Authentic Hot and Sour Soup Recipe
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Authentic Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Chinese cuisine features a popular dish called hot & sour soup, recognized for its strong flavors and soothing nature. Available in almost every Chinese restaurant across the U.S., the quality of this soup can differ greatly. From flavorful and satisfying to tasteless and thick, the variety is extensive. This piece presents a family recipe that guarantees the finest hot & sour soup you’ve ever tasted. Crafting it at home gives you the power to adjust the spic and tanginess to your liking, resulting in a flawless bowl each time, Authentic Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Why Make Hot and Sour Soup at Home?

  • Customization: Adjust the heat and sourness to your taste.
  • Quality Control: Use fresh, high-quality ingredients.
  • Cultural Experience: Connect with authentic Chinese cooking techniques.
  • Health Benefits: Homemade soup can be healthier with less oil and MSG.

Authentic Hot and Sour Soup Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s a look at what you’ll need to create this delicious soup. While the ingredient list might seem long, the preparation is straightforward.

Broth and Seasonings

Ingredient Amount Notes
Chicken stock 8 cups Can substitute with vegetable stock
Distilled white vinegar 3 tbsp Can use rice vinegar
White pepper 1 tsp Adds unique spiciness
Kosher salt To taste Adjust according to preference
Sugar 1/2 tsp Balances savory flavors
Light soy sauce 3 tbsp Use all-purpose soy sauce if needed
Dark soy sauce 2 tsp Adds color and sweetness
MSG 1/2 tsp Optional
Sesame oil 1 tsp Adds nuttiness

Vegetables and Proteins

Ingredient Amount Notes
Assorted mushrooms 12 oz Use a mix like wood ear, shiitake, and king oyster
Green onions 2, chopped
Dried red chili peppers 3 Can substitute with 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Firm tofu 6 oz Cut into 1″ pieces
Bamboo shoots 4 oz Sliced; can substitute with similar textured veggies
Neutral oil 1/2 tbsp Avocado, canola, or vegetable oil
Eggs 3, beaten Creates silky egg ribbons

Cornstarch Slurry

Ingredient Amount Notes
Cornstarch 1/4 cup Key thickening agent
Water 1/2 cup Mix with cornstarch

Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions

1. Prep the Ingredients

  • Tofu and Vegetables: Slice tofu, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots into strips.
  • Eggs: Beat eggs with a tablespoon of water.
  • Cornstarch Slurry: Mix cornstarch with water.

2. Fry the Chilis

  • Heat Oil: In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat neutral oil over medium heat.
  • Infuse Oil: Add dried red chili peppers and infuse for about a minute until fragrant. Remove chilis from the pot.

3. Add Broth and Seasonings

  • Add Broth: Pour in chicken stock.
  • Season: Add white pepper, salt, sugar, MSG, light and dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir well.

4. Add Vegetables and Tofu

  • Combine: Add sliced mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots to the broth.
  • Boil: Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.

5. Thicken the Soup

  • Add Slurry: Mix the cornstarch slurry again and pour into the boiling soup. Stir until the broth thickens.

6. Form Egg Ribbons

  • Cool Broth: Reduce heat to low and let the broth cool slightly.
  • Add Eggs: Slowly pour in beaten eggs in a thin stream while stirring the soup in a circular motion to create egg ribbons.

7. Final Touches

  • Add Vinegar: Stir in the white vinegar.
  • Garnish: Top with freshly chopped scallions.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust salt, pepper, or vinegar if needed.

Comparisons: Homemade vs. Restaurant Hot and Sour Soup

Aspect Homemade Restaurant
Flavor Customizable; balanced heat and sourness Variable; can be overly greasy or bland
Ingredients Fresh, high-quality Often uses pre-made, processed ingredients
Healthiness Less oil, no MSG (optional) More oil, often contains MSG
Cost More cost-effective in the long run Can be pricey per serving
Experience Personal and engaging Quick but impersonal

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

Yes, vegetable broth is a great substitute and makes the soup vegetarian.

Where can I find bamboo shoots?

Bamboo shoots are available in cans at most Asian grocery stores. If unavailable, substitute with vegetables like broccoli stalks, cauliflower stalks, or carrots sliced into strips.

How do I store leftover soup?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Avoid freezing as it can affect the texture due to the cornstarch.

Can I skip the cornstarch?

Cornstarch is essential for thickening the soup. If you prefer a thinner soup, use less cornstarch slurry.

How can I make the soup spicier?

Increase the amount of white pepper or add more dried red chili peppers or red pepper flakes.


Making hot and sour soup at home is not only a way to enjoy a delicious and comforting meal but also an opportunity to engage in the art of Chinese cooking. With this recipe, you can create a soup that is flavorful, customizable, and healthier than most takeout versions. Try it yourself and experience the joy of homemade Authentic Hot and Sour Soup Recipe.


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