vegan hot and sour soup on a white bowl landscape photo

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.

vegan hot and sour soup on a white bowl

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.

ingredients laid out for vegan hot and sour soup

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 😉.

step by step how to make vegan hot and sour soup

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!

  1. Add broth, ginger, white part of onions into a pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add in the sliced mushrooms, tofu, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and allow the soup to come to a simmer.
  3. Add in the soy sauce and sugar and turn the heat down to a medium low- let it simmer covered for 8-10 minutes.
  4. While stirring, slowly pour in corn starch slurry.
  5. 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 🙂

chinese hot and sour soup in a ladle

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.

chinese sour soup in two bowls with mushrooms, bamboo, water chestnuts and scallions

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.
vegan hot and sour soup close up photo

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!

chinese mushroom soup in a spoon

More Cozy Vegan Soups to Love

vegan hot and sour soup with mushrooms and tofu in a pot

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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vegan hot and sour soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


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.


Units Scale


  1. Place the dried mushrooms into a deep bowl and cover with hot water for 15 minute, or until rehydrated (they should double in size and be soft to the touch). Once rehydrated, slice the mushrooms into thin strips. 
  2. Press excess liquid out of the extra firm tofu either with a tofu press or by wrapping it in lint free kitchen towels and placing a flat heavy object on top for around 10 minutes. While waiting for these two steps, gather the rest of the ingredients. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. 
  3. Into a large pot, add in the broth, grated ginger and white part of the scallions over medium high heat.  
  4. Add in the mushrooms, tofu, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, soy sauce and sugar. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat down to a medium low and cover. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes to let the flavours come together. 
  5. Mix together the corn starch and water to make slurry, ensuring there are no lumps. While stirring, slowly pour in the corn starch slurry. Continue to stir to thicken the soup (1-2 minutes) 
  6. Remove the pot from the stove and add in the green onions, chili bean paste (if using) vinegar, white pepper and sesame oil. Taste and add more rice vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro. 


  • Find dried shiitake mushrooms and/or wood ear mushrooms at your local asian market
  • To make Guten-free: use tamari instead of soy sauces
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 196
  • Sugar: 3.4g
  • Sodium: 980mg
  • Fat: 7.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 22.5g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 0


vegan hot and sour soup pinterest

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Best Hot and Sour soup ever! It is my favorite. I tried making this soup many times but it never worked. I finally found my favorite soup and “twicked” it a bit.
    My husband also enjoyed this tasty soup
    I used to enjoy this soup at a favorite restaurant but now I can make my own and it’s much better than that restaurant

  2. Loved this vegan hot and sour recipe. I added extra mushrooms- oyster, criminis and portabellos because I didn’t have shitake. All the mushrooms were so great in it. I also added bean thread at the end of cooking. Everything came out amazing. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. V🌱💗