Life / Food

A better and faster spicy-sour soup than delivery

BOOK EXCERPT: Ready or Not, by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong

The hot and sour soup is a Chinese restaurant staple.


The hot and sour soup is a Chinese restaurant staple.

This spicy-sour soup has long been a mainstay of Chinese restaurant menus, but you can make it in less time than it takes for the delivery person to drive over. It’ll taste better, too — and it won’t contain any mystery ingredients.

Hot + Sour Soup

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 tbsp ghee or fat of choice
  • 1 large leek julienned, white and light green parts only
  • ¼ lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb pork shoulder, sirloin roast, or tenderloin, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 can (8 oz) sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups Bone Broth or chicken stock, divided
  • 1½ tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, sliced on the bias
The Hot + Sour Soup recipe.


The Hot + Sour Soup recipe.


  1. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the fat is shimmering, add the leeks and shiitake mushrooms.
  2. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the leeks and mushrooms have cooked down. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink.
  3. Add the coconut aminos, garlic, and ginger. Stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Toss in the bamboo shoots.
  4. Measure out and set aside about 1/2 cup of the broth. Pour the rest of the stock into the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Then, turn down the heat to medium and maintain a simmer.
  5. Whisk the arrowroot powder into the reserved broth to make a slurry.
  6. In a slow, steady stream, pour the arrowroot slurry into the pot while briskly stirring to thicken the soup. If arrowroot powder is overheated, it can break down, so turn off the heat as soon as the soup thickens slightly.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs while stirring.
  8. Stir in the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and white pepper. Season to taste with salt, and adjust with a bit more vinegar and white pepper if desired.
  9. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish scallions. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Ready or Not (c) 2017 Michelle Tam & Henry Fong (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

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