Hot & Sour Soup (酸辣汤)

Time to celebrate the closing of a festive new year season. May the year of the Tiger be a calm and peaceful one, and may we continue to look forward to a better year ahead.

This dish and recipe reminds me a lot about my childhood. While I was in primary school, my mum used to work as a part-timer at a supermarket at the Ginza Plaza (now known as the West Coast Plaza) and so I had had to take on the role to prepare dinner everyday. She would leave some ingredients ready in the fridge so that all I had to do was throw everything together – simple staff really if I didn’t recall wrongly. One of my favourites would be the hot and sour soup because she purchased the Knorr brand mix which contained a ready mixture, so all you had to do was add the mix to water, add in egg and tofu, and voila the soup would be ready in a gist. I loved that the soup was thick and peppery and I could easily finish a bowl off as a kid.

Knorr would probably still have this mix in the supermarket, but I haven’t tried it for a long time. Maybe it’s a good time now to try this again, but for now, I’ll cook it from scratch just for fun. Not the thickest soup I know it could be though, so I’ll try better next time.

For now, enjoy this recipe!


  • Chicken stock: 4 cups
  • Shiitake mushroom: 100g, sliced thinly
  • Black vinegar: 3 tbsp
  • Light soy sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Ground ginger: 1 tsp
  • Cornstarch mixture: 2 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp water
  • Egg: 1, large, beaten
  • Silken tofu: 100g, cubed
  • Green onion: 1 stalk, finely chopped
  • Sesame oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Ground white pepper: 2 tsp


  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil.
  2. Add in mushrooms, black vinegar, light soy sauce and ground ginger.
  3. Whisk in cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup.
  4. Stir soup in a circular motion. Drizzle in egg to create egg ribbons.
  5. Stir in tofu, green onions, sesame oil, salt and white pepper.
  6. Serve hot with rice.


  • Different recipes propose using different types of vinegar (black or white). I personally think that black vinegar works best, especially the good quality ones with a slight sweetness to the taste.

  • Put in a lot of ground white pepper to spice it all up – that’s how the ‘hot’ in this dish comes about!

3 – 4 persons as side dish

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