Ever since I was young, one of the most classic soups my parents made growing up was the sweet and sour soup. It’s a delicious, simple recipe that is hearty and memorable. The complexity of flavors that seem unusual at first, but it works incredibly. It’s easily customizable as well. If you’re a vegan, you can replace the egg with tofu. If you’re a fan of everything tangy, then some extra rice wine vinegar will help achieve that. Classic hot-and-sour soup originates from northern China. I had a taste of the authentic soup in Xi’an province, and it tastes a bit different from the ones we enjoy frequently at Chinese restaurants.
The ingredients are highly customizable as well. There are options for replacing certain ingredients if you’re a vegetarian or if you’re too comfortable at home to pick up groceries.
Most of the ingredients can be found in the ethnic aisle of a large supermarket like Walmart or Superstore. The best part of my recipe is that it makes do with what you have at home. For example, if you don’t usually carry white pepper at home, black pepper will suffice. So while, traditionally, hot-and-sour soup uses white pepper and rice wine vinegar, the soup tastes just as delicious with some substitutes.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
½ cup of mushrooms (½ cm thick slices). My favorite is enoki or shitake mushrooms but you can easily replace them with white or portabella mushrooms as well.
1 can of chicken or vegetarian stock
3 large eggs whisked
¼ cup firm tofu (or dried tofu)
2 tablespoon green onions
½ cup of sliced black fungus (optional)
½ carrot sliced with mandolin (optional)
1 can of bamboo shoots (optional)
½ cup of pork tenderloin cut into thin strips (optional)
1700 mL of water
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt and white pepper/black pepper to taste
½ cup rice vinegar (or regular vinegar)
⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha sauce
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp chopped ginger
- Mix ¼ cup of stock and cornstarch until powder dissolves
- Combine stock and water into one large stock pot and bring to a boil
- Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots (optional), rice wine vinegar or white vinegar), soy sauce, ginger, sriracha sauce to the stock pot and mix evenly
- Heat broth on medium-high heat until it boils again then add the cornstarch-broth mixture. Stir the soup broth until smooth.
- Continue to stir the soup clockwise then slowly add pre-whisked eggs.
- Add tofu and sesame oil.
- Add pepper, salt to taste. If you prefer spicier soup base, add more sriracha. If you prefer a more tangy soup base, add another spoonful of vinegar.
- Serve with green onion garnish