The Hot and Sour Soup is a favorite for many when it comes to Chinese soups. Aside from its delicious hot and tangy sour tastes, this soup also offers many excellent health benefits. So much so that the soup’s recipe is published in the following books:
- American Heart Association’s The New American Heart Association Cookbook
- the American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook
- the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.
There are good reasons why these health organizations like the Hot and Sour Soup. Besides being flavorful, the soup’s key ingredients like shiitake mushroom, vinegar, tofu, and ginger root all play a role in making this soup healthy for you. All of these soup ingredients can also be purchased conveniently at Asian supermarkets or online.
In the restaurants, you will find many versions that are gooey and dark, ladened with heavy soy sauce and starch. With my Hot and Sour Soup recipe below, you can make an authentic version at home that is a lot more heart-healthy, low in sodium, and gluten-free.
What I also love about this Hot and Sour Soup recipe is that you can pre-make and freeze large quantities in advance – a great thing if you have a large crowd to entertain at home. On top of that, this soup can be turned into a hearty healthy meal instantly by serving it with brown rice in the same bowl. And if you have left overs, simply cook some oatmeal with the soup and you now have another tasty healthy meal – a Tofu and Mushroom Hot and Sour Oatmeal Porridge. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- 1 chicken breast, julienned
- 4 cups of low-sodium organic chicken broth (use gluten-free broth for gluten-free version)
- 8 shiitake mushroom, soaked if using dried version
- 8 fresh wood ear, rinsed and julienned
- ¾ cup (about 5 oz) of bamboo shoots, already julienned
- 6 dried lily buds
- 1 block of soft tofu, julienned
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 scallions, diced
- ½" of ginger, julienned
- 1.5 tbsp of cooking rice wine
- 2.5 tbsp of dark vinegar
- 1 tbsp of rice vinegar, or white vinegar
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch
- 1.5 tsp finely grounded white pepper
- 1 tsp chili oil
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- Marinate the chicken strips with cooking rice wine. Set aside.
- Rinse and soak the lily buds in boiling hot water for 15 minutes, then cut crosswise in half.
- Cut shiitake mushroom to slices. If the stub is thick, cut off and slice the edible stubs also so they cook faster later. Set aside.
- Open the can of bamboo shoots and rinse in cold water. Drain well and set aside.
- Mix the vinegars and soy sauce together and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch with 1.5 tbsp of cold water. Mix well and set aside.
- Heat up a stir-fry pan with olive oil. When hot, add the ginger slices and half of the scallions. After 1 minute, add the chicken strips to stir fry and cook all the way through. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Boil the chicken broth and ½ cup of water in a pot. When hot, add the cooked chicken strips, mushroom, wood ear, lily buds, bamboo shoots, tofu, vinegar mixture, and cornstarch mixture. Mix gently. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Turn off heat.
- Lift the lid and carefully stir the soup while you slowly pour in the egg. Keep stirring until the egg is cooked and has feathered out into the soup. Make sure the heat is off when you do this step. Otherwise, the egg can get overcooked in clumps which results in a rubbery texture.
- Add the white pepper powder, chili oil, salt, and remaining scallions to the soup and mix gently. For a spicier and more sour taste, add additional white pepper powder, chili oil, and vinegar to the soup as desired.