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Easy Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup

Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup is so easy to make at home and better than takeout! This classic Chinese soup is spicy, tangy, and packed with nutritious vegetables.

bowl of hot and sour soup with green onions and red chilis on the side

Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup Recipe

Instant pot hot and sour soup is one of the most unique and flavor packed soups! The combinations of spicy chili sauce and sour vinegar is a perfect match. It has always been one of my favorite soups when ordering Chinese take out!

The best part about making this soup at home is that you can control the spice level of this soup to your liking. I love a homemade soup recipe that can come together in a flash so I can prep an easy side and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Using an Instant Pot to make soup is a great way to cut down on cooking time. Not only does the Instant Pot cook soup in an instant, you don’t need to monitor and stir the soup stove top. Instead you can dump all the ingredients into the pot, set it and forget it. While the soup is cooking you can prep an easy side dish like Bang Bang Shrimp Egg Rolls!

Just like that you will have a piping hot pot of soup and a yummy side dish! If you have never made hot and sour soup at home you are in for a treat!

hot and sour soup in an instant pot with mushrooms and green onions on the side

What is Hot and Sour Soup?

Authentic Chinese hot and sour soup is a flavorful soup that has mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, ribbons of egg, and often dried lily flowers. The soup is savory, spicy and tangy (hence the hot and sour).

The broth is thickened with corn starch and has a thicker consistency than most soups. Traditionally, a combination of shiitake and wood ear mushrooms are in the soup.

This restaurant classic hot and soup soup is a fan favorite and one of my personal favorites. It is so simple to make at home with an Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker.

Hot and sour soup can be made vegetarian, vegan, keto and gluten free making it a versatile soup for all diets. The soup is low calorie, low carb (Keto friendly) and is full of nutritious ingredients!

bowl of hot and sour soup with green onion and chilis

What is in Hot and Sour Soup?

bowls with chicken broth, mushrooms, egg, tofu, wood ear mushrooms, water, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic chili sauce, ginger, sesame oil, red wine vinegar, white pepper and green onions. ingredients to make hot and sour soup
* Optional Bamboo Shoots not Pictured *

Hot and Sour Soup Broth Ingredients

  • Broth – chicken or vegetable – use a broth to suit your dietary needs, chicken or vegetable broth can be used.
  • Soy Sauce – adds umami and a deep color to the soup. I prefer using a low sodium soy sauce to keep the salt level lower.

  • Mushrooms – traditionally shiitake mushrooms are used in this soup but you can use cremini, button or white mushrooms
  • Wood Ear Mushrooms – sold dried, these mushrooms need to be soaked in water for about 5-10 minutes until they are softened. They can be found in your local Asian Grocer.

  • Rice Vinegar – the sour of this soup comes from the addition of vinegar. Rice vinegar is a classic Asian ingredient now easily found in all grocery stores. It has a sweeter flavor than regular white vinegar.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – I love the addition of red wine vinegar in hot and sour soup. It adds a beautiful color to the soup and also an additional sour flavor

  • Chili Garlic Sauce – the hot of this soup comes from chili sauce. This sauce is similar to sriracha and can be substituted with sriracha. The difference is chili garlic sauce is not pureed. It is a chunkier sauce that is packed with garlic flavor
  • Ginger – fresh grated ginger adds a pop of freshness to the soup
    • Pro Tip – keep a piece of ginger frozen in a ziploc bag or wrapped in plastic. When you need a small amount of ginger for a recipe just grate it into your recipe from frozen! No need to buy fresh ginger for each recipe you make.

  • Sesame Oil – adds a deep sesame flavor to the soup
  • White Pepper – to add a peppery flavor to the soup without having small pieces of black pepper in the soup, white pepper is the secret!

Hot and Sour Soup Mix-Ins

  • Tofu – I recommend using a firm tofu sliced into strips or cube. A firm tofu will not breakdown in the soup and will keeps its shape.
  • Bamboo Shoots, optional – sold canned in the international aisle of grocery stores they add a unique flavor and texture to the soup

  • Egg – my favorite part of this soup is the beautiful egg ribbons
  • Cornstarch and Water – gives this soup it’s thick texture. To keep the soup low carb omit this.
  • Green Onion – a garnish of green onion adds a nice pop of color and freshness to the soup
two bowls of hot and sour soup with green onion and chilis

How to Make Hot and Sour Soup

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

steps to make hot and sour soup in an instant pot

Pressure Cook the Broth

1 Place the dried wood ear mushrooms in a large bowl or measuring cup and cover with warm water. Leave the mushrooms to soak for 5 – 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and rinse the mushrooms. Cut off the hard center piece of the mushroom and discard. Slice the mushrooms into thin strips.

2 Add all of the soup broth ingredients to the Instant Pot (or Electric Pressure Cooker). Stir until evenly combined. Put the lid on the pot, lock in place and turn the pressure valve to SEALING.

3 Use the Manual Pressure cook button, or Soup button on the pressure cooker and set the time for 5 minutes. The pot will take about 5 – 10 minutes to come to pressure.

4 When the cooking time is done allow the pot to Natural Release for 10 minutes (i.e. do not change any settings on the pot, release any pressure or try to remove the lid). When the pot reads L00:10, indicating it has been naturally releasing for 10 minutes, carefully turn the pressure valve to VENTING to release any remaining pressure. Once the pin on the lid has dropped carefully remove the lid from the pot.

steps for making hot and sour soup in an instant pot

Add the Soup Mix-Ins

1 Turn the pot on sauté mode. Add in the sliced tofu and bamboo shoots. Stir to combine.

2 In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water until smooth. When the soup is simmering pour in the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the soup is thickened.

3 While the soup is still simmering, stir the soup slowly in a circular motion and slowly pour the whisked eggs into the soup to create the egg ‘ribbons’. Once all the egg mixture has been poured in, stop stirring the soup and allow the eggs to set for 1 minute.

4 Adjust the soup to taste to your desired spice level. Add additional chili garlic sauce or sriracha hot sauce in 1 tsp increments to increase the spice level.

5 Garnish the soup with green onions and crispy chow mein noodles and enjoy!

pot of hot and sour soup with a metal ladle

What to Serve with Hot and Sour Soup?

Hot and sour soup is a great appetizer or side dish to serve along side a stir fry, such as Sesame Chicken, Spicy Crispy Chicken or Honey Garlic Beef served over a bowl of rice.

A great appetizer to pair with your soup are crispy and creamy Crab Rangoons. These are wontons filled with crab and cream cheese that are fried until golden brown. They are a must try!

bowl of hot and sour soup infront of an instant pot

FAQs Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup

Is Hot and Sour Soup Healthy?

Yes! Hot and sour soup is a healthy soup as it is packed with veggies, low in calories and low in fat. Authentic Chinese hot and sour soup is considered medicinal as it combines healing chicken broth, circulation improving fungus (mushrooms), and antioxidant packed ginger and vinegar.

How to make Hot and Sour Soup Vegetarian and/or Vegan?

To make vegetarian and/or vegan hot and sour soup use vegetable broth and omit the eggs in the soup.

What is the difference between Hot and Sour Soup, Egg Drop Soup and Wonton Soup

Hot and sour soup is packed with mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots and egg ribbons. Egg drop soup is a clear broth with egg ribbons and often no other vegetables. Hot and sour soup is a vegetable soup without wontons, where as wonton soup may include some vegetables but also includes wontons.

How many calories are in Hot and Sour Soup?

Served as a main course hot and sour soup is a low calorie option. This recipe is for 8 main course serving sizes at only 175 calories per serving!

How many carbs are in Hot and Sour Soup?

Served as a main course hot and sour soup is a low carb, keto friendly option. This recipe is for 8 main course serving sizes at only 28 grams of carbs per serving! For a lower carb recipe omit the cornstarch.

two bowls of hot and sour soup with green onion and chilis

Looking for More Easy Soup Recipes?

  • Chicken Gnocchi Soup – made at home is just as creamy and delicious as the classic Olive Garden soup! The best part is that it can be made in your kitchen in just 30 minutes!
  • Wonton Soup – one of the most well known soups and one of my personal favorites! So quick and easy to make at home. Perfect for a quick lunch or side dish for your next dinner!
  • Loaded Baked Potato Soup – creamy potato based soup filled with all the classic baked potato toppings – sour cream, cheese, bacon and green onions.

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

bowl of hot and sour soup with green onions and red chilis on the side

Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup

Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup is so easy to make at home and better than takeout! This classic Chinese soup is spicy, tangy, and packed with nutritious vegetables. This simple recipe is low calorie, low carb, gluten free, and most importantly incredibly delicious.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Pressurizing Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 8
Calories 175 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Soup Broth

  • 8 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 3 tsp ginger, fresh grated or 1 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced, cremini, white, baby bella or shiitake
  • 5 dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked and sliced, optional, see notes below
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar, or white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar, or rice vinegar, or white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce, or sriracha or hot sauce of choice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white pepper, or black pepper

Soup Add Ins

  • 8 oz bamboo shoots, canned, drained, optional
  • 8 oz tofu, firm, cut into small cubes or strips
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Garnish (Optional)

  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • Crispy Chow Mein Noodles

Instructions
 

  • Place the dried wood ear mushrooms in a large bowl or measuring cup and cover with warm water. Leave the mushrooms to soak for 5 – 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and rinse the mushrooms. Cut off the hard center piece of the mushroom and discard. Slice the mushrooms into thin strips.
  • Add all of the soup broth ingredients to the Instant Pot (or Electric Pressure Cooker). Stir until evenly combined. Put the lid on the pot, lock in place and turn the pressure valve to SEALING.
  • Use the Manual Pressure cook button, or Soup button on the pressure cooker and set the time for 5 minutes. The pot will take about 5 – 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • When the cooking time is done allow the pot to Natural Release for 10 minutes (i.e. do not change any settings on the pot, release any pressure or try to remove the lid). When the pot reads L00:10, indicating it has been naturally releasing for 10 minutes, carefully turn the pressure valve to VENTING to release any remaining pressure. Once the pin on the lid has dropped carefully remove the lid from the pot.
  • Turn the pot on sauté mode. Add in the sliced tofu and bamboo shoots. Stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water until smooth. When the soup is simmering pour in the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the soup is thickened.
  • While the soup is still simmering, stir the soup slowly in a circular motion and slowly pour the whisked eggs into the soup to create the egg ‘ribbons’. Once all the egg mixture has been poured in, stop stirring the soup and allow the eggs to set for 1 minute.
  • Adjust the soup to taste to your desired spice level. Add additional chili garlic sauce or sriracha hot sauce in 1 tsp increments to increase the spice level.
  • Garnish the soup with green onions and crispy chow mein noodles and enjoy!

Video

Notes

*Nutrition Information does not include optional crispy chow mein noodle garnish.*
 
Dried wood ear mushrooms can be found at your local Asian grocer. The mushrooms come dried and therefore need to be soaked in water before cooking with them. Once soaked the mushrooms double or triple in size. The mushrooms can be omitted from the soup and you can use cremini, baby bella, white, button or shiitake mushrooms instead.
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NUTRITION

Calories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 11gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 1507mgPotassium: 212mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 113IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 2mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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Recipe Rating




Shruti

Sunday 27th of November 2022

Sounds better than what restaurants offer. I would like to ask how do you know that the Instant Pot has come to pressure when using the Soup button. Will the Instant Pot make a certain sound? Also, do you have put the pressure cook mode on when you use the Soup button?

William

Saturday 4th of June 2022

Hello, what size Instant Pot is used for this recipe? I have a 3 qt and a 6 qt.

fedbysab

Sunday 5th of June 2022

Hi, you can use a 6qt or larger for this recipe

Rachel Rose

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Superb! I made it on the stovetop, not the pressure cooker or instant pot, and it was the best sweet and sour soup I've ever had. I used a handful of mixed wild dried mushrooms (from Foraged & Found), opted for sriracha and used the egg, (I halved the recipe so one egg) but I didn't have tofu on hand. Otherwise I was faithful to the recipe. Bamboo shoots and vermicelli rice noodles (Haiku) are a must. This was pure deliciousness! Thank you for such a well crafted recipe.

Laura

Friday 1st of April 2022

Thank you for this recipe! I had no idea how easy it was to make. So much tastier then takeout too.

Rachel Rose

Sunday 8th of May 2022

@Laura, I agree! So much better than takeout!