Chinese Hot and Sour Soup is a quick and easy way to make your favorite takeout Chinese American soup at home. Slow cooker and stove top instructions included!

Overhead view of someone holding a spoon filled over a bowl of Chinese hot and sour soup.

A recipe that combines your favorite takeout food with the slow cooker is an all around win! We get to enjoy our very favorite soup, that we would typically reserve only for eating out or takeout, and makes it completely accessible for the every-day busy schedule. It simply doesn’t get any easier than the slow cooker. Toss it in and come back later for a delicious soup! But if busy mornings make the slow cooker inaccessible to your family, we’ve got you covered with stove top instructions as well! It is filling enough with that tofu to make for a good light lunch, or as a side to your favorite Chinese American meal. You can frequently find us in the fridge, looking for leftover soup to snack on. Especially on a cold day, it just doesn’t get any better. 

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup is not an authentic Chinese recipe, but rather a typical American version of Chinese-American takeout restaurants. The Stay At Home Chef uses ingredients that are easily accessible for most people in the United States and Canada so that anyone can easily celebrate world cuisines even if their opportunities for travel or access to regional ingredients are limited.

What is tofu?

Tofu is a soybean product and is made by compressing curdled soy beans, very similar to how cheese is made. Tofu is high in protein and is often used as a meat replacement. Tofu has varying textures and levels of firmness depending on the protein content and how much water it contains.

What variety of tofu should I use?

Tofu is sold at various levels of firmness, starting from the softest: Silken, Extra Soft, Soft, Medium, Medium Firm, Firm, Extra Firm, and Super Firm. You may see all, or only some of these firmness levels in your grocery store. The firmness level is determined by how much water has been pressed out, so more firm versions contain the least amount of water content.

In this recipe you want to use a firm tofu as it will absorb the most flavor while still holding its shape.

Is Chinese Hot and Sour Soup vegetarian? 

As written, this recipe is not vegetarian due to the chicken broth. If desired, you can substitute with vegetable broth. 

Spice Level: 

You get to decide just how much spice you want in your soup by controlling the amount of sriracha. If you don’t tolerate heat well, stick with one teaspoon of sriracha. If you want to keep it spicy, use up to a whole tablespoon!

Can I add an egg? 

Eggs in hot and sour soup is all about personal preference. Some prefer with eggs, and other prefer without. We have written the recipe without eggs, but you are welcome to slowly add one or two beaten eggs as the final step. 

Close up view of a bowl of hot and sour soup.

Storage and Reheating Instructions: 

Store any leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through. 

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious Chinese American recipes: