My mum likes to make healthy hot + sour soups with few ingredients: white pepper, Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce, veggie broth, and a bit of toasted sesame oil. She likes to use napa cabbages, bamboo shoots, carrots, tofu, and plenty of dried shiitake mushrooms (I prefer the organic and fresh shiitake mushrooms) in hot and sour soup especially with noodles. I’ve been working on different versions of hot + sour soups with different ingredients, thickener, and noodles. So far this V.3 or Version 3 recipe I made was pretty good. I’m really happy with this recipe and would make it again. If you have a fridge full of veggies that need to be put to use, use them to make your hot and sour soup!
Few major ingredients for this recipe
1. Ground white pepper (Available at Asian markets, especially at some grocery stores. Just ask the staff for ground white pepper).
2. Chinese black vinegar (Available at Asian markets, just ask one of the staff, and they will lead you there. I use the brand Kong Yen Black Vinegar, it is a Taiwanese brand and it’s useful for many Asian dishes).
3. Toasted sesame oil (Available at Asian markets or you can use the Kevala Organic Toasted Sesame Oil ).
4. Dark Broth (I always use this gluten-free Edward & Sons Not-Beef Bouillon and it’s useful for many Asian soups that use “beef” stock.)
- 8-ounce Chinese noodles (follow the instructions and boil them in advance)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes, to taste
- 4 cups vegetarian beef or vegetable broth (Used gf Edward & Sons Not-Beef Bouillon )
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (a must ingredient to use for this dish), to taste
- 3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (available at your local Asian markets)
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons potato starch, or any thickener (Used Bob's Red Mill Potato Starch or you can find potato starch at your local Asian markets)
- 1/4 cup nappa cabbage or bok choy, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, with hard stems removed (baby ones are ok)
- 1 small carrot, julienned (we love this peeler, Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler )
- 3-ounce firm tofu diced into 1/2-inch cubes, pressed TofuXpress-Gourmet Food Press (about 4-6 hours max.)
- 1/4 cup bean sprouts (optional, add them in the end)
- 2 medium scallions, finely chopped into rounds
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, leaves removed and chopped for garnish
- Boil your favorite Asian noodles. After they are cooked, remove the noodles from the pot immediately and place them in a tray full of cold water. Set them aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat oil, and sauté ginger & garlic on medium heat until fragrant (do not burn the garlic). Add dried chili flakes. Pour in broth.
- Add white pepper, Chinese black vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce in it and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add all vegetables & tofu until vegetables are tender for 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve starch in 1/2 cup cold water until smooth and then add it to the soup while it is boiling. Stir continually to avoid lumps.
- Prepare your cooked noodles in serving bowls. Add the soup and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
- Serve hot.
Other vegetables: You can add any leftover produces in the fridge for your hot and sour soup.
Spicier version: Use chopped fresh Thai chiles or Sriracha for garnish.