Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup

February 27, 2023

Are you in the mood for something comforting yet spicy? Look no further than this vegetarian hot and sour soup! You won’t even miss the meat with the rich umami flavor provided by the shiitake mushrooms. Warm up your soul and your tastebuds with this delicious twist on a classic Chinese takeout dish.

Vegetarian Methods for Preparing Hot and Sour Soup

It takes little effort to change this soup into a plant-based version. Dried lily flowers, wood ears, shiitake mushrooms, spicy tofu, firm tofu, and bamboo shoots are all staples in the original version of our hot and sour soup.

Typically, there is relatively little meat in a serving of hot and sour soup. Instead of chicken stock, you can use veggie or mushroom stock to make this dish vegetarian.

Without the egg, this soup is also suitable for vegans.

I think you’d enjoy this dish and hope you’ll give it a shot.


  • 1 small can of bamboo shoots
  • 4 oz. of fresh firm tofu
  • 3 oz. of spiced dry tofu
  • 0.7 oz. of rehydrated dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 0.35 oz. of rehydrated dried lily flowers
  • 0.35 oz. of rehydrated and sliced dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 1-2 deseeded and chopped dried red chili peppers
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1 scallion (chopped)
  • 7 cups of vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce or seasoned soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of mushroom flavored dark soy sauce or regular dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground white pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar


  1. To rehydrate the dried lily blossoms, wood ears, and shiitake mushrooms, soak them in 1 cup of boiling water for 1 hour in individual bowls. Keep the water used to soak the shiitake mushrooms.
  2. Cut the lily blossoms in half lengthwise and remove the tough stem ends. Wood ears should be chopped roughly, whereas shiitake mushrooms should be sliced very thinly. Thin slices, about 2 inches in length, of the seasoned tofu should be cut off. Tofu should be sliced into pieces that are 1/4 inch thick and roughly 2 inches in length.
  3. Throw the mushrooms and their soaking liquid into a large soup pot along with the stock and heat to a boil. Mix in the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar, dried chili pepper (if using), white pepper, and dark sesame oil.
  4. Then, throw some bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, lily blooms, and wood ears. Toss in the spiced tofu, firm tofu, and vinegar as the soup comes to a simmer.
  5. Whisk the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water. The cornstarch has a tendency to sink to the bottom, so be sure to give it a good stir.
  6. Slowly drizzle in the cornstarch slurry as you bring the mixture to a simmer, constantly stirring with a soup ladle to create a vortex. As a result, the cornstarch will stay manageable. Add additional 30 seconds of simmering time for thickening.
  7. Incorporate your personal taste into the soup’s seasoning by tasting and adjusting as needed. If you want things spicy, feel free to add more white pepper. Additional vinegar, soy sauce, or salt will also work.
  8. Stir the soup once more after it has come to a gentle simmer or boiling. Using a narrow stream, gradually add the beaten egg to the soup. Add the scallions once the egg is done cooking, and then serve!
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