Restaurant Style Chinese Hot and Sour Soup (Vegan)

Nothing that lovely than a warming hot and sour soup in a raining day. I’ve always been crazy for restaurant style hot and sour soup and amaze how they make it so delicious.

I made this in a few months ago but didn’t quite work as I expected, because I had too little cornstarch, so I had to make it again.

The challenge when cooking this vegan soup is the ingredients. The two ingredients may be hard to find are bamboo shoots and black fungus. Those are both can be found in Asian grocery stores.

The bamboo shoot I bought came in a package that didn’t even say it was bamboo shoots, so I have included a photo to show you what they look like.

Unfortunately, you will need to make the mushroom broth first, which can take a few hours. But seriously with that, the soup will taste a million times better, maybe this is the answer why they always delicious when I ate in the restaurant.

That is why I don’t advise you to substitute the homemade mushroom broth with store bought vegetable broth or water.

Remember that this is slightly spicy, so if you don’t like things too spiced up, add less cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. This soup also goes extremely well with rice, so you may want to cook up a pot of rice to have with it.

Restaurant Style Chinese Hot and Sour Soup (Vegan)
Serves: 4
Hot and Sour Soup
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked 4-5 hours
  • 1 medium carrot
  • ½ block bamboo shoot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A small handful (4-5) dried black fungus, soaked 4-5 hours
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan/sea salt
  • ½ block silken tofu
  • 3½ cups mushroom broth (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white cooking wine (or shaoxing cooking wine)
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dark/aged vinegar (I used Shanxi aged vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 scallion
Mushroom Broth
  • 6-8 medium/large white mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Hot and Sour Soup
  1. Be sure that you’ve soaked the dried shiitake mushrooms and small handful of black fungus in water for at least 4-5 hours. Drain all the water, rinse it a couple of times and drain again.
  2. Slice the shiitake mushrooms, carrot, bamboo shoot, garlic, black fungus and tofu in thin strips. Try to slice the bamboo shoots and carrots as thin as you can. Tofu can be slightly thicker. Slice the scallion in a slightly slanted way and lay all the chopped veggies on the cutting board, separate from each other.
  3. Add a tablespoon of extra light olive oil in the frying pan and turn the heat to medium high (5-6). Wait a minute for it to warm up, then add the sliced shiitake mushrooms. Let it cook and stir for about 3 minutes or so until you begin to smell its fragrance.
  4. Add the carrots and stir and let it cook for 2 minutes, then add the bamboo shoots, garlic, black fungus and salt. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the broth, silken tofu (be careful, they break very easily) and turn the heat to high.
  6. Add the soy sauce, cooking wine, apple cider vinegar, dark vinegar, sesame oil, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Let it heat up for about 6 minutes. You should see the water getting hotter, but it should not be boiling yet. Turn the heat down to medium (4).
  7. Let it cook for another 5 minutes, then add the chopped scallions and stir for a minute, and turn off the heat.
Mushroom Broth
  1. Chop the mushrooms, onions and garlic in slices/smaller pieces and place them in a large saucepan with the two sprigs of parsley and 7 cups water.
  2. Bring it to a boil, which can take up to 15 minutes, then reduce to medium low (3) and let it gently simmer for 3 hours with the lid on. Put all the contents through a fine mesh sieve and catch the broth with a large bowl underneath.


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