Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Traditional made with bamboo shoots, lilli buds and woodear mushrooms our recipe uses easier to find ingredients yet maintains the basic principle of this soup. The hot is from chilli (though only in small amounts) and the sour from the vinegar in this soup. The addition of five spice gives the soup extra depth of flavour. For vegetarians, the chicken or duck can be replaced with fresh or fried tofu.

Serves2 Origin Far East
Preparation 20 min Heat rating (Medium)
Cooking 15 min Ease (Easy)
Vegetarian No


tsp Chinese five spice
tsp Crushed Bird's Eye Chilli
1 tbsp cooking oil
2.5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 handfuls fresh mushrooms, sliced (if you can fine shitake use them or else whatever you can find)
220g canned bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed (optional) or beansprouts at the end
2 spring onions
A handful of pois gourmand (mangetoute) or fine green beans halved
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
700ml of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp sugar
a pinch of pepper
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
1 beaten egg
100g cooked chicken or ideally thinly sliced duck (in French aiguillettes de canard)


For the soup base, heat the oil in a wok, then fry the ginger and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the chilli, rice wine, stock, bamboo shoots (if using otherwise beansprouts are added later) and the soy sauce , vinegar, five spice, pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil, then add with the cornflour paste, stirring well, until thickened. Reduce the heat. Add the pois gourmand or beans allow to simmer. In a bowl whisk the egg, slowly drizzle the egg into the soup whisking the soup continuously with a fork. Finally add the chicken or duck and chopped spring onions, beansprouts and serve.

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