Hot & Sour Soup


  • 2 Tblsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb chicken or pork, cut into matchsticks (optional)
  • 4 – 8 cups water
  • Vegetable bouillon
  • 1 oz Cloud ears (also known as wood ear or tree ear – chinese fungus) soaked in warm water 1/2 hour in advance
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (button, crimini, oyster – your choice)
  • 1 bunch scallions – base cut into thin rounds, tops cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Lb firm tofu cut into 1/2″ X 2″ sticks
  • 2 Tblsp corn starch dissolved in 2 Tblsp water
  • 1/4 cup tamari / soy sauce
  • 2 Tblsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup minced peeled broccoli stalks (optional)
  • 2 eggs beaten


  • Saute minced garlic in small amount of cooking oil (peanut or canola oil) till just beginning to brown
  • Add chicken or pork matchsticks and saute until cooked(optional)
  • Add water and bouillon (this may be heated and mixed in advance)
  • Add tamari/soy
  • Add broccoli (optional)
  • Bring to boil
  • While stirring, slowly add corn starch mixture
  • Allow to thicken
  • Add cloud ears, mushrooms, tofu
  • Bring back to light boil
  • Add frozen peas
  • Bring to boil, and while stirring, add egg
  • Immediately before serving, add vinegar, toasted sesame oil, white pepper and scallions

Note: You can vary the amounts of any ingredient according to taste; be sure to add enough bouillon to make a reasonably strong stock. If serving leftovers, add a small amount of white vinegar immediately before serving. White pepper is what gives it the “hot” of hot and sour – you can vary this based on how hot you want it. I would not recommend substituting black pepper for the white.

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