add it to the soup broth and stir as you pour in.
- Whisk the egg in a separate bowl. Very slowly drip it across the soup – it will create a thin, airy, and cloud-like egg mixture on top. Mix in the soup add-ins.
- Cook for 5 – 10 minutes on medium heat, while gently stirring and tasting to add more seasoning if needed.
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.
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