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Hot and Sour Soup

I’m kicking off soup season right with one of my favorite soups of all time – this tangy, zesty, flavor-bursting Hot and Sour Soup.

You can find this in pretty much any Chinese restaurants across the country. I started making my own years ago so this recipe has been perfected over the years.

Hot and Sour Soup

It’s September, I hereby declare it is officially soup season.

And yes, I do realize that some of us could still be encountering 100 degree weather. But it rained today and yesterday, it has been cooler, and I had glimpses of Fall.

So I have hope, and I still stand by it – soup season is here. It just is. It has to. It’s time.

Also, if you like Hot and Sour Soup, you should also check out our delicious Egg Drop Soup recipe! Another yummy copycat Chinese takeout soup that I make all the time.

What is hot and sour soup?

Hot and Sour Soup is a gorgeous concoction of flavors, and typically contains mushroom, tofu, and pork. Some will incorporate more traditional ingredients such as dried black fungi and multiple type of mushrooms.

However, you can always expect them to be slightly thick in consistency, slightly savory, slightly sweet, sour and has a kick to it.

Hot and Sour Soup

Today I am going to show you how to make Hot and Sour Soup in your own kitchen. It is very doable and just as delicious.

Also, you can have way more than just that tiny little cup-sized bowl that it usually comes in.

I’m keeping it simple with my version of Hot and Sour Soup.

It will have the same complex gorgeous flavors, but I am limiting the ingredients to a handful of items that you can typically find in the store – bamboo shoots (canned version), mushroom, and tofu.

Sometimes I like to add strips of pork to the soup as well, but I decided to go meatless today.

I use Shiitake mushrooms for this recipe, and it came dried. Because of that, I had to soak it in water for 30-45 minutes to soften them before slicing and cooking them.

If you buy dried mushrooms of any sort, you will have to do that too.

Shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and minced garlic for Hot and Sour Soup

As for the spices that makes up the broth:

  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • sesame oil
  • rice wine
  • ginger powder
  • garlic
  • white pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • sugar and salt – to open up and really bring out all of the flavors.

You can find all of these items in most large mainstream grocery stores, the hardest one to get a hold of is probably rice wine, but the larger stores should carry it. 

If I have to pick on ingredient to omit in the list of spices, it would be the rice wine. Therefore, if you really cannot find it, try it without the rice wine.

The spice level in my recipe is closer to a medium spicy. To make the soup less spicy, reduce the amount of white pepper and red pepper flakes.

The broth base is vegetable broth, and corn starch is used to thicken the broth. Chicken broth can be used as well.

Hot and Sour Soup

I am already dreaming about colder, winter days, where I light a fall/winter theme scented candle, and serve Hot and Sour Soup at the dinner table.

Hot and Sour Soup is the perfect starter or side to any of your Chinese or Asian inspired meal.

Try it out! I have a feeling you will love this homemade version, and may be skipping Chinese takeout in the near future! 😉

Hot and Sour Soup

What to serve with Hot and Sour Soup?

Serve Hot and Sour Soup with these popular Asian dishes on the blog! HELLO, PERFECTION!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Thick sweet, savory and tangy broth loaded with pork, tofu, mushrooms and bamboo shoots. A popular Chinese soup with lots of amazing flavors, along with a slight spicy kick!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: asian, Chinese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Soak time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 serving
Calories: 324kcal
Author: MinShien


  • 1 cup Shiitake mushroom sliced
  • 1 cup tofu sliced
  • 3/4 cup bamboo shoots sliced, canned
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper reduce for less spicy
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes reduce for less spicy
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp green onions sliced, garnish


  • Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water for 30-45 minutes. Skip this step if not using dried mushrooms.
  • Slice mushroom, tofu and bamboo shoots. Mince garlic.
  • Bring vegetable broth to a pot and add corn starch to broth. Important: do not heat up pot yet. Corn starch will clump up and is harder to dissolve if broth is hot/boiling. Using a spoon, mix corn starch into broth. Then turn on the heat.
  • Add garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, ginger powder, sugar, salt, white pepper and red pepper flakes to broth. Bring to boil.
  • Once broth is boiled, add sliced mushroom, tofu and bamboo shoots to broth. Bring to boil again. Once boiled, lower heat to medium low and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Taste soup and add more salt if need. Salt will open up the flavors in addition to increasing the saltiness of the broth.
  • Right before removing soup from heat. Beat an egg in a small bowl and slowly pour beaten egg into soup. Stir while pouring the egg into soup.
  • Remove from heat. Garnish with green onions. Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1805mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 727IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Wow your homemade hot & sour soup looks good! Never had it home made. I am going to give it a try!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you! 🙂 We love this homemade – makes it easier to control the salt content and tailor the ingredients to your liking. Let me know how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow your homemade hot & sour soup looks so good! Never had it homemade. I am going to give it a try .

  3. John Rhoe says:

    5 stars
    I need this recipe! I love this stuff, but hate ordering out from restaurants!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I hope you enjoyed it!!