One-Pot Wonders

Joanne Chang's Hot and Sour Soup

December 25, 2013
41 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

As Flour bakery owner Joanne Chang writes in her cookbook Flour, Too, “My mom used to whip this up as a fast lunch for my brother and me, and I have taught it to the Flour chefs, so they now offer it as a daily soup special. It always sells out, and Mom is thrilled to be a part of the Flour menu.” Their recipe skips some of the ingredients common to Chinese regional variations of hot and sour soup, thickens with egg rather than cornstarch, and swaps sliced pork for ground—a change that "makes the preparation of this soup ultraquick," as Joanne writes—and still delivers the sour, spicy sting we crave. From Flour, Too (Chronicle Books, 2013).

On The Genius Recipe Tapes, Kristen checked in with chef and co-owner of Flour Bakery and Myers & Chang Joanne Chang—they discussed how the past year has gone, "the mom test," and what authenticity means to Joanne in her work. Listen here.Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.)

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Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

140 Reviews

Nancy C. February 13, 2023
A bit bland, so I tweaked all the flavors up a bit, and added dried shiitakes, and less button, but in the end it was pretty tasty, and can easily be made without meat. I added baby spinach and edamame. Why not, if you're not really making a "tradition" version of something. Served it with brown rice on the side.
Mimi February 11, 2023
This isn't a great recipe but it's a really good one for a quick hot and sour. I'd use it again because it's so fast but I tweaked it using dried wood ear because of the great texture and dried lily buds(because I had them on hand) for flavor. I upped the garlic, the scallions, the ginger and soy sauce and used white pepper in the recipe, not just as a garnish, because of that good heat it imparts. Szechuan pepper would work nicely too. I liked the amount of tofu and the texture of it. The flavor of the tofu deepened the next day. Perfectly enjoyable for such a fast and easy soup.
Andrew S. February 6, 2023
I've loved hot and sour soups but always skipped making them at home due to the lack of some ingredients involved. This recipe may be somewhat simplified, but the result doesn't taste like that's the case. Really enjoyed this, and it doesn't take long to make.

(I trade in the tofu for extra mushrooms, but that's a personal preference, not a fault of the recipe itself.)
Foodie February 10, 2023
What do you serve with it? I'm thinking something like crackers, but something that would complement the soup?
Ann December 29, 2022
I love this soup, making it many times. The flavors are wonderful, but for us there is too much tofu. I usually just add 8-10oz and like others, up the mushrooms and pork. Definitely give it a try. You may need more hot sauce too!
smccassell December 2, 2022
If you like a soup with multi levels of in depth flavor, this is for you. Do not skip by it. Try it!
Angie December 27, 2021
I've been making this for years and I just love it. It holds up well to being reheated in my instant pot on simmer for potlucks but I've also taken it to people who have just had a baby etc. Everyone loves it.
Daniel L. January 16, 2021
I made this tonight and followed the directions except I had no rice vinegar and subbed with apple cider vinegar. My wife and I both loved it. Very easy to crank up the heat or sour if you want. Definitely a keeper.
maryvelasquez November 20, 2019
I've made this many times and I can't get over how fast and easy and delicious it is. Don't hesitate. Make this soup!
Kelly February 18, 2019
Meh. Not spicy enough. Not sour enough. Not hot enough. Even with modifications. And really, not flavorful enough.
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!