Chinese Hot-and-Sour Soup

It's a bit milder than the restaurant standard, but that's what we like about it. The flavors are balanced and fresh, and the acidity functions as an accent, not a one-note blast. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. Notes: The heat from the black pepper in this soup intensifies as it sits. If you plan to make the soup ahead of time or want a milder flavor, use 2 tsp. during cooking; then taste the soup before serving and add more pepper if you like.

Yield: Makes about 4 1/2 qts. (serving size: 1 cup)
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 244
  • Calories from fat: 66%
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 5.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 18g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 890mg
  • Cholesterol: 80mg


  • 2 pounds pork top loin, cut crosswise into 1/8-in.-thick strips
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 can (8 oz.) sliced bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • About 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper (see Notes)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions (pale green and white parts)


  1. 1. In a bowl, toss pork with 1/4 cup soy sauce and ginger. Marinate 20 minutes. In another bowl, stir together remaining 2 tbsp. soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, and salt; set aside.
  2. 2. Heat peanut oil in a large pot (at least 5 qts.) over medium-high heat, then add pork and marinade. Cook, stirring constantly, until pork loses its pink color, about 4 minutes. Stir in bamboo shoots and cook 1 minute.
  3. 3. Increase heat to high, add broth, and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 20 minutes. Add tofu and simmer 5 minutes. Add soy-vinegar mixture and simmer 5 minutes more; the liquid will thicken.
  4. 4. In a small bowl, beat eggs with sesame oil. Slowly pour eggs into soup in a thin stream while stirring soup very slowly in one direction. Add pepper, stir briefly, then simmer 5 minutes. Serve with cilantro and green onions.
  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per cup.
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