Friday, November 16, 2012

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

vegetarian hot & sour soup
I love hot and sour soup, but don't eat it because it has pork. So I made a vegetarian version. It turned out delicious.

Since I live in a semi-rural area of suburbia, trying to find an obscure Asian food ingredient is a wild goose chase. One weekend while visiting our son in the Bay Area (San Francisco), I went shopping at an Asian market. This place was not your little shop in a strip mall. It was the anchor store (99 Ranch Market), super market size, in a strip mall. This store had everything for any style Asian cooking... and several brands of everything to choose from. I counted four brands of tiger lily bulbs. How do I choose?

If you miss the taste of hot and sour soup, but you eat vegetarian now, you'll enjoy this soup recipe. I doubt you'll miss the meat.

Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup

From Chris Pedersen
Yield 4 - 6 servings

Category Soup
Cuisine Chinese, Vegetarian

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Chubby 1-inch piece ginger coursely chopped
30 dried tiger lily bulbs, reconstituted and ends trimmed
Handful of loosely packed black fungus
4 large dried shitake mushrooms (0.5 oz pkg), reconstituted, trimmed and sliced
6 C vegetable broth
1 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine
3/4 tsp white pepper
8 oz firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
1/4 C cornstarch
6 Tbsp water
1 large egg
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 green onion, thinly sliced

1. Heat oil in a 3 or 4-quart pot over high heat. Add ginger and cook stirring frequently until ginger becomes fragrant, about a minute.
2. Add tiger lily bulbs, fungus and mushrooms, stir until you smell their perfume, about 15 seconds.
3. Add vegetable broth. Bring to boil and lower heat to simmer.
4. Add soy sauce and rice wine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add tofu and stir.
5. Disolve cornstarch in water and gradually add to the soup. You may not need the entire amount. Look for achieving a silky thick, not gloppy soup.
6. Beat egg and add sesame oil. Stir egg mixture then pour slowly into soup in a wide circle. Stir gently as egg solidifies into suspended ribbons.
7. Add vinegar and gently stir. Taste and adjust flavor with salt, white pepper and vinegar.
8. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Think about giving this soup a turn at your Thanksgiving meal for a little diversity.

Speaking of Thanksgiving. What's a favorite tradition for your Thanksgiving meal? At my house, it's jewel or garnet yams. Baked and mashed with a bit of olive oil. Simple, sweet and delicious!


  1. I'm a hot and sour soup lover as well. We have a few vegetarian Chinese restaurants in Chinatown in Philadelphia that make it vegan. I also make my own but it's never as good as in Chinatown.Your recipe sounds good. I'm pinning it..

    1. Hi Judee, good to hear from you. Thanks for the Pin. I hope you like the soup.