Joanne Chang's Hot and Sour Soup

December 25, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Restaurants and recipes for hot & sour soup invariably use cornstarch as a thickener, but it doesn't have to be that way. Yes, cornstarch plumps up the broth, but in doing so puts a hazy, viscous layer between us and the sour, spicy sting we crave. Chang's version is thickened with egg instead and makes a number of other smart updates without compromising what we love about the classic. From Flour, Too (Chronicle Books, 2013).Genius Recipes

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 pound soft or firm tofu (not silken and not extra firm), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 medium button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced (or substitute dried, rehydrated wood ear mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pinch White or black pepper for garnish
In This Recipe


  1. In the saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and pork and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. You want to break up the pork into smaller pieces with a spoon, but don’t worry about breaking it down completely or cooking it through.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the tofu, mushrooms, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha sauce and bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-high heat. Taste the soup. If you want it hotter, add more Sriracha sauce; if you want it more sour, add more vinegar.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. With the soup at a steady simmer, slowly whisk in the eggs so they form strands. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and garnish each with a little sesame oil, scallion, and white or black pepper. Serve immediately. (Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The soup may take on a slightly different appearance, but it will taste just the same.)

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Chinese|Pork|Sesame Oil|Soy Sauce|Tofu|Vinegar|Green Onion/Scallion|One-Pot Wonders|Serves a Crowd|Fall|Winter

Reviews (130) Questions (1)

130 Reviews

Megan December 17, 2018
Made this for the first time in a while and forgot how good it is!! And so easy and quick. It's a winner.
Tracy J. November 12, 2018
This was a great fall soup! Equally and pleasantly sour and spicy, I used bone broth. It was easy to prepare as well.
Audrius S. September 26, 2018
So many comments in favour, so will give this recipe a go tonight.
kerry.mossler August 7, 2018
I have made this over and over. Perfect every time, and my kids favorite. Only problem is you will never order it out again!
Dana March 26, 2017
I have made this several times and always omit the pork while opting for vegetable broth and extra shrooms. While the ingredient list can seem a bit long, this comes together so quickly and I find myself slurping up every last drop in my bowl. Delicious.
Constanza C. February 5, 2017
This was was so delicious and easy! Used ground chicken instead of pork, added spinach and forgot the egg portion and it was still delicious. Thank you!
This recipe really caught my eye! I´ll be sure to try it out! Delish!
Cheryl January 25, 2017
Really enjoyed this--on the second day. I was trying to make this vegan and omitted eggs on day one. Added eggs on day two--and I think the flavors blended more. I did not use pork. Used homemade vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I also added in slivered red pepper, doubled the mushrooms and added pea shoots. I will reduce Sriracha to 2 tsp next time.
NoClub N. December 30, 2016
Instead of pork or tofu, I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey! Doubled the mushrooms, added 2 cups water and 1 tbsp (vs. 1 tsp) sugar ~ by mistake. Still ended up delicious. Thank You for Sharing!
Laura December 6, 2016
YUMMM Enjoying a bowl right now! Easy, authentic and crazy good!
Laura December 6, 2016
YUMMM Enjoying a bowl right now! Easy, authentic and crazy good!
ErinC December 4, 2016
Excellent recipe - added slightly more garlic (as I usually do to recipes), but otherwise followed to a T. Suggest crispy won tons to top! :)
Stacey September 2, 2016
This recipe is perfection. My grade schoolers even love it and we look forward to it on a cold, rainy day!
Megan February 28, 2016
Knockout recipe! You know it's good when you forget an ingredient (the tofu, embarrasingly) and a garnish (scallions, used 'em all in Step 1) and your much-better-cook-than-you boyfriend still goes nuts for it! So delicious, so easy, and picking up tofu tomorrow to add to the leftovers!
saucy S. November 11, 2015
Made it exactly as written! Amazing!!!!! And how lucky are we, her Myers and Chang restaurant in Boston is just a few blocks away from us in Boston. It is like the one served in her restaurant.
CanadaDan November 3, 2015
Just made this and it was absolutely delicious, just like in a Chinese restaurant. I used sliced pork from some chops I had lying around instead of ground pork, and also added bamboo shoots and it was perfect. I froze the leftovers so it remains to be seen whether the veg and tofu withstand the freezing/thawing...
sjlongin April 21, 2015
I've always loved the flavor of hot and sour soup but the goopy consistency, not so much. This recipe solved that problem and was absolutely delicious. Also super quick and easy. I followed the recipe almost exactly, just swapping mushroom broth for the chicken and only using 1/2 cup rice vinegar because that's all I had. My family devoured it! Next time, a double batch...
barbs-- February 17, 2015
Didn't have some of the ingredients on hand, but made this tonight subbing a lot of mushrooms for the pork and tofu. We also caramelized leeks in the oven with some of the sauces (olive oil, sriracha, vinegar and soya sauce), and added the leeks, hard boiled eggs, and tapioca noodles just before serving. Fantastic.
Heidi S. February 16, 2015
I use Pacific Foods mushroom broth as my base. I also add a lot of veggies to bulk it up and make it as free-standing meal~ bamboo strips, bok choy, bean sprouts (as garnish) and chopped snow peas. This is truly one of my favorite recipes and am quite glad my kids aren't fans! More for me!
Heidi S. February 16, 2015
I also add a GENEROUS amount of Five Spice. I grind my own so it isn't nearly as costly as buying it at the grocery.
Kate M. February 16, 2015
add thin strips of bamboo shoots and you are good to go!