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Chinese Hot & Sour Soup | 酸辣湯

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

I personally find that Chinese soup is very complex and not to my liking. It is either too many herbs or too bitter and sometimes I can't take the smell of chicken or pork soup. Maybe it is just me. But somehow, I began to appreciate this soup more every time I cook it.

I discard the dogma of preparing this soup with a meat 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.

Another reason why I appreciate this soup so much as it is spicy, sour, savory (even tho there's no meat) and hearty at the same time. 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 8)

  • Mushrooms:

  • Water, 1 TSP

  • Cornstarch, 2 TSP

  • ShaoXing / Hua Tiao / Sherry Wine, 2 TSP

  • Soy Sauce Preferably Kikkoman, 2 TSP

  • Granulated Sugar, Pinch

  • Shiitake Mushrooms Finely Sliced, 200g

  • Sesame Oil, 2 TSP

  • Base:

  • Fresh Coriander Finely Chopped, A Handful

  • Black Vinegar, 1.5 TBSP

  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 TSP

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Chili Oil, 2 TBSP (Adjust to Preference)

  • Sesame Oil, 2 TSP

  • Soup:

  • Chinese Dried Black Fungus, A Handful

  • Chinese Dried Mushrooms, 4

  • Good Quality Olive Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Ginger Finely Minced, 1 Inch

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Bamboo Shoots Fresh or Preserved, A Handful

  • Miso Paste, 1 TBSP

  • Chili Oil, 1 TBSP (Adjust to Preference)

  • Dark Soy Sauce, 1 TSP

  • Light Soy Sauce, 2 TSP

  • Slurry, 40g Cornstarch + 50ml Water

  • Eggs, 2

  • Pressed Tofu Sliced Into Strips, 300g

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Dried Coriander, For Garnishing

  • Sesame Oil or Black Vinegar, For Drizzling



  • Sauce Pot

  • Large Heavy Pot



  1. Please visit my "How To Make Chili Oil" page for the recipe.

  2. Prepare the mushrooms.

  3. In a small bowl, add cornstarch and water.

  4. Mix until smooth. Add in ShaoXing wine, soy sauce and sugar.

  5. Mix until well combined.

  6. In another large bowl, add mushrooms and the slurry sauce.

  7. Fold until the mushrooms are well coated.

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

  9. Prepare the base.

  10. In a large serving bowl, combine all the ingredients together.

  11. Set aside.

  12. Prepare the soup.

  13. Hydrate the dried fungus and mushrooms in a bowl of hot water for 30 mins.

  14. Remove the fungus and mushrooms from the liquid and coarsely slice.

  15. Pour the liquid into a small pot. Add more water to make a total of 1.2 liters.

  16. Bring it up to a boil.

  17. While that's cooking, in another large heavy pot over medium heat, add olive oil.

  18. Once the oil is heated up, add in ginger and garlic

  19. Saute until aromatic.

  20. Add in the marinated mushrooms.

  21. Season with salt and pepper.

  22. Saute until the mushrooms are slightly caramelized.

  23. Add in the hydrated fungus, mushrooms and bamboo.

  24. Saute until well combined.

  25. Add in the boiling liquid.

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

  27. Deglaze and stir to combine well.

  28. In a small bowl, combine miso, chili oil, dark and light soy sauce.

  29. Add the miso mixture to the soup.

  30. Stir to combine well and bring it up to a simmer.

  31. Turn the heat down to low.

  32. Add in slurry and stir to combine well.

  33. Continue simmer for about 2 to 3 mins.

  34. Add in the eggs. Stir for 20 secs.

  35. Turn the heat up to medium.

  36. Add in tofu. Stir to combine well and simmer for another 1 to 2 mins.

  37. The soup should thicken.

  38. Taste and adjust for seasoning with mushroom powder, salt and pepper.

  39. Give it a final stir and remove from heat.

  40. To serve, add some of that base mixture onto serving bowls.

  41. Ladle the soup over the top and serve immediately.

  42. You can add a drizzle of more black vinegar as desired.

  43. I garnished mine with dried coriander and sesame oil.

An umami bomb...


Recipe Video:

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