Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

Try Chef Ken Hom's classic Chinese soup. "This has become quite popular in the Western world because it is a heavy soup, suited to cold climates. It combines sour and spicy elements in a rich, tasty stock, and reheats very well. The list of ingredients may be daunting, but the recipe is, in fact, quite easy to make. It is a hearty soup that is almost a meal in itself and is perfect for a cold winter's night — especially if garnished with a fiery chili."


4 oz. lean boneless pork, finely shredded
1 oz. dried Chinese mushrooms
1/2 oz. dried Chinese wood ear mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten with a little salt
4 tsp sesame oil
5 cups chicken stock
Salt and white pepper
8 oz. fresh bean curd, drained and shredded
1-1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
6 tbsp Chinese white rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tbsp chili oil (at Asian food markets)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
Pinch each of salt and sugar
Dried chili for garnish (optional)


Step 1: Combine the pork in a bowl with the marinade ingredients, mix well and set aside.

Step 2: Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Squeeze out the excess water and cut off and discard the woody stems, then finely shred the mushrooms. In a small jug, combine the eggs with half the sesame oil and set aside.

Step 3: Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan and stir in 2 tsp of salt. Stir in the pork with its marinade and simmer for 1 minute. Then add the shredded mushrooms and bean curd and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Now add the egg mixture in a very slow, thin and steady stream. Using a chopstick or a fork, pull the cooked egg slowly into strands.

Step 5: Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the soy sauces, vinegar and 1 tsp of white pepper. Give the soup a good stir, and finally add the remaining sesame oil, chili oil and cilantro and stir. Ladle into individual bowls or a large soup tureen and serve at once, garnished with dried chili, if you like.

See more recipes by Ken Hom.

Reprinted with permission from Ken Hom's Complete Chinese Cookbook (2011 Firefly Books).