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Best Homemade Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

Best Homemade Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.” We can think of no better words than these words of a famous 90’s Gourmet magazine writer- Laurie Colwin. 

Many psychology magazines such as Psychologytoday have printed how we relate soup with the emotion of care and nostalgia. We also relate the physical warmth of soup to positive incidents and memories. Well, this explains why we crave soup when we feel alone, down or sick!

On a rainy day of the monsoon or a cold winter evening, nothing is more soothing and calming than a bowl of soup with some fresh bread. So we thought what better time to let you in on our secret (now, not-so-secret)and authentic homemade hot and sour soup recipe. Let’s start with a little history tour to give ancestral credits to the soup maestros! 

While recently this delicious soup has been claimed by China’s Beijing and Sichuan as one of their original regional soups, you can find hot and sour soup in many parts of South-East Asia & East Asia. Each region from Pakistan, India, China, Cambodia to Japan and Vietnam has their own quirky way to make this dish. A common denominator in all these dishes is this hot and sour soup ingredient-  stocks, so here is how you can make one.

  • For chicken or any other meat stock- Dice vegetables like onions, spring onions, ginger, cabbage, garlic and roast it in butter along with the bones one the meat or its bony pieces. Once roasted, boil with a double quantity of water until it turns into stock. 
  • For Fish stock, marinade the fish in spices like Haldi, pepper, salt, chilli and put it in a pan to roast along with bell peppers, lime leaves and a mix of mustard and vegetable oil. Boil the roasted mixture with water until it turns into stock, taste to adjust the salt. 
  • For vegetable stock, roast diced cabbage, onion, beetroot, garlic and ginger, carrot, with herb butter and boil with water to make a stock.

We’ll be looking at some of the most healthy and tasty versions of this soup now! Following North to south, here is our first version of this soup-

All-time Favourite Chinese Hot & Sour Soup recipe

While this may be far from a quick fix, but this recipe can win hearts if made right! 

Ingredients-

  • Rice Vinegar
  • Light and Dark Soy
  • Fish Sauce or Ajino Moto (No, it won’t harm you)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Bamboo Shoot (optional)
  • Mushroom
  • 1 Chicken Breast or thinly sliced Tofu (100 grams for vegetarian options
  • Juliennes off Carrot and ginger
  • Chopped green onion (3  bulbs)
  • Chopped Garlic (1 bulb) and 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
  • Salt, Pepper, Sugar
  • Conrflour+ water
  • Vegetable/Meat or Fish Stock

Method-

  • If you are using chicken, put water on boil in a kettle and boil the chicken for 6 to 7 minutes. 
  • Take it out of the boiling water and let it rest. After it cools down, shred the chicken.
  • Take a pot and heat some sesame oil. Put in chopped ginger and garlic along with the green onions.
  • Once the onion caramelises, put in the mushrooms, shredded chicken or sliced tofu.
  • Add salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, Light and dark soy sauce and stir well. If you are adding bamboo shoot slices, add them at this stage.
  • Add a drizzle of fish sauce or 1 teaspoon of Ajinomoto. 
  • Put in 500 ml of stock (add more if needed) and cover the pot with a lid.
  • Boil it for 6 to 8 minutes and remove the lid.
  • Put the ginger and carrot juliennes in the pot and boil for 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Make a slurry with 1 spoon of cornflour and 2.5 spoons of water and pour the mixture gently into the pot. Keep stirring as you add this mixture

Your Chinese hot and sour soup is ready to serve!

Vietnamese Hot & Sour Soup aka Canh Chua 

If you like to experiment with food, this is your recipe!

Here are the hot and sour soup Ingredients you need-

  • Vinegar
  • Light and Dark Soy
  • Fish Sauce 
  • Olive Oil
  • Pineapple
  • Chicken Breast/ fish steak or thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms for vegetarian options
  • 1 Chopped green onion for garnish
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • Red chillies
  • Chopped Garlic (1 bulb) and 1 tablespoon of chopped galangal or ginger
  • Salt, Pepper, Fresh Tamarind 
  • Vegetable/Meat or Fish Stock

Method- 

  • If you are using chicken, put water on a boil in a kettle and boil the chicken for 6 to 7 minutes. For Dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in water until soft.
  • Take it out of the boiling water and let it rest. After it cools down, shred the chicken.
  • Take a pot and heat some olive oil. Add chopped garlic, galangal or ginger, pineapples and onions.
  • After the onions caramelised, add the fish steak and fry it from both sides. If you are using shredded chicken instead of fish, add it to the pot at this stage.
  • Put in the shiitake, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, Light and dark soy sauce and stir well. 
  • Add fish sauce and cover the pot for 2 minutes. 
  • Open the lid, and add 700 ml of stock and fresh tamarind and a few red chillies.
  • Close the lid and boil the soup for 6 to 8 minutes. Add green onion on the top when the soup is ready.

A few handy tips-

  • Fresh Stock usually needs to be strained before being used.
  • You can freeze your vegetable and meat stock for up to 2 weeks in the freezer. (Fish stock should not be stored)
  • Always make soup in a deep pot.

How to Spice it up!

Want to make the soups into a more wholesome meal? You can add the following to your dish-

  • Noodles
  • Rice Noodles
  • Dumplings

You can add these to the pot and let them boil for 3 to 4 minutes. You can even add fried wontons to add some crispiness to your dish. Most of the recipes for the above-mentioned food can be found on Foodism website’s food recipe blog. This can be a great way to bring out your inner chef!

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