Meatless Monday: Mushroom Hot And Sour Soup

Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free

I gained a lot of culinary influence from my college friend Salima. Her influence did not necessarily come by way of the kitchen, as I’m pretty sure the only thing she attempted to cook while we were living under the same roof was pancakes. They were never attempted during daylight hours and always resulted in batter on the walls and a faint smell of something burning that stuck with us for the week that followed. But she did have excellent (if eccentric) taste in the food she wasn’t making.

Under Salima’s tutelage, I tried escargot for the first time, which she gingerly doused in butter and arranged on toast for my sampling. I also learned to start ordering my steak rare versus medium (what was I thinking?!?). But the most ubiquitous dish in Salima’s diet was a bit less classy than the above. And that was hot and sour soup.


I’ve seen Salima eat hot and sour soup as early as 8am. I’ve seen her eat it in at least 5 different countries, including Rome, where I had no idea you could even find hot and sour soup. It was her cure all comfort food. But most of the times that required curing and comforting, were the times of extreme hangover. If Salima was in a bad state, we all knew to run down the block to Shanghai and come back with a quart container of hot and sour soup to-go.

I’ve never had a problem with eating savory foods for breakfast, especially anything Asian. Before I was gluten-free, weekend dim sum was a hangover tradition. But I had always been more of a miso soup kind of gal before Salima came into my life.

Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free Maybe it was some wacked out college kid’s placebo effect, but soon all of my housemates and I started adopting Salima’s cure all. And it’s remained a brunch time tradition to this day when we all get together.

The times that I’m at my weakest and most cranky are not really the times I want to be cooking. So perhaps that’s why this hot and sour soup recipe has taken so long to materialize in my kitchen. It’s really easy to make, and has the added benefit of being gluten and MSG-free. Luckily, as I discovered last week, when I’m in good health and spirits hot and sour still tastes delicious, and doesn’t remind me of the times I’ve woken up with my pillow covered in eye makeup.

Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free

The official start of Chinese New Year was on Friday. My acupuncturist had a party at her new office and gave a little talk about what to expect from the year of the horse. I wasn’t there, but my friend Whitney reported back that we can expect lots of headaches and STD’s. I have no idea what that means. But I feel like hot and sour soup is probably the right thing to celebrate the year of the horse, and cure all that comes with it.



Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup | Healthy and Gluten-Free

Mushroom Hot And Sour Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Mushroom Hot And Sour Soup


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms (I used shitake and cremini), stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sambal olek or sriracha
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Saute the onion and white scallions over medium-high heat until soft, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they've reduced in size and begun releasing their liquid, 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic, and sambal olek or sriracha. Cook until fragrant, 1 more minute.
  2. Carefully pour in the tamari and vinegar (hot vinegar can sting the eyes), scrapping up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until the flavors have melded. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch and 1/3 cup of water to create a slurry. Add it to the pot and simmer the soup until slightly thickened, another 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat and slowly pour in the egg while stirring the liquid. The egg will form soft strings and will cook immediately. Taste the soup and add salt as necessary. Garnish with the green scallions and serve.

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!


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56 Responses to Meatless Monday: Mushroom Hot And Sour Soup

  1. Dave says:

    I haven’t had hot and sour soup since I went gluten free. Your photos look great and make me crave a big bowl of it. Maybe it’ll help chase away the sore throat that I’m trying not to come down with. Thanks!

  2. Frankie says:

    I’m going to go get a hangover just so I can make this.

  3. Sarah Rose says:

    Wow – that looks delicious! I can’t wait to make it – awesome pictures too!


  4. Steph says:

    I love hot and sour soup–I can’t believe it’s something I could actually make at home! Can’t wait to try this.

  5. I am a total sucker for hot and sour soup. I’ll always say I’m going to order something new whenever we have Chinese take-out, but somehow when I’m placing the order “a quart of hot and sour soup” always comes out instead. Deeelicious.

    Love that it’s MSG-free. This is so happening soon!

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  7. mindy says:

    I can’t figure out why you would not include soft tofu cubes (protein, protein!) and sesame oil and szechuan peppercorns. I’ll be adding those in and look forward to it. thx much.

    • Those would be great additions. I personally don’t eat much tofu – soy is a no no for people with thyroid problems, like myself. i justify soy sauce because i can’t live without it. szechuan peppercorns are a little obscure – not something I normally keep on hand. in general, i try to keep my recipes as accessible as possible for those who don’t have access to grocery stores with a good asian foods section. sesame oil is a must though. i don’t know why i didn’t add it either 🙂

  8. Todd says:

    This looks great! Would it work well as a slow-cooker meal, with all the ingredients cooking on low for 6 hours and then adding the beaten egg and green shallots at the end?

  9. Amy says:

    I am allergic to eggs. Is there anything that can be used as a binder in it’s place?

  10. Rasean B says:

    I’m making this tonight and will next you know how this turns out. Thanks for sharing this recipe

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  13. Chelsie says:

    Made this last night for dinner! Came out perfect. I let it simmer for about an hour because my boyfriend had the cornstarch but it made the flavor richer. I also added tofu and bean sprouts.

    thanks for the recipe!

    • I’m so glad to hear it Chelsie!! Thank you for giving it a try and reporting back! Soups always taste better when they get a little extra love on the stove. So one of the happy accidents of your bf running late! xo

  14. Malinda says:

    This soup is awesome! My Chinese husband said it was one of the best hot and sour soups hes had.

  15. Norm says:

    I am making this now with my daughter. We are just waiting to add the egg… I tasted the broth and it’s delicious! Thanks for the great recipe. We wil definitely be making this again. At what point would you have added the sesame oil and how much?

  16. clothespin says:

    Oh…. this looks great to make to can! Will add the cornstarch and egg when ready to eat – but otherwise… Might add some green peas, too. And maybe some shredded chicken. This way, I’ll have a nearly ready to eat healthy lunch for the days that I’m not up to cooking!

  17. kirsten stewart says:

    This looks great! I don’t have tamari on hand, is there a way to make it without it?

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  19. Angelica says:

    Just made this on my chilly day off. DELICIOUS!!! I’m fortunate to have an Asian Grocery nearby so I added some toasted soy puffs and bamboo shoots. This recipe is so easy and comforting I almost wish I had a cold …. Almost. THANK YOU FOR THE EXCELLENT RECIPE!

  20. Lori says:

    This soup has always been a favorite! I will be making it this week. Crazy question- I can never chop ginger, let alone mince it. How do you do it properly? Thank you!

    • hmmm it just takes a little bit longer to garlic, but i run my knife through it in the same way. You can always add salt to help break it down. Or when in doubt, just use the mini food processor 🙂 Glad you like the soup!

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  22. Kathryn says:

    I never comment on recipes until now. This on is amazingly well put together in many ways. I used Trader Joes BBQ garlic sarrachi x 3 and it was sublime.

  23. M.K. says:

    This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to try it? Any thought on how this would freeze?

  24. Monika says:

    I have made this several times now – and LOVE IT! I’ve added Kale a few times. Thanks for sharing this. This will be a staple in our home!

  25. Mariah says:

    My good friend and I stumbled across your recipe a few months ago and absolutely LOVE this rendition of hot and sour soup! As vegetarians, we find it hard to get a good veggie hot and sour soup – in both restaurants and cook books. I think the rice vinegar TRULY makes this dish. We now make this soup at least 1-2 times a month. Thanks so much, Phoebe!

  26. Lin tum says:

    I do not have rice vinegar, can I use palm vinegar?

    • I’m sorry for the very delayed response! I’m not used to working with palm vinegar, but I would assume since it’s a small amount that it would be fine? So long as it’s not a vinegar that’s too densely flavored (like a balsamic). Anything neutral will work! I sometimes use plain white (or white wine) vinegar.

  27. Christy Sayre says:

    My husband and I love mushrooms, but 14 y/o daughter does not. So sometimes I find ways to sneak them in…

    Made this with a base made from 1 or so oz dried oyster mushrooms, reconstituted, cooked til soft with 1 veg boullion from Imagine. Then drained mushrooms, rinsed, and pureed. Added back in the liquid plus more to make 6 cups.
    At the end, added baby spinach and Gochujang 02 Sesame from Mother in law’s Kimchi—typical bibimbop sauce. Then floated in a small amount of brown rice for a simple but very tasty meal.

    Raves, plus my most sought-after response: “Mom, can I take this in my lunch tomorrow?”

    Thanks for the recipe <3

    • SUCCESS!!! Well done Christy! Your broth base sounds fabulous, and I always love some Mother in Law’s Kimchi in the mix. Thank you for taking this recipe and making it your own! xo

  28. Kaitlyn says:

    This is one of my new favorite things. I want to always have a bowl at hand!

  29. Linda says:

    Very good. I used a whole diced serrano and a half diced jalapeño instead of the Sambal Olek. Nice spice, no preservatives, just seemed more “natural.” I think I used a bit too much ginger and didn’t chop it enough because I had some crunchy ginger bites, but again I really liked it otherwise.

  30. LAURA says:

    This is one of my favorite soups and I havhave made it several times using this recipe. It’s is very affordable, quick, healthy, filling and tasty. I usually use oyster mushrooms and add bamboo shoots. I have also added tofu and baby corn in the past. I use better than boullion vegetable base and do not add any additional salt. This time I used a combo of baby Bella, Shitake and Oyster mushrooms. Each time the soup tastes great and never fails to disappoint.

    • that makes my day Laura!! I’m also a big fan of the better than boullion veggie base. So much more space efficient than stocking cartons and I tend to blow through my homemade veggie stock quickly.Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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