Hot and Sour Soup

From Deborah Palmer of A Movable Feast

Make fresh each time to fully enjoy this justly famous soup. 


  • 5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 oz of dried Chinese mushrooms, (OPTIONAL: cloud ears)
  • 12 or more fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 or 2 red chilies, finely sliced
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp chili oil or 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp sambal oelek
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots, drained and sliced
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp minced coriander leaves
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, 2 inches at bottom finely minced
  • 1 or 2 lime leaves
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger or galangal
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander root
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red pepper

If using dried mushrooms, soak for about 20 minutes. Remove and discard stems of the shitake mushrooms; then cut caps into thin strips. Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and slice bamboo shoots finely. Place stock, mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots and Chinese mushrooms in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, chili and pepper. Mix cornstarch with water to form a paste; then mix it into the soup, stirring until the soup thicken slightly. Lightly beat the egg white; then pour slowly into the soup in a steady stream. Stir constantly until egg white changes colour. Just before serving, add sesame oil. Ladle into hot soup bowls and garish with coriander leaves.

For Thai flavour soup, add some or all of the suggested options.

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under soups & stews.