Low Sodium Hot & Sour Soup

"Most hot & sour soups that I've had are neither hot nor sour. This one is both. As an added bonus, I replace the usual soy sauce with Chinkiang vinegar, which dramatically lowers the sodium content. Scale back on the peppers to make it less hot and reduce the rice vinegar if you want it less sour."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
Ready In:




  • Cut chicken breast into uniform, thin strips. Pan cook until the bottom changes color from pink to pale tan color, then flip the pieces over. When there is no sign of pink color, remove from pan and set aside. IMPORTANT: don't cook as much as you'd cook a chicken breast you might eat by itself: heating the soup will continue to cook the chicken, resulting in tough, overcooked chicken in your soup.
  • Dissolve tamarind paste by heating with an ounce of the chicken stock. (microwave is a good way to do this). Remove any seeds from melted paste, since they're inedible.
  • Bring stock to boil. Add tamarind/stock mixture, Chinkiang vinegar, pepper, chili pepper, fenugreek, cardamom, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and spinach; SAVE LIQUID FROM BAMBOO SHOOTS. Stir. Let cook for 3 minutes.
  • While cooking, in separate bowl combine cornstarch or flour and liquid from the previous step to make a slurry. Add slurry a little at a time and stir until thick (all slurry may not be necessary, so add as much as necessary for desired thickness).
  • Add eggs while stirring and cook for 30 seconds or until eggs are done. Add green onions and chicken.
  • Cut tofu into strips that are about 1/4" x 1/4" x however thick the tofu brick is.
  • Remove from heat. Add rice vinegar and tofu and blend thoroughly.
  • Serve with crispy fried won tons if desired.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


Have any thoughts about this recipe? Share it with the community!


I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes