Authentic Hot And Sour Soup - Cook With Dana (2024)

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Authentic hot and sour soup is sour and spicy with flavors that will warm your body up and taste amazing! The recipe is inspired by the vegetarian version served at my uncle’s restaurant and is made with soft tofu, wood ear mushrooms, and eggs cooked in a uniquely flavored broth with a delicate smooth texture.

Authentic Hot And Sour Soup - Cook With Dana (1)
Jump to:
  • What is Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣汤)?
  • Why You Will Love This Hot Sour Soup
  • Ingredients
  • Substitutions and Variations
  • How to Make Hot and Sour Soup
  • Expert Tips
  • Recipe FAQs
  • More Chinese Soup Recipes
  • Authentic Hot and Sour Soup

What is Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣汤)?

Authentic hot and soup tastes fragrant, spicy and sour – hence the name! The soup is made with ingredients such as silky tofu, bamboo, mushrooms, eggs, vinegar, and white pepper. This soup, known as suan la tang 酸辣汤 in Chinese, originated in China and has now become a favorite soup around the world.

My uncle owned a Chinese restaurant and this hot and sour soup was a hit among his customers. He taught me how to make this authentic recipe he served at the restaurant. Usually, sliced pork and and chicken is added to the hot sour soup. However, we made this recipe vegetarian, which tastes just as delicious as the meat version in my opinion. Lastly, my uncle’s secret ingredient for this vegetarian hot and sour soup is dried mandarin peel and lily flower for a more fragrant flavor!

Why You Will Love This Hot Sour Soup

  • Authentic Soup Recipe. If you’re looking to make a homemade version of this soup that’s just like what you’d find at your favorite local Chinese restaurant you will not be disappointed! This recipe is inspired by the soup served in our family restaurant.
  • Delicious and Fragrant Flavors. Hot and sour soup is perfectly spicy, sour, and so comfortingly savory making it a great addition to meals.
  • Easy Soup Recipe. The most complicated part of the recipe is likely sourcing all the ingredients. Once you’ve got them though the instructions are quite straightforward and easy to follow.

Ingredients

Here’s a look at what’s in this soup recipe. There are a few special hot and sour soup ingredients that you will need to make a soup that’s truly authentic. The full ingredient list and quantities of each are in the recipe card and a few substitutions are given in the next section further down the page.

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  • Dried Lily Flower (Optional, but highly recommended): Also sometimes called dried lily buds or golden needles, are the dried golden buds of lily flowers. They have a delicate, fruity, flowerly and sweet flavor. You can find them sold dried in packages in many Asian markets you can buy them online as well. Since they’re dried they always need to be rehydrated before eating them.
  • Dried Wood Ear Mushroom: A classic ingredient in Chinese hot sour soup. Since these are dried they also need to be rehydrated before cooking. Soak them for at least 30 minutes before cooking. You can find them online or at your local Asian grocery store like 99 Ranch or Hmart.
  • Dried Mandarin Peel: Adding dried mandarin peel to Chinese dishes is much similar to the use of lemon and lime zest in more Western cooking. They’re a source of aromatic flavors in dishes. The peels are sun-dried which intensifies and sharpens their flavor. It may also be called dried tangerine peel and you can find it online or in an Asian market.
  • Bamboo shoots: These come from an edible variety of the bamboo plant and are usually found sold in cans in large supermarkets or in Asian markets. They have a tender, slightly crisp texture.
  • Soft tofu: Like my egg drop soup with tofu, soft tofu is essential for soup! Along with soft eggs, the tofu is silky and smooth, which is the texture you’re looking for in this soup.
  • Soy sauce: For the best flavor, use low sodium soy sauce for savoriness. When combined with a smaller amount of dark soy sauce, it gives the soup a darker color and a richer flavor compared to only using regular soy sauce.
  • Mushroom Bouillon: Since this hot sour soup recipe is vegetarian we’re using a mushroom bouillon. I cook with bouillon often as it’s a handy pantry staple ingredient to keep on hand for meals. If you don’t need this vegetarian you can certainly use a chicken bouillon.
  • Sugar: A touch of sugar balances out the salty flavors of soy sauce and the sourness of the vinegar.
  • Sriracha hot sauce: A simple way to add a bit of spice to your soup.
  • White pepper: It has a milder and less intense flavor than black pepper. You can easily adjust the amount according to your spice tolerance.
  • White vinegar: Provides the sour flavor to the soup.
  • Sesame oil: Adds a nutty fragrance to the soup.
  • Corn starch slurry: A mixture of cornstarch and water helps thicken the soup giving it the ideal texture.
  • Eggs: Whisked eggs are stirred into the soup right at the end giving the soup a silkier texture.

Substitutions and Variations

Some of the ingredients may be hard to find if you don’t have a Chinese grocery store near you. Here are some substitutions if you don’t have the ingredients:

  • Dried lily flower. Substitute it with with enoki mushrooms or you can omit it. The texture of the dried lily flower is slightly chewy and fragrant. I highly recommend to have it if you want to make authentic version of this soup.
  • Wood ear mushroom. An alternative to it are shiitake mushrooms or any mushroom you have on hand.
  • Dried orange peel: Add one tablespoon of fresh orange zest. If you don’t have either of these, you can omit the dried mandarin peel in the soup but it will lose the slight citrus taste in the soup.
  • Add chicken or pork: If you prefer adding some meat, you can add thinly sliced chicken or pork at the start of cooking.

How to Make Hot and Sour Soup

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Step 1: Soak the wood ear mushrooms, lily flowers (optional), and the mandarin peel in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse them and then slice the mushroom and flowers into thin pieces. Slice the tofu into strips.

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Step 2: Add the wood ear mushrooms, lily flowers, mandarin peel, tofu, and bamboo shoots to 5 cups of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.

PRO TIP: Make sure to slice the mandarin peel very thinly! You want it to permeate throughout the entire soup and biting into a piece that’s too large may be overpowering.

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Step 3: Start adding flavor to the soup with the addition of the two types of soy sauce, mushroom bouillon, sugar, sriracha sauce, white pepper, white vinegar, and sesame oil. Stir to combine and cook for 3-5 minutes.

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Step 4: Mix the cornstarch slurry and slowly add it to the soup. Continue to stir while adding.

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Step 5: Add the beaten eggs to the soup and continue to stir while adding so it blends into the soup rather than clumping up.

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Step 6: Serve your hot sour soup while it’s hot. Hope you enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • Don’t Forget to Stir.As you’re adding the corn starch and egg it’s important to stir continuously. The movement keeps the eggs from clumping together and helps you achieve the best soup consistency.
  • Use Soft Tofu.Silken or very soft tofu is the best option for a silky soup consistency.
  • Authentic Soup. If you are wanting to enjoy an authentic hot and sour soup I highly recommend using the ingredients as written in the recipe without any substitutions.
  • Slicing the Ingredients. Slice the all the dried ingredients after they’re soaked — it will be much easier. Don’t forget to slice the mandarin peel very thinly!

Recipe FAQs

How can I store leftovers?

Store leftover soup in the fridge for up to four days. To enjoy again reheat the soup in a saucepan on the stove over low heat until it’s heated through. If the soup seems too thick you can add additional water and bouillon or some broth to thin it out.

How can I serve this soup?

The spicy and sour flavors of this soup are perfect as a starter for a meal. It’s hot and sour flavors are warming making it an ideal soup when you’re craving something comforting and cozy. Enjoy it with just about any main course including,dan dan noodles, braised minced pork over rice, or spicy stir-fried beef along with a side of golden fried rice and your choice of vegetable sides such asChinese stir fry cabbage or spicy lotus roots.

More Chinese Soup Recipes

  • Shrimp Wonton Noodle Soup (云吞面)
  • Hong Kong Style Macaroni Soup
  • Sizzling Rice Soup
  • Egg Drop Soup with Tofu

Authentic Hot And Sour Soup - Cook With Dana (13)

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Authentic Hot and Sour Soup

Authentic hot and sour soup is sour and spicy with flavors that will warm your body up and taste amazing!

Prep Time1 hour hr

Cook Time15 minutes mins

Total Time1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Chinese

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 191kcal

Author: Dana

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup dried lily flower (optional, but highly recommended) sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup dried wood ear mushroom sliced thinly
  • ½ piece dried mandarin peel sliced very thinly
  • ½ cup bamboo shoots
  • ½ package soft tofu
  • 5 cups water
  • cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • tablespoon mushroom bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar adjust according to your taste
  • 1.5 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce adjust according to your spice tolerance
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper adjust according to your spice tolerance
  • ½ cup white vinegar add an additional ¼ cup if you like more sour
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • corn starch slurry 2 tablespoons corn starch + ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs beaten

Instructions

  • Soak wood ear mushrooms, lily flowers (optional), and the mandarin peel for 30 minutes to 1 hour. After soaking they should fluff up. Give them a rinse. Slice the mushroom and flowers thinly. Make sure to slice the mandarin peel very thinly!

  • Slice the tofu in strips. Set aside.

  • In a large pot, boil 5 cups of water on medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the wood ear mushrooms, lily flowers, mandarin peel, tofu, and bamboo shoots. Cook for 5 minutes.

  • While the soup is cooking, beat two eggs and set aside. Make corn starch slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of corn starch with ¼ cup water and set aside.

  • Start adding flavor to the soup. Add ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoon mushroom bouillon, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1.5 tablespoon siracha hot sauce, 1 teaspoon white pepper, ½ cup white vinegar, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Mix everything together and cook for 3-5 minutes.

  • Mix cornstarch slurry and slowly add in the soup. Continue to stir while adding.

  • Add beaten eggs to the soup and continue to stir while adding. Serve while hot. Hope you enjoy!

Notes

    • Don’t Forget to Stir.As you’re adding the corn starch and egg it’s important to stir continuously. The movement keeps the eggs from clumping together and helps you achieve the best soup consistency.
    • Use Soft Tofu.Silken or very soft tofu is the best option for a silky soup consistency.
    • Authentic Soup. If you are wanting to enjoy an authentic hot and sour soup I highly recommend using the ingredients as written in the recipe without any substitutions. But if necessary you will find some substitutions for dried lily flower, wood ear mushroom and mandarin peel in the post above.
    • Slicing the Ingredients. Slice the all the dried ingredients after they’re soaked — it will be much easier. Don’t forget to slice the mandarin peel very thinly!

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1631mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

Did you make this?Please give it a 5-star rating, or leave a comment to share your experience! Tag @cookwithdanaa on Instagram to show me your beautiful creations! 😊

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Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. Jess says

    Yum! This dish reminds me so much of my childhood. Thank you for sharing <3

    Reply

  2. Theo says

    Authentic Hot And Sour Soup - Cook With Dana (18)
    Very authentic, much recommend!!

    Reply

    • Cook With Dana says

      Thanks Theo!!

      Reply

  3. Su says

    Can you tell how many servings or how many cups of soup this makes? I am only one person and can’t eat so much. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Cook With Dana says

      Hi there ◡̈ It serves 4! I think you will extra leftovers too. For one person, I would divide the recipe in half.

      Reply

  4. Juan Carlos says

    Authentic Hot And Sour Soup - Cook With Dana (19)
    Delicious

    Reply

  5. Juan Carlos says

    Can you send this recipe to my email please? Thank you

    Reply

Authentic Hot And Sour Soup - Cook With Dana (2024)

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