Hot and Sour Soup – 酸辣湯

one of my colleagues was telling me that she loves hot and sour soup and since we are both doing the 5:2 diet and this soup is quite low in calories (less than 200 calories a portion that would be starter sized) and fat, i thought i would make it for us to both enjoy either on a fast day or on a binge day. it literally took make about half an hour to chop and prepare all the ingredients as well as make the soup so this is something that can be made easily and quickly and it tastes so good that it will easily become a regular in your kitchen. some of the ingredients may not be too easy to get in your typical supermarket but they can always be subsidised by similar ingredients.


  • 150g boneless pork loin shredded into small strips
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 small Chinese dried black mushrooms
  • 12 small dried tree ear mushrooms (these can be replaced with fresh mushrooms)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 litre chicken broth – stock cubes would  be ok
  • 100g firm tofu sliced into strips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced greens onions
  • 1 carrot finely shredded into match sticks


before we start cooking make sure that all ingredients are carefully prepared and in bowls ready to be used quickly. with asian cooking, preparation is key and once everything is prepared the cooking takes literally minutes.

place the pork and dark soy sauce in a bowl and allow the pork to marinade. if using dried mushrooms place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water leaving them to soften and expand. once softened remove the mushrooms from the water and shred into small strips. mix 100ml of the soaking liquid with the corn starch and stir to form a paste.

In a cup or small bowl mix the sugar, salt, light soy and vinegars.

heat the peanut oil in a wok and wait until the oil is beginning to smoke before adding the pork. stir rapidly to prevent the pork sticking to the bottom of the wok. once all of the pork is coloured then add in the bamboo shoots, mushrooms and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add in the chicken broth and the tofu and bring to the boil. Once boiling the vinegar mixture should be added to the soup along with the corn starch mix and the white pepper.

beat the two eggs in a cup until they look ready for scrambling. with one hand stir the soup so that the liquid is moving in a circular motion and then gently pour the egg mix into the moving soup. keep stirring and the egg should start to form in tiny white beads.  drizzle in the remaining sesame oil and add the green onions and carrot. Leave to boil for a couple of minutes.

taste to make sure that the balance of pepper heat and vinegar sourness is to your liking and adjust with more vinegar or pepper as required. then remove from the heat and serve.

it may not be the norm but i LOVE warmed through crusty bread served with this soup as i just love the flavour combination and the textures of the ingredients in the soup and the crunchiness of the bread.

so while its cold outside and since it january and we are all looking to watch our figures after the festive blow out get your hot and sour soup on and don’t worry about indulging in calories while you indulge in fantastic flavour.

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2 Responses to Hot and Sour Soup – 酸辣湯

  1. Yvonne Harradence says:

    Hi Craig, don’t know if you’re still in touch with Kiri Little from your Newcastle Uni days, we’re trying to get some important family documents to her regarding a will but I’m afraid she’s not been in touch with the family for some years, we have no idea how to contact her except know she’s still in Sheffield somewhere. She’s due an inheritance and actually an executor so legally we’re at an impasse until she can be found. If you have any current email or social media contact would be grateful if you could ask her if she can somehow get a contact email urgently to yharradence at hotmail dot com

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