Sunday, October 14, 2012

BaffinPaddler favourite Hot and Sour Soup Recipe - Vegetarian

“Can I have your recipe for Hot and Sour Soup?”

Yes! Here it is.

This is my favourite Hot and Sour Soup recipe for its exciting, exotic taste and variety of textures. It seems to work magic for scaring away colds and making you feel all warm and happy inside. A big bowl of this spicy, steaming soup is a meal. It's soothing comfort food with a kick that people love all the more on rainy days, or during those long, cold winter months.

Serves 4-6.

  • 1 cake silken or soft plain Tofu (300g). Cut into bite-size cubes. Don’t use the hard flakey Tofu. It’s just awful. You want a tofu that will melt in your mouth. It’s wonderful!
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots (drain off liquid, cut into ¼ inch strips)
  • 1 small can water chestnuts (drain off liquid, slice into strips or cubes)
  • 1 carrot (Julienned) See Tips below for how to Julienne a carrot
  • 2 large eggs (beaten in a bowl)
  • Mushrooms (I use dried, chopped, Shitake mushrooms - 1 packet of 20g), or 1 cup fresh mushrooms of your choice – sliced and sautéed until browned in a little olive oil or canola oil.)
  • 2 tbsp (tablespoons) cornstarch
  • 6 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (start with 1 tablespoon, you can always add more later)
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (2 cartons – 900ml each)
Optional Ingredients
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh chopped ginger root (peel off brown outer skin first and discard) Add to the stock. If you don’t like ginger, omit. The soup will still taste great.
  • Fresh green onions, chopped (to sprinkle on to the soup just before serving)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (to sprinkle on the soup just before serving)

Very Important! Assemble and prepare all the ingredients first. You'll need them ready to go before you start cooking. You may want to enlist the help of a good Sous Chef to help you prep. It's a fun soup to make together.
  1. Put cornstarch in a cup, add soy sauce, hot chili sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar, and mix well until perfectly smooth. NO LUMPS! Set aside. We'll use this magic mixture to thicken, flavour, and glaze the soup just before serving.
  2. In large heavy soup pot, add the 8 cups of stock and fresh ginger.
  3. Bring stock to gentle boil.
  4. Add dried mushrooms, reduce heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes. 
  5. Add carrots, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts.
  6. Stir, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  7. Add tofu, stir gently.
  8. Increase heat to medium. 
  9. Gradually add cornstarch mixture to the broth. Stirring gently, until the broth thickens and gets glossy. It's beautiful!
  10. Lower heat to simmer. Don’t cover pot.
  11. Add beaten eggs gradually, stirring gently to keep eggs from forming large chunks.
  12. It’s time to serve the soup!
  13. Sprinkle with fresh chopped green onions or fresh chopped cilantro (or both!). 
Enjoy! It's awesome!


How to Julienne carrots: Cut ends off carrot and peel. Cut carrot into 1 inch sections and slice lengthwise into thin strips. Great for stir fries and soups.

For Non-vegetarians

Some people like to add cooked boneless pork tenderloin strips, sliced thin, into hot and sour soup recipes. You can also add cooked chicken strips, sliced thin.

Serving Suggestions
  • Put Soy Sauce, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and Hoisin Sauce on the table so people can add more flavours to the soup if they wish.
  • Serve with a side dish of your favourite oriental dumplings, fried rice, or egg rolls and dipping sauce for a really hearty meal.
Have Thermos - Will Travel

You'll need a wide-mouth Thermos to transport this deliciously spicy, hearty soup with you on those cold weather paddles and hikes.
Happy trails!
The BaffinPaddler

More Favourite BaffinPaddler Recipes

You love to eat - right? You're the engine for your boat. Cooking is fun sometimes . . . when you're not paddling, hiking, cycling, skiing, doing yoga, lifting weights, curling, and more. 


  1. Great soup. The new Food on Friday is all about soup. It would be wonderful if you linked this in. Here's the link . Have a souper duper week!

  2. Great that you linked in, thanks. have a good one

  3. Hey Peggy! Looks like your turning into the "Galloping" - I mean the "Paddling" Gourmet! I guess "most" your paddling season is over up in Canada? Hopefully, down south in North Carolina, I'm looking at another 1.5 to 2 months of paddling - maybe? I usually have to wrap up my paddling by the middle-to-end of December. Water temperatures get too cold and I don't own a dry suit. :-(

  4. Hi Mike,

    Funny you asked. I just got back from a beautiful 25km fall paddle on a river. We had a break from the cold this week and it was like a sunny summer day today.

    Fall and winter is when I cook.

    I like good hot stuff to put into a thermos when the weather is cooler for paddling, hikes, or cross country skiing. It's nice to look forward to lunch!

    Cheers from Canada.