Hot and sour chicken soup

Hot and sour chicken soup featured image

Hot and sour chicken soup as the name implies is a very spicy and tangy soup. It is one famous Chinese soup that you can find in the restaurants and is full of flavor and absolutely delicious.

This soup can be easily prepared with the ingredients available at home and it tastes a lot better than the restaurant stuff. The best part is that you can totally control the “hot & sour” part of the soup.

Authentic Chinese hot and sour soup calls for a lot of ingredients that are very Chinese. In India, we generally find the Indianised version of the soup in the restaurants. My recipe here is a bit of both though it is more close to the Chinese version.

The body of the soup is Chicken stock, which is already very flavorful. The Chinese use lots of dried ingredients, as these when rehydrated enhance the flavor. Dried mushrooms like wood ear and shiitake, as well as dried lily flowers, are the ones mostly used.

Apart from that bamboo shoots, and Tofu are also added. The sourness comes from the vinegar added and the heat from the pepper and red chilly/chilly sauce. I have used rice vinegar here, but most people use white vinegar.

The soup is thickened using cornflour/corn starch as most other Chinese soups. Finally beaten egg is added to give a wonderful texture to the soup. Sesame oil and scallions are the garnishes.

Hot and sour soup is usually thick with lots of ingredients added, but you can totally control the thickness by increasing or decreasing the contents. So also the addition of soya sauce, vinegar, pepper, and chilly sauce can be modified as per preference.

I could not source all the ingredients, so this is my version with whatever I had on hand. As I am using very little meat, I have added a few vegetables to make it more nourishing. You can follow me as is or skip the vegetables and add more chicken.

I managed to get dried shiitake mushrooms. But if you don’t, just go ahead and add fresh mushrooms.

Since I did not have tofu, I have added paneer/cottage cheese. Also, I have not added the wood ear mushrooms, lily flower or bamboo shoots in this soup as I could not find them. Still, the soup tasted absolutely delicious.

Give this a try with whatever you have on hand and I can assure you that you will not regret 🙂  .

So here comes…

Hot and Sour chicken soup
A delicious Chinese soup that can be easily made at home.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: hot and sour
Servings: 2
Author: Hema Magesh
  • cups chicken stock
  • 50 g chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • 4 nos dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cubes tofu/paneer
  • ½ yellow capsicum (50g)
  • ½ carrot (50 g)
  • 3 nos beans
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/corn starch
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • salt as needed
  • pepper powder as needed
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 red chilly/chilly sauce (optional)

Preparatory steps

  • Steam the chicken for 10 minutes and shred the meat.
  • Julienne the capsicum, carrot and the beans. Chop the ginger, green chilly and the scallion finely.
    Hot and sour chicken soup preparation steps1&2
  • Soak the mushrooms and the tofu/paneer separately in half a cup of hot water
  • Make cornflour slurry by mixing the cornflour with half a cup of water. Beat the egg and add a tsp of the cornflour slurry to it.
    Hot and sour chicken soup preparation steps 3


  • In a saucepan take 2 tsps of sesame oil and saute the ginger, green chilly and the white part of the scallion for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add all the julienned vegetables and saute for a minute.
  • Next, add the chicken stock, the mushroom soaked water and the water from the cooked chicken.
  • When it comes to a boil add the shredded chicken, the chopped mushrooms, chopped paneer/tofu and a part of the scallions.
  • Then add all the flavorings- the soy sauce, vinegar turmeric powder, salt, sugar, and pepper powder.
  • When it starts boiling again add the cornflour slurry stirring constantly till it thickens. Next, as it boils add the egg in thin strands and keep stirring so that it forms flowers.
    Hot and sour chicken soup preparation steps 8&9
  • Taste test and adjust the amount of heat and tanginess as per preference. Turn off the stove, add a tsp of sesame oil and garnish with scallions
    Hot and sour chicken soup featured image

Hema’s P.S

  • One egg was perfect for this quantity of soup. If you prefer you can add one more. 
  • Cornflour can also be increased or decreased depending on the thickness preferred.
  • Adding a bit of cornflour slurry to the beaten egg will prevent it from turning rubbery.
  • I have added sesame oil for that authentic Chinese flavor, but you can replace it with any oil of your choice.
  • If you do not prefer to add vegetables, increase the chicken as well as the mushrooms and tofu.
  • Any colored capsicum can be used. I have used yellow, as that is what I had with me. Cabbage can also be used.
  • I have not used the red chilly or chilly sauce as the heat from the green chilly and pepper powder was perfect for us.
  • Omitting the chicken, egg and chicken stock and increasing the other ingredients will give you the vegetarian version of this soup. Will post my recipe soon.

Hema Magesh signature




Do have a look at my other soups

Lebanese lentil soup thumbnail

Tomato soup








Back to Soups main page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.