Restaurant Style Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup in Bowl
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Hot and Sour Soup is one of those things I have to order whenever we go out for Chinese. I have been loving Restaurant Style Hot and Sour Soup since I was probably six or seven years’ old. This is the soup I always crave when I’m sick. Something about the sour flavor from the vinegar and white pepper heat tastes so comforting to me. It is an all-time favorite in my family, and I have been working on making it properly at home for many years.

Although, it is definitely hard to replicate or copycat a recipe without some authentic ingredients. I was able to find the majority of the ingredients listed at a local International Market, and it really makes all the difference for authentic Hot and Sour Soup! They even had the pork already julienned and packaged for purchase. Now that I have the packages of dried mushrooms and chilies, it doesn’t take much for me to whip this soup up any time I want.

Preparing the Ingredients

  • In separate bowls, soak the dried lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water each until hydrated (approximately 2 hours). The hotter the water, the faster it will go.
Dried Ingredients in Bowls Rehydrating

Meanwhile, combine the julienned pork with 1 Tablespoon water until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the salt, vegetable oil, cornstarch, and stir until combined. Set aside.

  • Mince the dried red chili peppers
  • Thinly slice the mushrooms, and trim any tough ends off the lily flowers, then slice them in half
  • Slice the tofu into short, 1/4 inch strips. Beat the egg in a separate small bowl
  • Thinly slice and chop the scallions.

Assembling the Hot and Sour Soup

In a large wok or Pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Stir in the marinated pork, breaking up any clumps that form. Return the soup to a simmer, and skim off any foam from the surface, as needed. Sorry about the steamy photo! Things were moving quickly!

Adding Pork to Broth

Stir in the salt, sugar, minced dried chili pepper, white pepper, both soy sauces, and sesame oil. Next, stir in the lily flowers, both kinds of mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. Gently add in the tofu, and vinegar, stirring until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Return the soup back to a light boil.

Restaurant-Style-Hot-And-Sour-Soup Nearly Done in Pot

Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl, this called a slurry. Stir the soup in a steady, circular motion and drizzle the cornstarch slurry in slowly, stopping after half of the slurry has been added to the soup. Check the consistency and add a little more of the slurry if the soup is too thin. It should be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon if the consistency is correct. Return the soup to a light boil.

Boiling Restaurant-Style-Hot-And-Sour-Soup

Finally, stir the soup in a steady, circular motion and slowly pour in the beaten egg. This will create nice ribbons of egg in the soup.

At this point, the soup is ready. Just taste it and adjust seasonings to your personal preference. More white pepper to add more heat/spice, and more white vinegar if you like it more sour tasting. I like mine pretty sour and spicy, so I have added up to 1/2 teaspoon more white pepper, and 1/4-1/2 cup more white vinegar.

Restaurant-Style-Hot-And-Sour-Soup in Pot

Serve the soup hot, with the diced scallion and wonton strips!

Garnished Hot and Sour Soup
Spoonful of Hot and Sour Soup

This soup is the perfect thing on a chilly day, or if you have a sore throat. It also helps clear out the sinuses, thanks to the vinegar, spice, and chilies. This soup is a takeout staple in our house; I’m so glad the authentic taste can be recreated at home!

Spoonful of Hot and Sour Soup

Restaurant Style Hot and Sour Soup

The classic takeout standard – filled with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, pork, tofu, egg, and scallions
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Chinese

Ingredients
  

Pork Marinade

  • 4 oz Julienned Pork
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt

Hot and Sour Soup

  • 4 ind. Dried Chili Peppers, minced
  • 1/4 cup Dried Lilly Bulb/Flower (1/2 cup after re-hydrating)
  • 1/4 cup Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms (1/2 cup after re-hydrating)
  • 1/4 cup Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (1/2 cup after re-hydrating)
  • 7 oz Fresh Firm Tofu, sliced
  • 1 large Egg
  • 4 oz Sliced Bamboo Shoots
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Ground White Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup White Vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 Scallions, finely diced

Instructions
 

Prep Ingredients/Pork Marinade

  • In separate bowls, soak the dried lily flowers, wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water each until hydrated (approximately 2 hours).
  • Meanwhile, combine the julienned pork with 1 Tablespoon water until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the salt, vegetable oil, cornstarch, and stir until combined. Set aside.
  • Mince the dried red chili peppers. Thinly slice the mushrooms, and trim any tough ends off the lily flowers, then slice them in half. Slice the tofu into short, 1/4 inch strips. Beat the egg in a separate small bowl. Thinly slice and chop the scallions.

Hot and Sour Soup

  • In a large wok or Pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Stir in the marinated pork, breaking up any clumps that form. Return the soup to a simmer, and skim off any foam from the surface, as needed.
  • Stir in the salt, sugar, minced dried chili pepper, white pepper, both soy sauces, and sesame oil.
  • Now, stir in the lily flowers, both kinds of mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. Gently add in the tofu, and vinegar, stirring until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Return the soup back to a light boil.
  • Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl = slurry. Stir the soup in a steady, circular motion and drizzle the cornstarch slurry in slowly, stopping after half of the slurry has been added to the soup. Check the consistency and add a little more of the slurry if the soup is too thin. Return the soup to a light boil.
  • Finally, stir the soup in a steady, circular motion and slowly pour in the beaten egg. This will create nice ribbons of egg in the soup.
  • At this point, the soup is ready. Just taste it and adjust seasonings to your personal preference. More white pepper to add more heat/spice, and more white vinegar if you like it more sour tasting.
  • Garnish with scallions and wonton strips, as desired.

Notes

*Different dried fungus can be used, depending on what is available.
*Dark soy can be substituted for Mushroom soy sauce
*Light soy can be substituted for Seasoned soy sauce
Keyword Authentic Recipes, Best Hot and Sour Soup, Copycat Hot and Sour Soup, Copycat recipes, Dried Lily flowers, Dried Mushrooms, Hot and Sour Soup, Takeout recipes, Tofu

Like this recipe? Try my Better than Takeout Cashew Chicken next!

Up Close Finished Better-Than-Takeout-Cashew-Chicken

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