Of all the foods I crave, hot and sour soup is most commonly out of reach. Ubiquitous across Chinese restaurant menus big and small, often given away for free with a lunch combo, it’s a cruel joke that there’s no soup for me.
Traditionally a Sichuan staple, standard recipes include all the usual non-vegan pitfalls: chicken broth, beaten eggs, and sometimes thinly sliced pork. In rare instances, you may luck out and find a vegetarian option without meat, but completely vegan versions are true unicorns.
Hot and sour soup is a snap to make at home, but not without mild controversy. Truth be told, I’ve been making some version of this recipe for years on the down-low. It’s one of those everyday staples that doesn’t feel special enough to share in the spotlight, and moreover, it would undoubtedly raise the ire of culinary perfectionists for all its obvious flaws.
Authenticity be damned; no one should gatekeep good food. When I’m too tired or busy to travel to the Asian specialty store for the conventional ingredients, when I’m just trying to scrape together pantry staples to feed myself, or when I’ve simply run out of fucks to give, this is the soup I turn to.
How To Make Hot And Sour Soup More “Authentic”
- Use bamboo shoots instead of shredded carrots
- Swap the balsamic vinegar for black vinegar
- Replace the shiitake mushrooms with wood ear mushrooms
- Add dried lily buds
How To Make Hot And Sour Soup Less “Authentic” But More Accessible
- Use vegetable stock instead of vegan chicken broth
- Omit the plant-based egg component
- Add green peas, diced tomatoes, or corn kernels
- Finish with sriracha or chili oil, to taste
If you find this recipe offensive, categorically distasteful, or personally upsetting, guess what? It’s not meant for you. For everyone else trying to get a hot and sour fix with limited means: Welcome. Grab a bowl and a spoon, there’s plenty to go around.
Inauthentic Hot and Soup Soup
If you're craving vegan hot and sour soup but have limited means, energy, or supplies, this is the short-cut recipe you're looking for.
- 1 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 3 Cups Vegan Chicken Broth
- 4 Ounces Extra-Firm Tofu, Cut Into Thin 1-Inch Strips
- 3 Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1/3 Cup Shredded Carrots
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 - 1 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Liquid Plant-Based Egg or 1 JUST Egg Folded, Thinly Sliced
- 2 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the cornstarch and vegetable stock until smooth. Add in the tofu, mushrooms, carrots, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, and white pepper.
- Bring to a rolling boil. While stirring, slowly pour in the plant-based egg, forming loose ribbons or curds. If using sliced patties, just drop them in.
- Cook for another minute and turn off the heat. Add the scallion and serve hot.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 368mgSodium: 1663mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 19g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.
4 thoughts on “Hot and Bothered Over Hot and Sour Soup”
This looks wonderful and I must try it soon. Ron was such a fan back in the old days and finding a decent vegan option is tough. Thanks!
To my mind, if it tastes good and you like it, who cares how authentic it is or even what it’s called? Just enjoy!
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This recipe looks great and I have been wanting to try to make it for ages.