Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

A vegan version of the eponymous Chinese dish: Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣湯). It is hearty, spicy, and sour — one of my favorite round table dishes to have during Lunar New Year.

Traditionally the dish contains meat and egg, but we made it vegan & just as good by packing it with mushroom umami and replacing the egg drops with tofu skin (yuba). It’s very easy to make, and highly adaptable to many veggies you might have on hand, such as bamboo shoots, cabbage, or other mushrooms such as enoki and oyster mushrooms.

Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

5 from 8 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: DinnerCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



A vegan version of the eponymous Chinese dish: Hot and Sour Soup (酸辣湯). It is hearty, spicy, and sour — one of my favorite round table dishes to have during Lunar New Year.


  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & thinly sliced

  • 6 pieces dried black fungus (wood ear), rehydrated & thinly sliced

  • 1 liter (4 cups) water (1 cup for soaking mushrooms)

  • 1/2 carrot (40 grams), julienned

  • 200 grams (1/2 block) soft or silken tofu, thinly sliced

  • 1 inch ginger, julienned

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • 50 grams yuba (tofu skin), pulled apart

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

  • Cornstarch Slurry
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, or to taste

  • Seasoning Mix
  • 4 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, I used Lee Kum Kee’s

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, I used Lee Kum Kee’s

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (use 1/2 teaspoon for a less spicy soup)

  • 2 teaspoons mushroom bouillon


  • Prepare Mushrooms. Lightly rinse dried shiitake mushrooms and dried black fungus to get rid of unwanted grit. Soak them together in a bowl with 1 cup of hot water (I use another bowl to make sure they are submerged) for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Slice them into thin strips.
  • Preparation Other Ingredients. Prepare carrots, ginger, and scallions as instructed. Very carefully slice the silken tofu into thin batons (if this is too challenging, you can cut them into small cubes too). Roughly tear the yuba (tofu skin) apart into thin strands.
  • Prepare Slurry & Seasoning. In a bowl, whisk together cornstarch, water, light soy sauce, darks soy sauce, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together black vinegar, rice vinegar, white pepper, and mushroom bouillon. Note: Make sure the white pepper is very well dissolved. We mix it here with the vinegar as it’s prone to clumping when directly added to the soup.
  • Make the Soup. In a pot, add water, mushroom-soaking liquid, ginger, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and black fungus. Bring to a boil over medium heat then carefully add your silken tofu (I lift them up with a knife to avoid breaking them). Give the cornstarch slurry a final stir (to make sure the slurry is homogenous), and slowly swirl it into the soup to thicken. Add more cornstarch (dissolved in equal parts water) to thicken even more, or add more water if the soup becomes too thick. Once thickened, remove the pot from heat and add the vinegar & white pepper mixture, along with yuba (tofu skin) and scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Garnish with more scallions and/or fresh cilantro leaves, and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. Serve warm.


  • Technique Note. For the best hot & sour experience, we don’t want to cook the vinegar and white pepper, so as to retain their flavor/pungency. This is why they are added together at the very end, off the heat.
  • Vegetarian Option. If vegetarian, you can use egg instead of yuba for this recipe. Simply beat together 2 whole eggs and drizzle into the simmering soup near the end.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

I made this for dinner tonight and it was spectacular. It all came together so quickly

Marilyn Jacobs
Marilyn Jacobs
2 years ago

This is our new favorite hot and sour soup. It was delicious and quick with most ingredients we have on hand.

2 years ago

I have to admit, that moment when the cornstarch slurry begins to thicken the soup….felt like magic! I loved the subtle zing of the black vinegar, I did add a little bit of chili powder to my bowl but the original recipe was incredible!

2 years ago

Ive made this recipe twice now and this time I’ve doubled it, it’s so incredibly delicious and comforting. Also, huge bonus how easy it is to put together, takes barely any time and no effort if you have one of those fancy food processors.

Thanks for the great recipe!

2 years ago

This is sooo good!!! Reminds me of my father’s cooking.