Authentic Chinese gluten-free hot and sour soup with loads of vegetables, tofu, and an egg cooked in a rich chicken broth or vegetable broth. The flavor is enhanced by balsamic vinegar and a decent amount of ground black peppers. 

Hot and Sour Soup

It’s hot and it’s sour.

But it’s not mouth-burning hot and it’s not that kind of sour where you take a sip and you squeeze your eyes, nose, and mouth altogether.

Instead, this hot sour soup recipe I am about to share with you has a very balanced flavor. It’s another recipe I learned from my mom when I was visiting her in China. As long as you don’t hate vinegar, you’ll be able to enjoy it. I promise.

Hot and Sour Soup Ingredients

Both crunchiness and tenderness.

The crunchiness comes from certain vegetables like carrots and water bamboo shoots. Obviously, we don’t have that here in the States. At least I haven’t seen them. So we are gonna substitute with broccoli stems. (My genius mom came up with this idea. I hope you don’t throw away broccoli stems anymore after learning this recipe.)

Hot and Sour Soup in a soup pot

Next, tofu and a beaten egg are going to bring the soup that hearty and comforting tenderness. Most importantly, there will be two types of mushrooms in the soup – shiitake, and enoki. To me, the mushroom texture is the third layer, somewhere in between the carrots and the tofu.

Vegetable broth, chicken broth, or even beef bone broth will all work as the soup base. It depends on what you have in the kitchen or your preference. You know I prefer homemade stuff.

Now, you’ve got the ingredients down. We are going to cut everything into thin matchsticks. Why? Why don’t we just dice the vegetables like we normally do for soup?

Ladling hot and sour soup

Because the hot sour soup is a quick one to make. We don’t simmer the vegetables for long. The actual cooking time is only 10 minutes. By cutting the vegetable thinly into strips, they’ll be easier to cook. Within the 10 minutes, the carrots and broccoli stems are not going to be melt-in-your-mouth tender, but they will be soft and still crunchy, which is exactly what we want. Other ingredients will be cooked almost instantly in the boiling broth.

After a holiday feast, give your stomach a break or cleanse by enjoying this hot sour soup the next day. Your taste buds will be happy too!

Hot and Sour Soup
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Authentic Chinese gluten-free hot and sour soup with loads of vegetables, tofu, and an egg cooked in a rich chicken broth or vegetable broth.

Hot and Sour Soup (Gluten Free)

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  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Authentic Chinese hot and sour soup with loads of vegetables, tofu and an egg cooked in a rich chicken broth or vegetable broth.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup broccoli stems, cut into matchsticks (stems, not florets)
  • 6 cups chicken bone broth
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1/4 (16-ounce) black extra firm tofu, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnishing


  1. Place shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, carrots, broccoli stems, and chicken bone broth or vegetable broth in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, and add vinegar, coconut aminos, and tofu. Gently stir.
  3. Slowly stir in the dissolved cornstarch in the soup. Keep stirring. The soup will start thickening. Add the beaten egg and immediately start stirring. Turn off the heat. The egg should break into very small pieces floating on the surface of the soup.
  4. Season the soup with 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper first. Taste and add more if desired. (I found that 3/4 teaspoon black pepper is perfect for my taste. But you can adjust the amount according to your preference.) Dish and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.


If desired, you can add 2 sticks imitation crab meat in the soup. Add it with the tofu at step 2. Imitation crab meat contains wheat.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 153
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 368.4mg
  • Fat: 5.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.9g
  • Protein: 10.6g
  • Cholesterol: 33.9mg

About the Author

Sharon Chen, StreetSmart Kitchen

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.