Chinese Take out Hot-And-Sour Soup

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins

Hot-and-Sour soup is one of those dishes (like a consomme) that is perfect on a cold day. It is quick to prepare, low in fat, and warms you up from the inside out. We like to keep a container of this soup in the freezer for those times when someone we know might need a bit of added warmth. From the Take-Out Menu Cookbook.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/3 cup boiling water for 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, lift the mushrooms from the liquid and set aside. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter-lined strainer to remove the grit and set aside. Discard the tough stems from the mushrooms. Squeeze the mushrooms dry. Cut into thin slices.
  2. Pour the mushroom liquid and chicken stock into a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and meat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the tofu, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili sauce. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  3. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the simmering soup. Cook for 2 minutes to thicken the soup. Drizzle in the egg while the soup is at a simmer, stirring gently.
  4. Do not boil.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with green onions.
  6. The soup can be made up to the cornstarch addition up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. To finish the soup, reheat over medium-high heat and once it reaches a simmer, resume the recipe.


Most Helpful

I never thought it would be so easy to recreate my favorite soup from chinese take-out. My kids love it, I have already made it several times. Much better than having plain chicken soup when it is cold outside or you have the sniffles. This is wonderful.

jrivera December 22, 2008

This is probably the closest that I've come to the soup at this little joint down the street. I omitted the mushrooms and meat, and used 1/4 tsp. pepper. Next time, I'll add more chili-garlic sauce in 1/2 tsp. increments to see if I could get it just right. Thanks for the posting!

Jeffsmom December 02, 2008

I only followed this recipe marginally because my access to authentic Asian ingredients is pretty low, yet it was the inspiration for my hot and sour soup. So take my stars as you will! Here were my "bootstrap" modifications: I used chicken and vegetable stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, red curry paste and white vinegar and those ingredients made quite a delightful base. Next I added canned shitake mushrooms, canned baby corn, peas, roasted red pepper, thinly sliced onion and thinly sliced cabbage. I left out the meat because the soup will be a first course. I'm going to also add Fida noodles (I'll cook them before adding, I think, because I don't want them to slurp up the amazing broth), cornstarch and egg just prior to serving. What is in my soup pot looks, smells and tastes great! Thanks to you and the Chinese take-out cookbook! You were the winner of 5 hot and sour soups I was "auditioning" from both 'zaar and epicurious!

KWB September 18, 2008

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a