Vegan Hot and Sour Soup

Aromatic, spicy, and filled with veggies of all different textures combined with tofu cubes makes for a great meal on its own or as a starter.

  • Servings
  • Prep Time
    5 Min
  • Cook Time
    15 Min

Cooking Directions

  • Bring vegetable stock to a boil over medium heat.
  • Add mushrooms, tofu, baby corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, ginger, soy sauce, and salt to the pot of stock. When pot returns to a boil, reduce to medium-low heat and add the cabbage.
  • In a cup or glass, combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Stir well to form a slurry. The cornstarch should be dissolved. Use a fork or whisk for best results.
  • Combine the white pepper and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir well.
  • When the cabbage is cooked, about 5 minutes after adding it, stir the cornstarch slurry into the pot of soup.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Add the white pepper vinegar mixture and stir well.
  • Taste the soup. Add salt or vinegar as needed.
  • Serve hot and garnish generously with cilantro and sesame oil.

Be careful when measuring out the white pepper. 1 teaspoon of pepper makes for a spicy pot of soup. Reduce to ½ teaspoon if you prefer a milder soup.

This amount of starch will thicken the soup a bit, but if you want it thicker, as you’d get at a restaurant, you’ll need to add more. I recommend making a double batch of the cornstarch-water slurry and gradually adding it while stirring until it reaches the desired thickness.

I tested this recipe using unsalted rice vinegar with a 4.3% acidity. If you are using Chinkiang (Zhenjiang) vinegar you may not need as much. The same goes for Taiwanese black vinegar. Check the acidity and gradually add it until it’s sour to your liking.

Do not continue to heat the soup after you've added the vinegar and pepper. Doing so could cause the soup to become bitter.

This recipe was created by Gastroplant.


  • 1 pkg. House Foods Tofu Firm, drained and cut into cubes
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lb. brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (14-oz) can baby corn, drained and chopped
  • 1 (14-oz) can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 (8-oz) can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. rice vinegar *see note
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 10 sprigs cilantro, chopped

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