Vegetarian Chinese Hot and Sour Soup is a meat-free alternative to a takeout favorite. Shiitake mushrooms, tofu and vegetables are bathed in a delicious vegetable broth flavored with soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili sauce for perfectly balanced flavors.
Vegetarian Chinese Hot and Sour Soup served in a white bowl with black spoons
Chinese hot and sour soup is always a favorite recipe when I want a hot and comforting Chinese soup.  This recipe is has no meat, but you can add pork.  I added carrots to this soup which not  traditional in hot and sour soup, but I love the added veggie and the orange makes for a nice presentation.

The addition of the eggs

I’ve seen some discussion whether the eggs are authentic. I don’t claim that this recipe is authentic, but I do know that all the hot and sour soups I’ve eaten do have eggs.
If you are vegetarian, lacto vegetarian (abstain from eating eggs) you can omit the egg completely or just use the egg white as it contains no animal cells. 

Is hot and sour soup healthy?

In addition to being low in calories (this recipe there are 59 calories per cup) I would say it is pretty healthy. It is low fat, has healthy vegetables, and tofu is a good source of meat-free protein.

A closeup showing the mushrooms, tofu, orange carrots and green onions

Is Hot and Sour Soup gluten free?

There is soy sauce in the soup, but now that gluten-free soy is available so I can say yes, you can make it gluten free.

What is in hot and sour soup?

Hot and sour soup is usually meat based with pork, but this version is vegetarian with tofu, mushrooms, carrots, green onions and vegetable stock.

How hot is the soup?

Don’t be scared by the ‘hot and sour’ name. It is neither too much of any of those, just perfectly balanced flavors. This soup is also great when you have a cold because you can make it spicy and it will help clear the sinuses.

A spoonful of soup ready to be eaten

What do you serve with hot and sour soup?

I like to serve a small appetizer like spring rolls with my Trio of Asian Dipping sauces or Baked Honey Soy Drumsticks.  It is also a nice appetizer before a meal of Grilled Lemongrass Skewers, or Lemongrass Vegetable Noodle Salad.


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Yield: 8 cups/2 quarts

Vegetarian Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Vegetarian Chinese Hot and Sour Soup in a white bowl garnished with green onion

Tofu and vegetables are bathed in a delicious vegetable broth flavored with soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili sauce for perfectly balanced flavors.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1-8 ounce can of bamboo shoots
  • 5 ounces firm tofu, drained, cut into cubes
  • 3 ounces carrots, cut into thin strips (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin


  1. To a small bowl add the soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and salt. 
  2. To a large soup pan add the vegetable stock, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, carrots ginger. Stir in the soy sauce mix and bring to a simmer.
  3. Mix the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water and stir into the soup.  Simmer until thickened.
  4. While stirring, drizzle in the egg until  incorporated.
  5. Serve garnished with green onions.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 59Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 23mgSodium 584mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 4g