Hot and Sour Soup

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
30 min
30 min
1 hr 20 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 4 dried Chinese fungi (about 1 ounce), such as wood ears or cloud ears
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon red chile paste, such as sambal oelek
  • 1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced
  • 1/4 pound barbecued pork, shredded
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 2 quarts Chinese Chicken Stock, recipe follows
  • 1 square firm tofu, drained and sliced in 1/4-inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Chopped green onions and cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Chinese Chicken Stock:
  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 1 bunch green onions, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 -inch piece fresh ginger, whacked open with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • About 3 quarts cold water

Put the wood ears in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes to reconstitute. Drain and rinse the wood ears; discard any hard clusters in the centers.

Heat the oil in a wok or large pot over medium-high flame. Add the ginger, chili paste, wood ears, bamboo shoots, and pork; cook and stir for 1 minute to infuse the flavor. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl, pour it into the wok and toss everything together - it should smell really fragrant. Pour in the Chinese Chicken Stock, bring the soup to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tofu and cook for 3 minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir until smooth. Mix the slurry into the soup and continue to simmer until the soup thickens. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in 1 direction to get a current going, then stop stirring. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs in a steady stream and watch it spin around and feather in the broth (it should be cooked almost immediately.) Garnish the hot and sour soup with chopped green onions and cilantro before serving.

Chinese Chicken Stock:

Put the chicken in a large stockpot and place over medium heat. Toss in the green onions, garlic, ginger, onion, and peppercorns. Pour about 3 quarts of cold water into the pot to cover the chicken by 1-inch. Simmer gently for 1 hour, uncovered, skimming off the foam on the surface periodically.

Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and pass the stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove the solids and excess fat. Cool the chicken stock to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator, or chill it down over ice first.

Yield: About 2 quarts

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    4 Reviews
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    I love this recipe, it is a soup that all my family loves! When I lived in Tacoma, Wa my favorite restaurant served hot and sour soup and this recipe tastes just like it! I absolutely love it! The more I make it the more I find that I add my own little touches to it! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
    Followed first recipe to the tee, second part about making chicken broth I just used an old family concoction. Turned out perfect. Second time, added a dash of balsamic vinegar, cut the tofu into strips, added stir fried red pepper flakes, dash of chili sesame oil on top. Delicious and satisfying on a cold day.
    This recipe is a good starting point, but needs some serious tweaks. It needs a LOT more sour: about double the vinegar. I also like to add quite a bit more corn starch to make it thicker (just because when I get it at restaurants it's usually thicker). And you may want to add some additional heat as well. I use schezhuan pepper instead of white pepper (I know that in some places that can be hard to find) and I add some additional chili paste or oil. Adding some straw mushrooms is good too. The pork adds some flavor, but isn't entirely necessary and I imagine replacing the chicken stock for veggie and playing around with some other proportions will make for a good vegitarian version.
    oh, and the recipe says to reduce the heat before adding the egg; just make sure that it is still hot enough for the egg to cook rapidly.
    Followed the reciple 100%. Didn't taste or look at all like hot and sour soup. Way too "chickeny" with the chicken stock, and not at sour. Need to significantly up the amount of vinegar. The kids said it just tasted like chicken soup with different ingredients. Not sure where all the 5 star ratings are coming from. At best this is a 3 star when compared to restaurant hot and sour soups.
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    This recipe is featured in:

    Easy One-Pot Meals