Homemade Hot and Sour Soup

Savor the Spice: Homemade Hot and Sour Soup

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Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of traditional Asian cuisine with our Homemade Hot and Sour Soup recipe. Bursting with the perfect balance of spicy and tangy notes, this comforting soup is sure to warm your soul and awaken your taste buds. Whether you’re craving a cozy bowl on a chilly day or seeking a quick and flavorful meal option, this Hot and Sour Soup is guaranteed to hit the spot. Join us as we uncover the secrets to crafting this beloved dish from scratch, complete with variations to suit every palate, including keto and low-carb versions.



  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup wood ear mushrooms, sliced (substitute: shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • Optional: 1 small chili pepper, thinly sliced, for extra heat


Preparing the Broth:

  1. In a large pot, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add the bamboo shoots and wood ear mushrooms to the simmering broth, allowing them to cook for 5-7 minutes until tender.

Adding Flavor:

  1. Stir in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and ground white pepper, adjusting the amounts to taste according to your preference for tanginess and spiciness.
  2. Gradually pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring continuously to thicken the soup.

Incorporating the Egg:

  1. Slowly drizzle the lightly beaten egg into the simmering soup while stirring gently in a circular motion. The egg will form delicate ribbons as it cooks.

Final Touches:

  1. Add the tofu strips to the soup and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  2. Stir in the sesame oil and thinly sliced green onions, reserving some for garnish.


  1. Ladle the Hot and Sour Soup into serving bowls and garnish with additional green onions and cilantro leaves if desired.
  2. For an extra kick of heat, add thinly sliced chili pepper to each bowl before serving.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Customize the Heat: Adjust the spiciness of the soup by adding more or less ground white pepper and chili pepper according to your taste preferences.
  • Mushroom Substitutes: If wood ear mushrooms are unavailable, shiitake mushrooms or button mushrooms can be used as a substitute.
  • Protein Options: Feel free to add cooked chicken, pork, or shrimp to the soup for additional protein.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Variation: Use vegetable broth and omit the egg for a vegetarian or vegan-friendly version of the soup.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use tamari instead of soy sauce to make the soup gluten-free.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how to make Hot and Sour Soup suitable for your dietary needs:

  • Low-Carb Thickener: Replace cornstarch with xanthan gum or glucomannan powder as a low-carb thickening agent.
  • Keto-Friendly Ingredients: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and double-check the labels to ensure all ingredients are keto-friendly.
  • Low-Carb Vegetables: Incorporate low-carb vegetables such as spinach, bok choy, or zucchini into the soup for added nutrition without the extra carbs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make this soup ahead of time?

A: Yes, Hot and Sour Soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.

Q: How can I adjust the sourness of the soup?

A: You can adjust the sourness of the soup by adding more or less rice vinegar according to your taste preferences. Start with a smaller amount and gradually increase until you reach the desired level of tanginess.

Q: Can I freeze Hot and Sour Soup?

A: While you can freeze the soup, the texture of the tofu and mushrooms may change upon thawing. It’s best to consume the soup fresh or refrigerate any leftovers for later consumption.

Q: Is Hot and Sour Soup spicy?

A: The spiciness of the soup can be adjusted according to your preference. If you prefer a milder version, you can reduce or omit the ground white pepper and chili pepper.

Q: Can I add other vegetables to the soup?

A: Absolutely! Hot and Sour Soup is versatile, and you can add a variety of vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or bell peppers to enhance the flavor and nutritional content.

In conclusion, Hot and Sour Soup is a delightful fusion of flavors that’s both comforting and satisfying. With its balance of tangy vinegar, spicy pepper, and savory mushrooms, this soup is a culinary adventure for the senses. Whether enjoyed as a starter, a light meal, or a soothing remedy for cold weather blues, Hot and Sour Soup is a timeless classic that never fails to impress. So grab your chopsticks, savor each spoonful, and experience the magic of this beloved Asian-inspired dish!


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