Chinese Hot & Sour Soup

After serving out a main dish, it is time for some hearty soup. I personally find that Chinese soup is very complex and not to my liking. But somehow or rather, I began to appreciate this soup when I started out cooking. Because I get to choose what kinda ingredients I am gonna use. I discard the dogma of preparing this soup with a pork base and used mushrooms for my base. This is my Chinese version of mushroom soup, you can call it that way.

This soup is also 100% vegetarian. You can make this vegan by omitting the egg and some of the sauces. I do not know if they are vegan friendly tho. You can definitely replace them with homemade chili oil and chili bean sauce. You can also replace soy sauce with tamari sauce. Another reason why I had learn to appreciate this soup is it is spicy, sour, savory (even tho there's no meat) and it is hearty. This will definitely keep me warm in those cold weather and season. I hope it will keep you cozy this festive season as well.


(Serve 4)

  • Mushrooms:

  • Shiitake Mushrooms Finely Diced, 100g

  • ShaoWing / Hua Tiao / Sherry Wine, 1 TSP

  • Soy Sauce Preferably Kikkoman, 1 TSP

  • Granulated Sugar, Pinch

  • Water, 1/2 TSP

  • Cornstarch, 1 TSP

  • Sesame Oil, 1 TSP

  • Base:

  • Fresh Coriander Finely Chopped, A Handful

  • Black Vinegar, 2 TSP

  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 TSP

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp, 1 TSP

  • Sesame Oil, 1 TSP

  • Soup:

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Ginger Finely Diced, 1/2 Inch

  • Chinese Dried Mushrooms Soaked Finely Sliced, 2

  • Bamboo Shoots Fresh / Pickled, A Handful

  • Chinese Black Fungus Soaked Finely Sliced, A Handful

  • Boiling Water, 600ml

  • Dark Soy Sauce, 1/3 TSP

  • Light Soy Sauce, 1 TSP

  • Chili Bean Sauce Preferably Lee Kum Kee, 3 TSP

  • Granulated Sugar, 1/2 TSP

  • Sea Salt, 3/4 TSP

  • Slurry, 7 TSP Cornstarch + 25ml Water

  • Egg Lightly Beaten, 1

  • Pressed Tofu Sliced Into Strips, 150g

  • Fresh Coriander, For Garnishing


  • Sauce Pot / Large Skillet / Pan


  1. Prepare the mushrooms.

  2. In a bowl, add in mushrooms, shaoxing, soy, sugar, water, cornstarch and sesame oil.

  3. Mix until well combined.

  4. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

  5. Prepare the base.

  6. In a large serving bowl, add coriander, black vinegar, apple cider vinegar, pepper, chili crisp and sesame oil.

  7. Mix until combine well.

  8. Set aside.

  9. Prepare the soup.

  10. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add oil.

  11. Once oil is heated up, add in ginger and the mushrooms mixture.

  12. Saute until aromatic and until the mushrooms are slightly caramelized.

  13. Add in Chinese mushrooms, bamboo and fungus.

  14. Saute until well combine and aromatic.

  15. Add in the boiling water.

  16. *Adding boiling water will shorten the cooking time, hence containing the fragrance and flavors even more.*

  17. Stir to combine well.

  18. Add in dark, light soy, chili bean sauce, sugar and salt.

  19. Stir to combine well.

  20. Bring it up to a simmer.

  21. Turn the heat down to low.

  22. Add in slurry and stir to combine well.

  23. Continue simmer for about 2 to 3 mins.

  24. Add in beaten egg.

  25. Stir for 20 secs.

  26. Turn the heat up to medium.

  27. Add in tofu.

  28. Stir to combine well and simmer for another 1 to 2 mins.

  29. The soup should thicken.

  30. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt.

  31. Give it a final stir.

  32. Remove from heat and transfer into the serving bowl with the coriander mixture.

  33. Stir to combine well.

  34. Taste and adjust for seasonings with vinegar or pepper.

  35. Serve immediately with a garnish of coriander.

#chinese #hotsoursoup

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