Chinese Hot & Sour Soup

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Cook Food Mood

Made this Chinese Szechuan soup a few times and it's always consistently good. Very appetising. Recipe best made just before serving.

Top Review by KateL

3 Stars, very good but mild soup, but it was not spicy nor sour enough to be a close replacement for the version sold in good Szechuan restaurants in the U.S. Please see my rating system, I reduce to 3 stars when I believe a recipe needs corrections or clarification. I think the "chili sauce" I used was not the ingredient Cook Food Mood intended; she probably meant garlic and red chile paste instead, or I needed to be mindful that Chinese chili sauce is much more potent than my usual Heinz 57 variety. I think this dish usually has julienned pork or ham as opposed to thinly sliced ham (which equates to deli sandwich slices in the U.S.). Oddly, at Whole Foods Market I could not find dried Chinese mushrooms, but I used 8 ounces of beautiful fresh oyster, baby portabella and shitake mushrooms, removing the stems. My soup looked like the restaurant dish, but it lacked the strong taste I usually get at a restaurant. I used a very good quality firm tofu, which worked fine, and DH said he could handle it (just as he does when he eats out!). I used rice salad vinegar because I thought that would be closer to oriental cooking; I did not think that apple cider vinegar was the intended taste. It may be possible that my rice salad vinegar was too diluted and I should have purchased Chinese rice vinegar. I used a regular sake for the Chinese wine. If Cook Food Mood revises or clarifies the ingredients, I would be happy to re-make this soup and re-review. Made for Fall 2008 Pick-a-Chef.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine chicken broth, wine and sauces in large pan until boiling.
  2. Stir in blended cornstarch and water slowly.
  3. Add mushrooms, ham, chestnuts and bell pepper to pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add vinegar and sesame oil to pot.
  5. Lightly beat egg and 1 tbsp of water. Add to soup while stirring constantly.
  6. Add spring onions, shrimps and beancurds. Simmer for 1 minute.
  7. Scoop into soup bowls and serve hot.

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