This Hot and Sour Soup is a Vegan version of the Chinese restaurant staple. It’s aromatic, sour and spicy (to your liking)- your taste buds will be dancing! Healthy, satisfying and so easy to make.
Hot and Sour soup is something my grandma (from my dads side/Chinese side) always brought for me anytime my sisters and I were sick. I have to admit, Chinese cuisine isn’t my favourite (I think it’s because I only ever ate it at restaurants and always left feeling kind of heavy and thirsty) BUT Hot and Sour soup is a dish I never passed off on.
Something about the combination of ingredients to make the hot, sour and umami flavours in the soup was just so comforting. I also love that hot and sour soup is not just liquid-y but more viscous and thick. Not to mention the ginger and spice that really helps with a sore throat.
Eric and I were coming down with something (hey sick season 😪) and I just suddenly started craving my Grandma’s Hot and Sour soup. I called her up and asked for the recipe. Of course, she didn’t have exact measurements because I feel like thats just how really great grandparents cook 😂. I went over and we basically recreated her recipe using measurements and replacing the meat with tofu. It tasted EXACTLY how I remember it and I really don’t midd the chicken or egg drop at all!
If you’re looking for the ultimate comforting sick-soup cure, this one is for you. I promise, you’ll immediately feel better.
Ingredient in Vegan Hot and Sour Soup
Traditionally, hot and sour soup contains some kind of protein and eggs. But since we’re making vegan hot and sour soup, we’ll be replacing those ingredients with tofu and water chestnuts to make it just at hearty and satisfying. There are some ingredients that you might not be too similar with and probably won’t find at your local grocery store but I think this would be an amazing opportunity to browse your local Asian market. If you don’t have an Asian market near you, there are many options online! Here are the main ingredients used in this recipe:
The Soup Broth
- Dark soy sauce: for rich and bold flavour.
- Light soy sauce: higher in sodium and the traditional ‘soy sauce’ taste.
- Corn starch: used to thicken the soup.
- Sesame oil: if you know…. you know. Sesame oil is the plug.
- Rice vinegar: essential to giving this soup it’s sour flavour.
- White pepper: the key ingredient to make this soup hot.
- Asian chili bean paste: this is an optional ingredient for those who like it spicy-er.
- Ginger: aromatic and gives a slightly hot-ness to the soup.
Stuff That Goes Into the Hot and Sour Soup
- Dried shiitake mushrooms: gives anything it’s used in tons of umami and the mushrooms themselves have a meaty texture.
- Dried wood ear mushrooms: slightly grassy and woody, with a crunchy texture.
- Extra firm tofu: replaces the meat, adds protein and makes this soup more satisfying
- Water chestnuts: adds more texture and body.
- Bamboo shoots: a must-have ingredient in hot and sour soup.
I know it seems this is a hefty amount of ingredients but I think many of the ingredients would become staples in your pantry, especially if you like cooking vegan asian food 😉.
How to Make Authentic Vegan Hot and Sour Soup
Despite the *kinda* long list of ingredients, this soup is very easy to make, and it’s ready in 30 minutes! All you need is 1-pot!
- Add broth, ginger, white part of onions into a pot over medium high heat.
- Add in the sliced mushrooms, tofu, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and allow the soup to come to a simmer.
- Add in the soy sauce and sugar and turn the heat down to a medium low- let it simmer covered for 8-10 minutes.
- While stirring, slowly pour in corn starch slurry.
- Once soup has thickened, add in the green onions, chili bean paste, rice vinegar, white pepper and sesame oil.
And then devour the entire bowl or two 🙂
How to Store & Reheat Hot and Sour Soup
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days. I’ve found the best way to reheating this soup is on the stove over medium heat. Stir every few seconds until heated through. You can also freeze this soup by dividing it into portions. To reheat from frozen, let it thaw and reheat over the stove. You may need to add more slurry (1 tbsp + 1 tbsp water) to get it thick again.
Additional Tips to Make Authentic Vegan Hot & Sour Soup
- Properly rinse and rehydrate the mushrooms: Rinse the mushrooms in warm water and then add them into bowls with hot water. The shiitake mushrooms will become 1.5x in side and the wood ear mushrooms will almost double in size. If the shiitake mushroom stems are still hard, cut it off and discard.
- Corn starch slurry: When making the slurry, use a whisk or fork. If you let the slurry sit, make sure to mix before pouring into the soup because the corn starch tends to sink to the bottom and you’ll end with lump-y soup.
- Add in the sesame oil, rice vinegar and white pepper LAST: And I quote, from a wise grandma. She said this is a super important step to ensure that the flavour of the vinegar and sesame oil stays and so that the white pepper doesn’t become bitter.
Helpful Tools to Make Vegan Hot & Sour Soup
- Tofu Press: A kitchen staple if you love eating tofu! Make’s it much easier then stacking heavy objects on top.
- Large soup pot: I made a smaller batch for this recipe post, however when making it for my family and myself, defiantly use a large soup pot.
If you’re feeling under the weather or just looking for a comforting and satisfying asian soup, I assure you, this Vegan Hot and Sour Soup with Tofu will be your new go-to. There’s so much flavour and textures and it’ll defiantly get your sinuses opened up!
More Cozy Vegan Soups to Love
- Lemongrass & Ginger Thai Coconut Soup (a current fav)
- Kabocha Brown Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Black Bean Soup (Panera Copy Cat)
- Cheesy Roasted Asparagus Soup
- 1-pot Coconut Curried Tomato Soup
- Fire Roasted Red Lentil Tomato Soup
If you recreate this Vegan Hot and Sour Soup recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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