Slow-Cooker Shiitake-Noodle Hot & Sour Soup

November 6, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Dried mushrooms rehydrate as you slow-cook this classic Chinese soup, giving the broth deep umami flavor. With the addition of cooked noodles at the end, it’s a satisfying vegetarian meal.Food52

Food52 Review: Featured in: 7 Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Recipes So Everyone Can Netflix & Chill.The Editors

Serves: 8
Cook time: 7 hrs 30 min


  • 24 dried shiitake or black Chinese mushrooms (2 to 3 ounces)
  • 2 carrots, cut into ½-by-2-inch sticks
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans bamboo shoots, rinsed
  • 2 (14-ounce) packages extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 4 1/3 cups water, divided
  • 4 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cups cooked lo mein noodles (about 6 ounces dry)
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
In This Recipe


  1. Discard mushroom stems and cut the caps into ½-inch pieces. Spread the mushroom pieces in a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Add carrots, bamboo shoots and tofu to slow cooker; sprinkle with white pepper. Top with cabbage.
  2. Combine 4 cups water, broth, white (or rice) vinegar, red-wine vinegar, soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a bowl; add to the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook for 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.
  4. Whisk the remaining ⅓ cup water, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl. Stir into the soup. If using the Low setting, turn to High. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in noodles, cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve topped with scallions and with more soy sauce and chile-garlic sauce, if desired.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Chinese|Mushroom|Slow Cook|Vegetarian|Dinner|Lunch

Reviews (8) Questions (1)

8 Reviews

liliana January 11, 2019
As I had no bamboo shoots I added a sliced fennel bulb. Am partial to fennel.<br />Also omitted cornstarch.<br />Did not add noodles as this makes much soup and I do not like gluey noodles in second servings. They are better added as needed.<br />Next time will cut down dried mushrooms by half and add fresh ones to compensate.<br />Used 4 garlic cloves and Korean hot pepper paste as have no chili-garlic sauce.<br />Sriracha is also possible but the Korean sauce is more complex. <br />
jenjamshap December 16, 2018
I followed this recipe exactly and would not make it again. There are a few problems. 1. Called for dried shiitake mushrooms and in step one it says to cut the caps and remove the stems. Not really possible with dried mushrooms. 2. The recipe doesn’t actually say to cook the noodles. 3. Doesn’t say when to put in the scallions. I threw them in at the end. None of this is earth shattering but it just wasn’t that good.
Steve W. December 16, 2018
To be fair I keep my pantry well stocked with many Asian items so little shopping was required. Also, I'm terrible sticking to vegetarian dishes so I replaced the water with a simple dashi broth, added ground Szechuan peppercorns, and replaced the red wine vinegar with Chinese black vinegar (similar the balsamic in flavor). For those not so familiar chile garlic sauce is also sold as sriracha or for less sugar use sambal.
Mandy S. December 16, 2018
Trying this tonight. Could not for the life of me find dried shiitake at the Asian grocery store, so using fresh shittake and portabellos. Will update later after we eat it.
Mandy S. December 17, 2018
I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn’t that great. The cornstarch and noodle combo made it slimy. Not the best flavor....will not make again.
ruth B. December 12, 2018
I just started this and have some comments. It took me 45 minutes to find all these ingredients at my store. It took me over 45 minutes to prepare the first ingredients using a cuisinart ( final chop of the cabbage), a sharp knife, a can opener, peeler ( for some of the ginger peel), strainer and measuring / holding things. Could I have used fresh shitaki? Why did the stems have to be removed?
ruth B. December 13, 2018
I really wanted to love this recipe. It is good but not great. One reason it took me so long to make it is because the author called for lo mein noodles. Lo mein is usually a dish- the noodles are Chinese Egg noodles (made with wheat). Also chili-garlic paste is the vietnamese paste (not chinese). I substituted sesame oil for toasted sesame oil. I pressure cooked to speed up a couple steps and my slow cooker (Brevick slow fast cooker) doesn't have a "High" and "Low" option for slow cooking. I also substituted freshly ground tricolor pepper for the white pepper. It is a very nice warm soup. The chili garlic sauce overwhelms the soup and it would be better omitted. People can always add it on the side. Thank you for the recipe.
jpriddy December 16, 2018
Toasted sesame oil has a distinctive and quite marvelous scent and flavor, and ordinary sesame oil is not a substitute. I keep a small bottle in my fridge and it is one condiment that never lasts long enough to go outdated. The stems are discarded because they are tough. I would put them in a freezer container, where I store all savory off-cuts as from onion or stems of fresh herbs, etc. About once a week I make stock by filling a pot, adding water, and boiling and straining what otherwise would have been discarded. Mushroom stems are a wonderful addition.