Hot and sour chicken soup is the cure for anything. Too much sugar? Hot and sour soup. Need to re-center? This soup. I guess it works like chicken noodle soup in that way.
You’re going to love this savory, easy soup recipe. Not only will it nourish you for a week straight, it will nudge you to experiment with some new spices.
Do you own a large pot that could fit a whole chicken? If so, you get to make this entire soup in 1 pot!
Make Ahead and Storage
If you’re like me, this will come as a relief to know. You can reheat and eat bowl after bowl throughout the entire week. You can even freeze half of the soup. Defrost it in the fridge for next week.
Hot and Sour Soup (Mushrooms)
So, traditional hot and sour soup uses Chinese fungi, such as wood ears or cloud ears. That being said, this recipe is meant to be accessible to everyone, so you can use any mushroom.
- oyster mushrooms
Ideally, you have access to shiitakes and can easily remove the stem with a pair of kitchen shears (my favorite hack). Simply cut into strips from there. My store was OUT of shiitakes, so I went with the blander alternative, white button mushrooms.
Either way, the broth is rich enough in flavor to carry the soup so don’t fret about the mushroom variety too much.
A word about mincing ginger
My mom pointed to my microplane yesterday and asked about it. It’s an awesome tool. You won’t believe how useful a microplane is for grating ginger.
What exactly is a slurry (and why do we need it?)
If you’ve had hot and sour soup, you know that it’s thick. To get this, we add a slurry (a solution of part water, part starch) and apply heat. Bam. Thickened broth.
Here are some starches you would use to make a slurry:
- tapioca starch
- rice starch
Tip: You need to apply HEAT after you’ve added your slurry to see the thickening magic happen. So, wait for it before adding more. This recipe has been tested, so if your soup doesn’t thicken, it’s possible your cornstarch is very old and should be thrown out.
Is Stock the same thing as Broth?
In a word, nope. Stock is generally unseasoned and bland. You make the stock with aromatics like onion, ginger, and peppercorns. Then, when you go adding things like salt, soy sauce, etc it becomes broth. A broth is the final soup that you serve because it tastes good.
White Peppercorns vs. Black
White pepper is so bitingly strong, that I rarely use it. A little bit goes a long way, but it’s crucial in hot and sour soup.
That said, if you can only find ground white pepper, go ahead and substitute black for making the stock. Then, add the ground white pepper to season the broth at the end. That way, you’ll at least achieve that signature flavor profile that is hot and sour soup.
Tell me what you think of this recipe in the comments below. Let me know what kind of mushrooms you use.
Hot and Sour Chicken Soup
Chicken Stock Base
- 1 5 pound whole chicken, giblets and organs removed
- 1 bunch green onion, cleaned and broken in half with hands
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced lengthwise in half
- 1 onion, halved
- 1 tsp whole white peppercorns
- 4 quarts filtered water
Hot and Sour Soup
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1-in piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a microplane
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek chile paste
- 8 oz canned sliced bamboo shoots, drained
- 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed, sliced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce, Kikkoman or San-J
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground white pepper
- 1 pinch sugar
- 14 oz firm tofu, drained, medium dice
- 1/4 cup cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 3 large eggs, stirred
- green onion, sliced thinly for garnish
Chicken Stock Base
- Put the whole chicken in a large pot with tall sides over medium heat. Toss in all the soup base ingredients and cover the chicken with filtered water. Simmer gently for 1 hour uncovered, turning the chicken half way through.
- Carefully remove chicken with tongs and place on a cutting board until you can safely handle it. Remove the skin and shred the white and dark meat for use in the chicken soup. Strain onions and ginger, and reserve chicken stock for soup.
Hot and Sour Soup
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, chile paste, bamboo, and mushrooms; cook and stir for 2 minutes to develop the flavor.
- Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, white pepper, and sugar. Toss to combine and cook for 1 more minute until fragrant. Transfer to the chicken stock pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes. Add tofu and shredded chicken.
- Thicken the soup by adding a slurry of cornstarch mixed with water (scrape the sides to get all of the cornstarch in the water). Simmer until the soup thickens and turn off heat.
- Stir broth to create a current and simultaneously pour the mixed eggs into the soup to get strands of cooked egg. Season to taste and garnish with green onion to serve.
This recipe was inspired by Tyler Florence’s Hot and Sour Soup with pork.
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