Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

We have a crisis in my household. No, fortunately no one is more than the usual level of sick and no one has lost a job, however we have lost a restaurant. Wait, stop laughing, this is serious. Anyone who has young children knows that the number of restaurants that they can attend without being a nuisance to other diners or involving a drive thru suddenly drops to less than one when you have young children. The more children you have, the fewer restaurants are a possibility. It needs to have food that both you and your children will eat, very fast service lest the natives get restless and be flexible enough that if someone throws a bowl on the floor or knocks over a water glass the world doesn’t end. So basically I’ve described my own dining room and McDonald’s just about. This means that if you do find a rare place that meets all of those check boxes and makes you feel welcome each time you come in, well it’s special. For us that place was the local Thai restaurant. My kids gobbled down their hot and sour soup and pot stickers. I enjoy all of their authentic Thai fare. So of course, they closed, not because the business wasn’t doing well (they’ve sold the building to new owners), but because they had something better come along.  Sob! Another last minute go to dinner spot ruined. Another birthday celebration location destroyed. In their memory I’m trying to recreate some of their dishes at home even as I search for the next restaurant where the owners don’t freak out because I have three young children. It will be a long search. In the meantime, have some soup.

Note: You’ll see a lot of optional ingredients below. The more you add the more authentic your soup will become. However, if like mine, your kids only eat the broth then this recipe will get you there. Or, if like me, you don’t regularly have tofu/bamboo shoots/wood ear mushroom handy this will still make tasty soup with whatever you’ve got. It just won’t look quite like the restaurant’s.

Serves 2-3

Reheats: Yes

Freeze: Yes

Kid Friendly Tasks: Stirring in the egg


  • 1/2 c cooked shredded chicken or pork
  •  1 large wood ear mushroom *optional
  •  4 c chicken stock
  •  1/2 carrot coarsely shredded
  •  100 g tofu *optional
  •  1 can bamboo shoots * optional
  •  1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 green onion *optional

Seasoning mix

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  •  1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  •  2 tsp rice vinegar or to taste
  •  several shakes white pepper
  •  2 tbsp cornstarch
  •  1/2 tsp sesame oil


  1. Soak the wood ear mushroom in warm water if using and cut into strips once re-hydrated.
  2. Mix seasoning ingredients and set aside.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add mushroom, carrot, tofu, bamboo shoots and chicken/pork and boil about 5 minutes.
  4. Add seasonings, stir together and turn off heat. Pour the egg into the soup and swirl together a few times with a spoon. Cover pot and let sit two minutes to cook the egg.
  5. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.


Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup


Leave a Reply