Sichuan hot and sour soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Feeds


Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

If you have ever been in Sichuan in winter, you will understand the need for this soup. With its lusty vinegar sharpness and warm peppery heat, it’s like lighting a blazing fire from within. Sichuan peppercorns (fagara), the tiny berries of the prickly ash tree, and Sichuan preserved vegetables can be found at Asian food stores.


  • 100 g ( oz) pork fillet
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 4 Chinese mushrooms, soaked
  • 2 tbsp bamboo shoots
  • 1 beancurd cake
  • 1 green (spring) onion
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan preserved vegetables
  • 2 tbsp wood-ear fungus, soaked
  • 1 litre ( pints) chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped


Cut pork into thin matchstick shreds and mix with salt and cornflour. Cut mushrooms, bamboo shoots, beancurd, green onion, ginger, vegetables and fungus into the same size matchstick strips.

Bring broth to the boil. Add pork and all sliced ingredients. Cook for 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt and cornflour mixture. Keep the broth at a gentle bubble, and stir well.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then pour very slowly into the bubbling soup through the tines of a fork. Remove from heat, add sesame oil, pepper, and coriander. Taste, and adjust vinegar and pepper accordingly. Serve hot.