Chinese Hot And Sour Soup

Sure, hot and sour soup is a huge Chinese takeout favorite, but how about making it at home? This hot and sour soup recipe takes a little time to prepare, though the result is more than worth it.

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
Chinese hot and sour soup, ready to eat!

Traditionally, this recipe would include lily bud. Sounds exotic, and it is. It can be quite hard to come across, so we simply replace it with a small quantity of white cabbage.  If you do have lily bud at home, please use it. It will add a whole extra dimension to the flavor of the dish. You only need around 1/4 cup – be sure to rehydrate them first.

You may also need to rehydrate your mushrooms in advance if you don’t use fresh. If you do use dried, make sure the mix contains shiitake mushrooms. Rehydrate the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes before using.

Pork and chicken work really well in this dish, but use any leftover meat that you need to use up. For instance, adding shrimp and tofu to the dish offers some extra texture and a little more richness too. Take the extra time to marinate the meat first. It really adds depth to the flavor and, if you like things extra hot, add a few more red chilies.

For the chili pepper, use what’s easiest for you to source and that best fits your level of heat tolerance. Fresh cayenne peppers work, but they may be too hot for many. Feel free to use red jalapeño or Fresno pepper instead.

See it being made:

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Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Chinese Hot And Sour Soup

4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Setting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 servings
Calories 197 kcal


  • 1/2 cup chicken strips
  • 1/2 cup beef strips
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 red chili peppers add another for more heat
  • 1/2 cup mixed mushrooms you can also use dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 white cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 scallions
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • Extra water
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


  • In a small bowl add the chicken and beef (pork and fish can work too), Chinese 5 spice powder, and cornstarch. Mix well.
  • Add the sherry and combine until there are no lumps left in the cornstarch then set aside for 2 hours.
  • In the meantime chop the chilies finely and rehydrate your mushrooms (if using dried.)
  • Slice the mushrooms finely and add them with the chili to the marinading meats and stir.
  • Chop and add the lily buds (if you are using them), removing any tough parts.
  • Add the chicken broth to a large soup pan over medium heat.
  • Add the meat mixture and stir so they don’t stick together.
  • Allow to boil for 5 minutes then add the cabbage and any other vegetables you would like.
  • Add vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce, then stir to combine.
  • In a small dish combine white pepper, cornstarch, and a tablespoon of water until smooth.
  • Take some of the soup and mix with the cornstarch mixture to avoid lumps then pour back into the soup pot and stir constantly until thickened.
  • Bring the mix back to a high boil.
  • Whisk the egg in a separate dish.
  • Stir the soup so it is moving and slowly drizzle the egg into it without stirring, you want the egg to be cooked before stirring again.
  • Adjust the vinegar, salt, and pepper to suit your own taste.
  • Serve immediately – piping hot!


Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 20gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 2685mgPotassium: 555mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 232IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Cayenne Pepper, Fresno pepper, Jalapeno Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on October 13, 2023 to include new content.
4.50 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)
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