This thoroughly authentic Chinese Hot and Sour Soup recipe is carefully crafted, jam-packed with flavor, rivals your very favorite restaurant version, and is sure to WOW your dinner guests!
Good restaurant Chinese hot and sour soup has a very distinct flavor that can be challenging to replicate. And not all restaurant hot and sour soups are created equal either – not by a long shot. Though you may not be able to pinpoint the difference, you can tell when shortcuts have been taken. And have you noticed that you can generally predict the quality of the entree based on the quality of the hot and sour soup? A really good hot and sour soup is a good omen for the food to follow.
This authentic Hot and Sour Soup recipe is the real deal – carefully crafted with attention to detail. Give it a try and we’re confident you’ll agree that it is as good as – and most likely far better than – the best hot and sour soup you have enjoyed at your favorite Chinese restaurant!
This is an easy soup to make, it just involves some prep work (which can all be done in advance) and the inclusion of ingredients you may not be familiar with. But once you’ve gathered up the right ingredients the rest is a breeze and you’ll become famous among your friends and family for making the best Chinese Hot and Sour Soup in town!
Key Ingredients For Authentic Hot and Sour Soup
Before we get started, let me introduce you to a couple of key ingredients in this soup that you may not be familiar with.
This soup uses two types of traditional Chinese dried mushrooms: Shiitake and Wood Ear. Shiitake mushrooms are well known but wood ear mushrooms, also called cloud ears or black fungus mushrooms, are less commonly known. These mushrooms come dried and can you usually be found in Asian grocery stores. You can also find them on Amazon (see links above).
The next ingredient is something called Day Lilies. There are a number of culinary uses for day lilies. Fresh day lilies are great in salads, stuffed, battered and fried, or sauteed. They are also very nutritious, packing a variety of vitamins. Day lilies also play an important role in Chinese traditional medicine. Dried day lilies are used for hot and sour soup and you can also find those in Asian grocery stores and on Amazon (see link above).
With these ingredients on hand you are ready to make an authentic and absolutely BEST hot and sour soup!
How To Make Hot and Sour Soup
Let’s get started!
Place the mushrooms in a bowl.
Pour boiling water over them and soak for 20 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the mushroom liquid.
Give the day lilies a brief rinse.
Place the day lilies in a bowl and pour hot water over them. Soak for 20 minutes.
While the mushrooms and day lilies are soaking, prepare the remaining ingredients.
Julienne the pork.
Mince 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger.
Place the pork in a small bowl and combine with the ginger and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Set aside while preparing the remaining ingredients.
Drain and julienne the bamboo shoots.
Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch cubes.
Drain the day lilies and squeeze out any excess liquid. Cut the hard ends off the lilies. Slice the lilies lengthwise.
Chop the lilies into 1 inch lengths.
Squeeze the water from the mushrooms. Slice the shiitakes and chop the wood ear mushrooms.
Now let’s make the soup!
Bring the chicken stock and reserved mushroom liquid to a boil and add the soy sauce, vinegar, chile oil, sugar, hot sauce (adding more according to desired level of heat), and pepper. Add the pork, stirring to prevent the pork from sticking together, the bamboo shoots, and mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the day lilies and the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and simmer for another minute until slightly thickened.
Add the tofu and simmer for another minute.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Pour the egg mixture in a steady stream into the simmering soup, remove from heat, and let sit for 20 seconds to let set in fine strands. Stir gently.
Add the sesame oil and green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Authentic Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
- 4 large dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dried day lilies
- 1/4 lb lean pork finely julienned
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger finely minced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 5 cups quality chicken broth
- 1 cup reserved mushroom soaking liquid
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 4-5 tablespoons black vinegar according to desired sourness see note
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots drained and julienned
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup tofu cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons chili oil or more depending on heat preference
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional, for additional heat)
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Place the shiitake and wood ear mushrooms in a glass bowl and pour boiling water over them. Soak for 20 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the mushroom liquid, discard the rest. Squeeze the liquid from the mushrooms. Slice the shiitakes and chop the wood ear mushrooms.
- While the mushrooms are soaking, quickly rinse the dried day lilies and soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. Discard the liquid, squeezing any excess from the lilies, cut the hard tips off the bottoms, slice the lilies lengthwise and chop into 1 inch lengths.
- While the mushrooms and day lilies are soaking, place the pork in a small bowl and combine it with the ginger and teaspoon soy sauce. Set aside while you're preparing the other ingredients.
- Bring the chicken broth and the reserved cup of mushroom liquid to a boil in a stock pot. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chile oil, hot sauce (adding more according to desired level of heat), and pepper.
- Add the pork, stirring to prevent the pork from sticking together, the bamboo shoots, and mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the day lilies and the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and simmer for another minute until slightly thickened. Add the tofu and simmer for another minute.
- Pour the egg mixture in a steady stream into the simmering soup, remove from heat, and let sit for 20 seconds to let set in fine strands. Stir gently.
- Add the sesame oil and green onions.