Quick and Easy Hot and Sour Soup

A quick and satisfying Chinese Hot and Sour Soup that is perfect for moments when you crave a sour, perhaps spicy soup. Through experimentation, we discovered that stir-frying our ingredients with chicken bouillon paste works wonders, elevating the flavor and delivering a umami punch to every bite!

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cooking Time: 10 minutes – Total Time: 20 minutes

Helpful equipment

  • Large pot


  • 1/4 cup dried woodear (black fungus)
  • 1/4 cup dried lily flowers, ends removed
  • 6 dried or fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • Boiling water to submerge rehydrated ingredients
  • Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbps. chicken bouillon
  • 8 cups water
  • 3.5-4 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp. white vinegar or more to taste
  • 1/3-1 tsp white/black pepper or to taste
  • 1/2 lb. soft tofu, julienned
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 cooked bamboo shoots, julienned (optional)
  • Garnish: diced scallion or cilantro
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt to taste
  • Cornstarch slurry: 6 tbsp. cornstarch


Step 1
Place dried woodear, lily flowers, and Shiitake mushrooms in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the ingredients, then cover the bowl with a large plate or lid. Let sit for 1 hour or until the ingredients are fully rehydrated. Once rehydrated, remove the woodear, lily flowers, and Shiitake mushrooms, and gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Roughly chop the woodear, julienne the Shiitake mushrooms after removing their stems, and slice off the ends of the lily flowers. Set aside. 

Step 2
Warm a large pot over medium heat with a tbsp. of oil. Add minced garlic to the pot and fry until fragrant and sizzling. Next, add the woodear, lily flowers, Shiitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots to the pot, briefly frying them. 

Step 3
Incorporate the chicken bouillon paste into the mixture and stir-fry with the ingredients. This is crucial for maximizing flavor.

Step 4
Pour water, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar into the pot. Add white pepper and stir well to combine.

Step 5
Prepare the cornstarch slurry. In a separate bowl, mix a few tablespoons of soup from step 4 with 6 tbsp. of cornstarch.

Step 6
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Gradually stire the cornstarch slurry into the soup, ensuring that there are no lumps of cornstarch remaining.

Step 7
Lower the julienned tofu into the soup. Simmer covered for 10 minutes.

Step 8
Taste, very carefully (cool down the liquid), to season further with salt, soy sauce, pepper, or additional vinegar.

Step 9
Add a wispy egg. Crack an egg into a bowl and beat thoroughly. Using a Chinese boat-shaped soup spoon or a regular soup spoon, scoop up some beaten egg and toss (like a frisbee) into the simmering soup to create delicate strands of egg. Repeat the process until there is no further egg remaining.

Step 10
Turn off the stove and shake off any excess water from the lid before covering the pot.

Step 11
Garnish the soup with diced scallions or cilantro, and drizzle with sesame oil. For an extra kick, add chili oil as desired. 


  • Follow the instructions on the bamboo shoot package for proper cooking.
  • For optimal flavor, be sure to stir-fry the ingredients with the chicken bouillon paste in step 3.
  • Additional add-ins like sugar or chili oil can enhance the taste. 

Post a Comment