Hot and sour soup 酸辣湯

Hot and sour soup 酸辣湯

When I first arrived in Australia in late 1980s, I studied full time & worked part time in an upmarket Chinese restaurant serving northern style cuisines. I was always amazed by the beautiful aroma from the hot and sour soup and its interesting taste – hot but not overwhelming, sour with a woody base,  sweet and crunchy, offering so much comfort on a winter’s night.

Hot and sour soup 酸辣湯

Recipe is as follow:


  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large Chinese mushrooms – soaked in hot water for 20 minutes; thinly sliced
  • 1 large wood ear – soaked in warm water for 10 minutes; thinly sliced
  • 4 pieces of spicy fish cake, thinly sliced  (available from Asian store, fridge section)  (optional)
  • 1 small carrot, julienne
  • 1 small potato, julienne
  • 2 tsp dark vinegar (you can use the Chinese dark vinegar, but I found balsamic gives a more refreshing flavor)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  •  a drizzle of sesame oil
  • a drizzle of chilli oil (or sliced chilli)
  • white pepper
  • sliced shallot, to garnish


  • In a sauce pan, add chicken stock and Chinese mushrooms; bring to boil, then simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender; add potato, simmer for 5 minutes; add carrot, wood ear, fish cake
  • Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, white pepper & chilli oil to the soup; bring to boil; remove from heat & it is ready to serve
  • Garnish with sliced shallot

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