Authentic Chinese gluten-free hot and sour soup with loads of vegetables, tofu and an egg cooked in a rich chicken broth or vegetable broth. The flavor is enhanced by balsamic vinegar, tiny little bit of brown sugar and a decent amount of ground black peppers.
It’s hot and it’s sour.
But it’s not mouth-burning hot and it’s not that kind of sour where you take a sip and you squeeze your eyes, nose, and mouth altogether.
Instead, this hot sour soup recipe I am about to share with you has a very balanced flavor. It’s another recipe I learned from my mom when I was visiting her in China. As long as you don’t hate vinegar, you’ll be able to enjoy it. I promise.
My mom says that a good hot & sour soup should have different layers of texture in it. Click To Tweet
Both crunchiness and tenderness.
The crunchiness comes from certain vegetables like carrots and water bamboo shoots. Obviously, we don’t have that here in the States. At least I haven’t seen them. So we are gonna substitute with broccoli stems. (My genius mom came up with this idea. I hope you don’t throw away broccoli stems anymore after learning this recipe.)
Next, tofu and a beaten egg are going to bring the soup that hearty and comforting tenderness. Most importantly, there will be two types of mushrooms in the soup – shiitake and enoki. To me, the mushroom texture is the third layer, somewhere in between the carrots and the tofu.
Now, you’ve got the ingredients down. We are going to cut everything into thin matchsticks. Why? Why don’t we just dice the vegetables like we normally do for a soup?
Because the hot sour soup is a quick one to make. We don’t simmer the vegetables for long. The actual cooking time is only 10 minutes. By cutting the vegetable thinly into strips, they’ll be easier to cook. Within the 10 minutes, the carrots and broccoli stems are not going to be melt-in-your-mouth tender, but they will be soft and still crunchy, which is exactly what we want. Other ingredients will be cooked almost instantly in the boiling broth.
If you do some heavy eating during holidays or parties, give your stomach a break or cleanse by enjoying this hot sour soup the next day. Your taste buds will be happy too!
Authentic Chinese hot and sour soup with loads of vegetables, tofu and an egg cooked in a rich chicken broth or vegetable broth.
15 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
- 1/2 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 cup broccoli stems, cut into matchsticks (stems, not florets)
- 6 cups chicken broth (I used homemade)
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 (16-ounce) black extra firm tofu, cut into strips
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing
- Place shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, carrots, broccoli stems and chicken broth or vegetable broth in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat to medium, add sugar, vinegar and tofu. Gently stir.
- Slowly stir in the dissolved cornstarch in the soup. Keep stirring. The soup will start thickening. Add the beaten egg and immediately start stirring. Turn off the heat. The egg should break into very small pieces floating on the surface of the soup.
- Season the soup with 2 teaspoons ground black pepper first. Taste and add more if desired. (I found that 3/4 teaspoons black pepper is perfect for my taste. But you can adjust the amount according to your preference.) Dish and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.
If desired, you can add 2 sticks imitation crab meat in the soup. Add it with the tofu at step 2. Imitation crab meat contains wheat.
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