Classic Hot and Sour Soup

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: about 2 1/2 quarts soup; 8 servings
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2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms

10 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 pound very thinly sliced and julienned pork loin or tenderloin

6 to 8 ounces tofu, cubed or crumbled

1/4 cup lime juice

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons mushroom flavored soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Hot chile oil, for drizzling

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions


  1. Combine shiitake mushrooms and 3 cups of the chicken stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand until mushrooms are tender and broth is flavorful, about 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms and discard stems. Thinly slice caps and reserve. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve, combine with the remaining chicken stock and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the vegetable oil and, when hot, add the ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and reserved shiitakes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Add the pork and tofu and stir to combine. In a small bowl or cup, combine the lime juice and cornstarch and stir until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and serve the soup, drizzled with hot chile oil, to taste, and garnished with some of the sliced scallions.