Easy and Nutritious Homemade Hot Sour Soup Recipe Perfect for Any Meal

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Working your way through any recipe, acknowledging the importance of ingredients is key. Your choice of ingredients impacts not only the taste but the overall nutritional value of the hot sour soup.

Let’s start off with the central components of our recipe. You’ll need some pork loin, tofu, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and eggs.

  • Pork loin: This cut of meat is flavorful and contributes to the soup’s savory depth. You’ll need about half a pound.
  • Tofu: Look for firm tofu. It contributes to the texture variance and protein content of the soup. Around 200g should be enough.
  • Wood ear mushrooms: They add a unique crunchiness to the soup. Opt for dried ones which need to be immersed in water before cooking. Take an ounce.
  • Bamboo shoots: Their tangy flavor adds an interesting dimension to the hot sour soup. Half a cup is sufficient.
  • Eggs: A single beaten egg will provide the distinctive egg-drop consistency.
Ingredients Quantity
Pork loin Half a pound
Firm Tofu 200g
Dried Mushrooms 1 ounce
Bamboo shots Half a cup
Eggs 1 (beaten)

To give your soup that trademark hot and sour kick, you’d need rice vinegar, white pepper, light soy sauce, and dark soy sauce.

Remember, the amount is key here. Too much of any of these could overpower the subtler flavors.

Ingredients Quantity
Rice Vinegar 3 tablespoons
White Pepper Half a teaspoon
Light Soy Sauce 2 tablespoons
Dark Soy Sauce 1 tablespoon

Surprised by the inclusion of dark soy sauce? Its richer color and stronger flavor give the soup a unique twist.

Let’s talk nutrition. With these ingredients, you’ll be serving a hearty, low-calorie dish packed with proteins and essential nutrients. Keep in mind, though, the total nutritional value may vary based on exact measurements and any additional ingredients used.

Preparing the Broth

To make your homemade hot sour soup even more mouthwatering, let’s focus on preparing the broth. Did you know the broth plays a pivotal role in defining the overall flavor, aroma, and texture of your soup? So it’s crucial to get this step right.

Begin with about 8 cups of good quality chicken stock. If you’re feeling adventurous and have time on your hands, making stock from scratch could seriously elevate your soup game. However, if you’re short on time, store-bought stock will do just fine.

Next up, add the key flavors: dark and light soy sauce. You’ll need 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce. This combination may be unusual but trust us; it’s what gives the soup a distinctive taste. The dark variant imparts a bold hue to the soup and enhances the overall taste profile.

Bring your stock to a boil. Adding in our main ingredients comes next. You’ve got your sliced pork loin, sliced tofu, shredded wood ear mushrooms, and your julienne bamboo shoots. Just remember to keep the heat on a medium setting as you don’t want to boil these ingredients, they should be gently simmered.

To make the soup nutritionally balanced, remember to add eggs, but not before you turn down the heat. As a nutritional powerhouse, eggs are a source of high-quality protein with fewer calories. But the addition of eggs is as much about the nutrition as it is about the silky texture they lend to the soup. Allow the lightly beaten eggs to swirl in the simmering stock around 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t stir them immediately into the broth to ensure they form thin, beautiful strands.

Finally, it’s time for the ‘hot’ and ‘sour’ components: rice vinegar and white pepper. Drizzle in about 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ground white pepper as per your taste preference.

Spot-on broths rarely happen overnight; it’s the result of multiple tries. So, even if you don’t nail it in the first go, you’re one step closer each time, progressing towards making a palatable homemade hot sour soup. Remember, it’s the journey that needs to be enjoyed as much as the destination.

Adding the Vegetables and Proteins

Getting your proteins and vegetables ready is a vital step to achieving the traditional yet exotic mouth-feel of this delightful soup. Remember, each cut and slice brings forth a burst of flavors unique to the ingredients used.

Start with your tofu and pork loin. Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch pieces and slice the pork loin thinly, so each serving has a generous distribution of these protein sources.

For your veggies. Slice the bamboo shoots into 1/8-inch-thick pieces, while the wood ear mushrooms should be shredded into thin strips. This ensures not just flavor, but a nice textural variety to each spoonful of your homemade hot sour soup.

Ingredient Quantity
Tofu 1/2-inch pieces
Pork loin thinly sliced
Bamboo shoots 1/8-inch-thick pieces
Wood ear mushrooms shredded into thin strips

Throughout the process, bear in mind you’re building up levels of flavor. Watch your simmer. You don’t want your ingredients ending up overcooked, losing their distinct texture and taste.

So, you now have your poultry stock bubbling gently, your proteins and veggies prepped. Here’s a nifty little nugget of wisdom. Stagger the way you introduce your proteins and veggies into the soup. Start with the pork loin, as it takes a little longer to tenderize. The tofu, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms follow suit, as they need less time to absorb the rich flavors of the broth.

Leaning into a healthier choice? Substituting pork with chicken or turkey is a fantastic, equally nutritious option.

This phase of adding your vegetables and proteins is paramount to your culinary creation. It adds depth, color, texture, and most importantly, the ever soulful umami essence that you’re after. With this, you’re one step closer to experiencing a perfect bowl of homemade hot sour soup. Throw in that handful of patience as your soup gently simmers, bringing us back to the beautiful narrative that is the art of cooking.

Adjusting the Seasoning

You’ve mastered the art of preparing proteins and vegetables. You’re now ready to become a guru of flavor enhancement. Let’s delve into the crucial phase of adjusting the seasoning.

You might ask “Why is it so important?” Adjusting seasoning is the secret key to unlocking the soups full potential. This phase will catapult your soup from just ‘good’ to a ‘wow, I can’t get enough!’ level.

Begin with low sodium soy sauce and Chinkiang vinegar. You’ll want one tablespoon of each. Why low sodium, you might ask? It gives you full control over the salt levels. The same goes for controls in adjusting sour notes via the vinegar.

A common mistake here is adding spices too early. Chinese white pepper, an essential ingredient, is best added now. You’ll need a half teaspoon. Remember, too much might overwhelm the soup.

Don’t shy away from unconventional additions. Sesame oil, often overlooked, adds a layer of aromatic subtlety. Just a few drops will do.

Have you ever considered the magic of sugar in savory recipes? A pinch of sugar can balance out the sharp flavours, rounding out a harmoniously robust broth. It’s not your run-of-the-mill soup ingredient, but trust me, it works.

Let’s not forget about the nutritional value. You’re creating a nutritional powerhouse here. The proteins bring essential amino acids, while the vegetables add vitamins and minerals. The soy sauce and vinegar, in moderation, offer considerable health benefits. Not to mention, you’ve cleverly worked in a superfood – the mushrooms – to boot!

At the end of the day, it’s your soup. Feel free to tweak the flavors according to your taste buds.

Serving and Enjoying Your Homemade Hot Sour Soup

By now, your soup’s all ready and it’s time to serve. Before dishing out, let your soup sit and simmer for a few moments. This rest period allows all those delicious flavors to blend together further, taking your soup to the next level of yumminess.

We could argue, the best way to enjoy hot sour soup is straight out of the pot, but why limit yourself to just one method? Place the soup in a large, pre-heated ceramic bowl. The ceramic helps retain the heat longer, ensuring you can savor every spoonful while it’s still steaming.

Hot sour soup pairs well with a variety of dishes. Chinese style dumplings, spring rolls, or steamed buns complement its taste and build a full-fledged nutritious and delectable meal. It’s also good with flame grilled meats and veggies, if you’re looking for a hearty fusion dinner.

Suppose you’re the adventurous kind, looking to elevate an already scrumptious soup. Customize your servings with garnishes to dabble with extra flavors or textures. Sliced scallions, a hint of roasted sesame seeds, or even adding in cooked shrimp or tofu. These all add a zestful spin on the classic hot sour soup.

Don’t forget, homemade hot sour soup is just as divine the next day! Reheat it for a quick meal, or pack it up for a healthy, flavor-packed lunch option at work.

Your homemade hot sour soup is not just a warming meal, it’s packed full of nutritional goodness. Rich in essential proteins, a host of vitamins and minerals, and health boosting properties from soy sauce and vinegar, it’s a meal you can relish without guilt.

As you explore this delightful soup journey, remember each time you cook, it’s a new opportunity to tweak to suit your taste buds, or adapt to fit what’s in your pantry. So, make it your own and enjoy the wholesome, delicious fruits of your labor.


So, there you have it! Your guide to creating a delicious homemade hot sour soup. Remember, the magic lies in letting the soup sit before serving, and a pre-heated ceramic bowl can make all the difference. Don’t forget to pair it with your favorite sides, be it Chinese dumplings, spring rolls, or grilled goodies. The garnish game is all yours – scallions, sesame seeds, shrimp, or tofu – the choice is yours. This soup isn’t just about taste, it’s packed with nutrition too. And the best part? You can enjoy the leftovers the next day. With this recipe, you have the flexibility to make the soup your own. So, dive in and enjoy this satisfying and nutritious dish.

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