America's Test Kitchen Hot Sour Soup

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins

To make slicing the pork chop easier, freeze it for 15 minutes. We prefer the distinctive flavor of Chinese black vinegar; look for it in Asian supermarkets. If you can't find it, a combination of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar approximates its flavor. This soup is very spicy. For a less spicy soup, omit the chili oil altogether or add only 1 teaspoon. Recipe stolen from the PBS cooking program America's Test Kitchen. This is an excellent soup.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place tofu in pie plate and set heavy plate on top. Weight with 2 heavy cans; let stand at least 15 minutes (tofu should release about 1/2 cup liquid). Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in medium bowl; toss pork with marinade and set aside for at least 10 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes).
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water in small bowl and mix thoroughly; set aside, leaving spoon in bowl. Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with remaining 1 teaspoon water in small bowl; add egg and beat with fork until combined. Set aside.
  3. Bring broth to boil in large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; add bamboo shoots and mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are just tender, about 5 minutes. While broth simmers, dice tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Add tofu and pork, including marinade, to soup, stirring to separate any pieces of pork that stick together. Continue to simmer until pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir cornstarch mixture to recombine. Add to soup and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens and turns translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, chili oil, pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce; turn off heat.
  5. Without stirring soup, use soupspoon to slowly drizzle very thin streams of egg mixture into pot in circular motion. Let soup sit 1 minute, then return saucepan to medium-high heat. Bring soup to gentle boil, then immediately remove from heat. Gently stir soup once to evenly distribute egg; ladle into bowls and top with scallions.
Most Helpful

I ALMOST didn't use this recipe because it looked so complicated. But nothing is further from the truth. The step by step instructions are very easy to follow, so don't be scared off. I had a pork shoulder and pressure cooked it and chopped off a hunk for the soup. I did the Balsamic/Red Wine Vinegar blend and it was fantastic! I doubled the amount (based on another review). I am a flavor nut so I added for chili oil and a splash of Red Pepper Flakes. Absolutely wonderful. Better than my local Chinese Bistro. We've had it twice now and still have another meal left. I will make this again! Thanks :)

I'll Give It A Whirl! June 09, 2013

GREAT recipe! DH and I made a special trip to the Asian Market for the ingredients and YUM! well worth the trip!! I used more chili oil than the recipe calls for and more vinegar and cornstarch as well because I really like it a bit thicker and a bit more sour, but WOW! Thanks for posting!!

Pat Riddle September 15, 2010

Best hot and sour soup I've had outside of the one expensive chinese place downtown. Takeout is always so watery. It looks complicated and it is, but just do it one step at a time. I didn't have any bamboo shoots so pulled the strings off celery, cut into 2" sections and julienned.. Used leftover pork roast but marinated that and the tofu 30 minutes. Used rehydrated dried shitake mushrooms.Also used red wine vinegar/balsamic vinegar 2.5 T each.

sheepdoc September 29, 2013