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Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

Very good and very easy to make Asian soup. My husband is a chef, and he said that this was fantastic! (He’s hard to impress.) We finished the pot in one sitting.


  • 1/2 pound chicken breast, preferably skin on
  • 1 handful shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
  • 2 medium-sized shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili sesame oil (or 1 tsp sesame oil + 1 tsp chili oil)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces dried vermicelli
  • 2 or 3 scallion stalks, chopped


  • Heat 1 ounce olive oil a wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken breast skin-side down until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken breast over and sauté the other side until fully cooked, another 5 to 6 minutes. You can also put a quarter cup of water in the pan to steam the meat through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside to let cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 ounce olive oil in a medium-sized pot over high heat.  Cook the shiitake mushrooms, shallots, and ginger, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to boil.
  • Reduce to simmer and add soy sauce, vinegar, and chili sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste (for extra authenticity points, use white pepper.)
  • Meanwhile, slice the chiclen breast (1/2 inch or so thick) after it has cooled.
  • Add vermicelli and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in chicken at the last minute to reheat. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with scallions, and serve.

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