Making a delicious homemade Hot & Sour Soup is surprisingly easy! You can make it in the Ninja Foodi like I did, on the stove, or even in your Cold & Hot Blender.
Have you ever wanted to make Hot & Sour soup at home, but didn't even know where to start? That was me a few months ago.
Jeff and I had some at a local Chinese restaurant and it was better than any I've ever had. I usually opt for Egg Drop Soup, but was so glad I didn't this time. I've had hot & sour soup that tastes like dishwater in the past, so this one was such a pleasant surprise.
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Then came the loaded question from Jeff, "Can you make this at home?" My eyes got kind of big because it looks like a complicated soup to make. To be honest, I didn't even know what was in it!
I said, "Sure!" See, we live at least 45 minutes from any decent restaurant and going to "town" takes all day, so learning to make the foods we love is really a necessity. I got to work right away by looking at tons and tons of recipes on the internet.
One stuck out the most and I felt it was the most authentic version. While I changed quite a few things, I was most definitely inspired by this recipe for Hot & Sour Soup by The Woks of Life.
I started out making the soup in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender because I enjoy making small batches of soups and the blender works perfectly for this, however, it wasn't getting as thick as I wanted it to be.
It was also faster to make it in the Ninja Foodi using the sear/sauté function, but I will give the blender directions in the post if you want to use that appliance instead.
You can also make the soup on the stove by following the directions in the recipe.
What Special Ingredients do I need to Make Hot & Sour Soup?
There are a few ingredients in Hot & Sour Soup that you may not be able to find in grocery stores, depending on where you live. I live in the middle of nowhere and had to order 3 of the ingredients from Amazon.
I'm happy to report that they were reasonably priced and the quality was great on all three items. It is also perfectly fine to skip these ingredients or substitute them with a different kind of mushroom. It will change the flavor slightly, but not too much. The mushrooms I used really gave the authentic texture to the soup, so you will miss out on that, but it will still be delicious!
The first time I made the soup, I did it without these ingredients and we loved it!
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
If you have a Whole Foods or another gourmet-style grocery store, you can probably find these pretty easily. I don't, so I ordered them on Amazon. The 1.5 ounces goes a long way! We only use 0.25 ounce in this recipe. Here is the link to the Shiitake Mushrooms I used: VIGOROUS MOUNTAINS Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
A good substitute for the Shiitake mushroom is baby portobello.
Wood Ear Mushrooms
I have to be honest here and say I had never heard of a wood ear mushroom before doing research for this recipe. They look like (and I think they are sometimes called) a dog ear when they are hydrated.
The texture is on the rubbery side and I always thought it was seaweed in the Hot & Sour soups I've ordered.
I really can't think of a substitute except for adding in strips of dried seaweed, which of course will have a slightly different texture.
I have heard that you can also purchase these at gourmet style grocery stores and they are dried, like the Shiitake.
I ordered mine on Amazon and was very pleased with them. Here is the link: Vigorous Mountains Dried Black Fungus Wood Ear Mushrooms
Dried Lily Flowers
Although I have never seen dried lily flowers in any grocery store I've been it, I also can't say that I've looked for them. You may be able to find them in a gourmet grocery store and I bet Asian markets would have them as well.
Here is the link to the kind I purchased on Amazon: Dried Lily Flowers
Everything else should be easy to find.
What to Serve with Hot & Sour Soup
Hot & Sour soup is perfect and filling for lunch, but if you want to create a great takeout style meal at home, here are some suggestions!
How to make Hot & Sour Soup in the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender
I've made this recipe in the blender several times and the only issue I had was getting it to thicken enough. It was delicious and easy, but not quite as thick as in the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker.
I absolutely love the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender, but the one drawback is when making thicker soups/dips/jams, a film forms over the bottom heating element and really blocks the heat transfer.
Once you add the cornstarch slurry, it thickens some, but then stops because the soup isn't able to reach a high enough temp to activate the cornstarch.
You could try using xanthan gum mixed with some sesame seed oil because the xanthan gum doesn't have to be heated to thicken. I would start off with ½ tsp mixed in about 2 tsp of sesame oil.
The instructions are ALMOST exactly the same for the blender as they are in the Ninja Foodi. You want to use the manual heat mode on high and simmer all of the ingredients for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
Then, make sure the blender is boiling the soup as you stream in the egg mixture. I used the tamper to stir the soup without taking off the lid. So, I poured some egg in, stirred with the tamper, pour more egg in and stirred. I repeated this process until all the egg mixture was gone.
You don't want to thicken the soup BEFORE you add the egg mixture because you won't get it to boil after thickening it.
After the egg mixture is added in, then you can add the cornstarch slurry to thicken or simply skip that part and enjoy the soup as is. It's delicious either way!
How to Make Hot & Sour Soup in the Ninja Foodi or on the Stove
The process is exactly the same for stovetop cooking as it is for the Ninja Foodi. We are only using the sear/sauté on the Ninja Foodi which cooks just like an electric stove.
I'm sure you could add certain ingredients and pressure cook the soup, then finish adding the remaining ingredients, but it's so quick to make it this why I don't think you'd save any time by pressure cooking it.
The only thing that might be a benefit is if you don't have time to soak your mushrooms to rehydrate them. You can do that in the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker pretty quickly, although I will say that they had a better texture after soaking.
How to Pressure Cook the Hot & Sour Soup
If you wanted to pressure cook the soup, this is how I would do it. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, garlic sauce, dried mushrooms and lily flowers. Add in the thinly sliced chicken, but leave out the marinade part until later. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes with a natural release of 10.
Then add in the marinade and the cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil using the sear/sauté until it thickens. Then drizzle in the egg mixture.
How to use Sear/sauté to make the soup
The first thing you want to do is soak the mushrooms and day lilies in water for at least an hour. You can speed this up some by using hot water and some people use a coffee press to make sure the mushrooms stay under the water.
You could also add water to the Ninja Foodi and PC for about 3-5 minutes and do a short NR and I bet your mushrooms will be pretty well hydrated!
I didn't have any trouble hydrating mine and they weren't submerged all the way.
Once the mushrooms and day lilies are hydrated, slice the mushrooms into strips. Cut the day lily flower buds into thirds.
The next thing is to get the chicken thinly sliced and marinating in the mirin and cornstarch.
You can freeze the chicken breast for 30 minutes or so to make it easier to get really thin slices. Then add the chicken to a sealable bag along. Mix the mirin with the cornstarch.
From here on out, it's a super fast process!
Turn the sear/sauté on high. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, white vinegar, chicken with the marinade, mushrooms and day lilies to the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. While the soup is cooking, whisk one egg into a bowl or preferably a measuring cup that is easy to pour from.
When the chicken is cooked through, add the drained bamboo shoots (I slice them thinner) and the sliced tofu.
*You can add the bamboo shoots while the chicken is cooking, but don't add the tofu because you don't want it to break up while the soup is boiling for 15-20 minutes.
Turn the sear/sauté to high. Bring the soup back up to a boil if it isn't boiling and slowly pour in the beaten egg, while stirring with a spoon in a circular motion.
Here is a video to show you how slowly I added the egg mixture.
Once all the egg mixture is poured into the soup, mix 2 Tbsp of cornstarch with water or the liquid you used to soak the shiitake mushrooms to create a slurry.
Pour the slurry into the soup and stir. Bring to a boil until thickened. You can always add more cornstarch if you want your soup thicker, but always mix it with a liquid so it doesn't clump in the soup. Cold liquid is best.
Add some green onions diced if desired and I like to top my soup with a touch of sesame oil as I serve it.
Hot & Sour Soup in the Ninja Foodi or Stovetop
- 8 ounces chicken breast
- ¼ cup Mirin wine
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
Hot & Sour Soup Ingredients
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- ¼ ounce shiitake mushrooms dried
- ¼ ounce wood ear mushrooms dried
- ¼ ounce lily flowers dried
- 4 ounces firm tofu
- ¼ cup bamboo shoots
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- green onions optional
- sesame oil for drizzling on top of soup
- Soak the mushrooms and dried lily flowers in hot water for about 1 hour. I do this in 3 separate containers so I can use the shiitake water in the cornstarch slurry at the end.
- Thinly slice the chicken breast and put in a sealable bag. Combine the mirin wine and 1 Tbsp of cornstarch, mix well and add to the bag. Let the chicken marinate while the mushrooms are soaking.
- Turn the sear/sauté on high. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce, vinegar, chicken, mushrooms, and lily flowers and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely.
- Cut the tofu into strips and add to the soup along with the drained bamboo shoots. You can either cut the bamboo shoots in smaller strips or leave them as is.
- Whip the egg to combine the yolk and white. Bring the soup to a boil and slowly pour in the egg mixture while gently stirring in a circular movement. This will create beautiful egg ribbons.
- Combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water and stir to make a slurry. You can also use the water from soaking the shiitake mushrooms which does add some flavor. Pour the slurry into the soup and stir to combine. Bring to a boil for a few minutes or until the soup is thickened how you like it.
- Top with chopped green onions and sesame oil. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.