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Bowls of warm Hot and Sour Soup sprinkled with green onions and served with a side of chili paste.

Easy Hot and Sour Soup

Course Appetizer, appetizers, Main Course, Side Dish, Sides, Soup, Soups
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword chinese hot and sour soup, easy hot and sour soup, hot and sour soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 248 kcal
Author India


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 16 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste like Sambal Oelek
  • 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 8 oz can bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 14 oz package firm tofu cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • Green onions for serving


  1. In a large soup pot, heat the avocado oil and sesame oil over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent and mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.

  2. Add the tomato paste and chili paste and cook until it develops a deep rust color, roughly 2 minutes.

  3. Deglaze the pot by adding a splash of chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits that have developed at the bottom. Add the rest of the stock, the bamboo shoots, soy sauce, and tofu. Bring the soup to a boil.

  4. While the soup comes to a boil, in a small bowl mix the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons cold water to create a cornstarch slurry. Stir in the slurry to the now boiling soup and reduce to a simmer until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.

  5. While the soup simmers, in a small bowl thoroughly whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are completely combined. Stir the soup in a circular motion to create a whirlpool. While stirring, slowly add the eggs in a thin stream to create the egg ribbons. Remove from heat.

  6. Stir in both vinegars. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired by adding more vinegar for tang, or more chili paste for spice. Top with green onions if desired before serving.

Recipe Notes

How to reheat

This soup is best when enjoyed right after you make it. If you have leftovers, gently bring to a simmer over low heat until warmed through. 


Recipe is gluten free as written. 

MAKE IT Vegetarian

Recipe is vegetarian as written

Hot and Sour Soup Variations
  • Add chicken. Either omit the tofu or reduce to half and add cooked shredded chicken when you add the tofu.
  • Shrimp. Add raw shrimp right after adding the cornstarch slurry and cook until no longer pink.
  • Extra eggs. Make the recipe as directed, but omit the tofu and add an additional two eggs. My husband hates tofu, so this is how I typically make it when he’s home.
  • Add pork. Pork is a traditional and often seen ingredient in hot and sour soup. Add a 1/4 pound of thinly sliced pork with the chicken stock and simmer until cooked through before adding the cornstarch slurry.
  • Make it vegan. Omit the eggs and add some veggies instead! Carrots, cabbage, or celery would be delicious!