Make this better-than-takeout hot and sour chicken soup the next time you’re craving comfort food.
It’s quick, easy, and perfect for chilly weeknights.
It’s packed with tender mushrooms and sesame chicken in a flavorful broth. So it’s tangy and savory with just the right amount of spice.
That makes it ideal for busy nights when you need something hot in 30 minutes or less.
So serve it as a main meal or a side to your favorite Asian-inspired feast. Either way, this hot and sour chicken soup is next level!
What Is Hot and Sour Chicken Soup?
Hot and sour chicken soup is a delicious Chinese dish featuring broth, vegetables, and chicken.
Though hot and sour soup can be served with pork, tofu, seafood, or beef. It’s a Sichuan soup with spice and sourness from the white pepper and vinegar (such as black rice or Zhenjiang), respectively.
It’s tangy, spicy, and savory all at once. So every bite is exciting!
The base is full of umami-rich flavors and features many Chinese soup staples, including stock, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce.
Thickened with a little bit of cornstarch, it also has ribbons of egg cooked in the broth.
As mentioned, it gets its name from the combination of spicy and sour ingredients.
In this case, you’ll add white pepper and red pepper flakes, plus red wine vinegar.
- Chicken Broth – To add richness and a nice meaty, umami flavor with minimal effort. Though you could always make it a turkey broth recipe if that’s all you have, and it’ll still be yummy.
- Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots – The recipe calls for fresh mushrooms and bamboo shoots, but feel free to add your favorites if you’re cleaning out the fridge!
- Ginger, Garlic, and Green Onions – Aromatics add tons of flavor. Ginger is bright and tangy, while garlic and onions are on the edge of spicy.
- Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, and Red Wine Vinegar – For salty flavor, a hint of nuttiness, and the sour element, respectively.
- White Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes – This pair gives you just the right level of heat.
- Chicken – Boneless and skinless chicken breasts are ideal. Though you can use leftover rotisserie chicken for an even easier dish!
- Cornstarch – To thicken the broth slightly.
- Egg – The egg drop ribbons take this soup to the next level. Make sure it’s beaten well before adding it to the hot soup.
How to Make Hot and Sour Chicken Soup
It looks and sounds complicated, but I promise this soup is a breeze to whip up!
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Make the broth
Pour the chicken broth and water into a tall, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Add the sliced mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, white pepper, and soy sauce, and stir well.
2. Season the chicken and make a slurry
Slice the chicken into thin strips and transfer them into a medium-sized bowl.
Drizzle the sesame oil over the top and toss the chicken until it’s well-coated.
Then, add the cornstarch and vinegar to a small bowl and stir until smooth. This is a slurry, and it’ll thicken the soup.
3. Cook the chicken and thicken the soup
Turn the heat up and bring the soup back to a boil. Then, carefully add the chicken and stir to break the pieces apart.
Let the chicken cook for a couple of minutes, then add the slurry. Stir continuously for a minute or two.
4. Add the egg, then serve!
When the chicken is cooked, and the soup has thickened, beat the egg in a small bowl.
Then, stir the soup in circles and slowly pour the egg into the stream. It will cook in seconds and form egg strands in the broth.
Cook for another minute, then serve with chopped scallions!
Tips and Tricks
If you choose to use leftover chicken, check out my post on how to reheat rotisserie chicken, so it stays nice and juicy.
Other than that, below are a few other tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t leave out the bamboo shoots. They’re an easy ingredient to add, and they taste great!
- Use rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey. Just add it before the slurry and cook for a few minutes less.
- Add any veggies you think will work. This is perfect for fridge clean-out day, so add carrots, broccoli, zucchini – you name it!
- Make it vegetarian or vegan. Use veggie stock and replace the chicken with tofu. For a vegan dish, leave out the egg.
- Make it a mushroom medley. The more traditional recipes call for all kinds of tasty mushrooms, including shiitake, wood ear, and lily buds.
- Increase the spice level with hot sauce! Just a few dashes will do. And be sure to taste as you go.
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