Instant Pot Hot & Sour Soup

My friend, April, is obsessed with Hot & Sour Soup. So obsessed with it that she turned me on to it. BIG TIME.

To those who’ve never had it, Hot & Sour Soup is one of three soups you’d normally order at a Chinese restaurant (the other two, of course, being Wonton and Egg Drop) and it’s exactly what the name implies: hot AND sour! But don’t let that come off as unappetizing to you.  It is a healthy soup as it’s LOADED with spinach, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu (or chicken if you wish) and will send you straight to a place of warmth and comfort the moment it enters your mouth!

And the BEST part? NO TRIPS TO ANY FANCY MARKETS FOR ANY OF THESE INGREDIENTS, FOLKS! This is also one of the easiest things you’ll EVER make in your Instant Pot, will easily satisfy all soup connoisseurs and, dare I say it, may just be the best Hot & Sour Soup that ever passes through (and tingles) your lips!

Here’s How I Made It!:

Let’s take a bunch of scallions…

…and take any frustration out on them by chopping them up. Set aside.

Now to the Instant Pot, we’re going to get all witch’s cauldron. Begin by adding some vegetable broth…

…canola oil…

…rice vinegar…

…red wine vinegar…

…low sodium soy sauce…

…chili garlic sauce…

…a spoonful of sugar…

…ground ginger…

…white pepper…

…sesame oil…

…and some Kosher salt.

Then, add in the scallions…

…bamboo shoots (that are drained)…

…and some sliced Baby Bella/Crimini mushrooms (you can use Shiitake too, just remove the stems)

Super Mario would LOVE this soup.

So would Popeye. Add in a bag of spinach. And it’s okay if it comes to the top of the pot because…

…we’re going to stir it in with everything else and push it down a bit with the spoon. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure.

While the soup is becoming hot & sour, crack a couple of eggs into a bowl…

…and whisk it up. Set aside.

Then, take another bowl and some cornstarch…


…and mix to form a cornstarch slurry. Set aside.

Now take a brick of firm or extra firm tofu (don’t go any softer than that)…

…drain from the water and cut into small cubes. And yes, set that aside too.

When the pot is done cooking, it’ll look like this with the spinach all cooked down.

Give it a stir and then bring the pot to a light boil on the “Sauté” setting.

Once it begins to bubble, add in the cornstarch slurry…

…and stir and let boil for about 2 minutes. When done, adjust the heat on the pot so it’s on “Keep Warm.”

Now add in the tofu…

…followed by the whisked eggs.

Stir immediately for about a minute and you’re going to see some serious egg-ribbon magic take place right before your very eyes.

Now you’re ready to serve! Ladle some soup…

…right into a bowl and enjoy some of the finest Hot & Sour soup you’ve ever encountered!


Instant Pot Hot & Sour Soup
Yield: 6-8

Instant Pot Hot & Sour Soup

Instant Pot Hot & Sour Soup

Hot & Sour Soup is the Chinese version of vegetable soup with a major kick of some, well, hot & sour. This one is a true "dump & go" made with all accessbile ingredients, yet with full-on authentic flavor. Get ready to have your sinuses cleared!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 7-8 cups of vegetable broth (I used 7 tsp of Vegetable Better Than Bouillon + 7 cups of water; NOTE: using 7 cups vs. 8 creates an even more intense hot & sour flavor of the soup)
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil
  • 3 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of chili garlic sauce (or Sriracha will work fine too!)
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp of granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • 1.5 tsp of Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch (or about 5 strands) of scallions, sliced
  • 16oz of Baby Bella (Crimini) mushrooms, sliced (you can also use Shiitake mushrooms, just remove the stems)
  • 16oz can of bamboo shoots, drained
  • 8-10oz bag of baby spinach
  • 8-14oz of firm or extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch + 1/4 cup water, for a slurry
  • 2 large eggs, whisked


  1. Add ALL the ingredients to the Instant Pot with the spinach added last EXCEPT for the egg, tofu and cornstarch slurry (those three come later). The pot will be filled to the brim once the spinach is added, so give everything a very good stir and make sure the spinach is mixed in with the broth and everything else
  2. Secure the lid, hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 5 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure due to everything in this loaded pot!) Quick release when done
  3. Once the lid is removed, hit “Sauté” and Adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting.  Once it begins to bubble, add the cornstarch slurry, stir well for about 2 minutes and then turn the Instant Pot to “Keep Warm”
  4. Lastly, add in the tofu and stir followed by the egg mixture and stir for about a minute until egg ribbons form
  5. Ladle into bowls and enjoy this INCREDIBLE soup!

Jeffrey's Tips

This recipe makes about 6-8 servings! You can halve the recipe OR just make it as is because this soup will be great the next few days in the fridge AND it freezes well for the future!

This is a vegetarian friendly dish (if you eat eggs. If not, you can omit and then it will be vegetarian AND vegan friendly!)

Want it with some shredded chicken instead of tofu? No problem!  Add in 1 lb of chicken thighs or breasts before cooking and increase the cook time from 5 minutes to 9 minutes. Once you quick release, set the chicken aside, shred and add back to the pot after bubbling the cornstarch slurry and adding the egg!

Reader Interactions


  1. Michael Kuhl

    I made this last night and it turned out great! However I like mine with a little more vinegar flavor like it is at some of my favorite Chinese restaurants. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Lori

    This recipe is incredibly delicious. My husband was amazed – it made him a believer in the IP. It’s better than any hot and sour soup we’ve had at a restaurant and it’s super easy. I’ve made it at least 1/2-dozen times and we always love it. Thank you Jeffrey!! <3

  3. Barb

    During this pandemic my husband has been wanting Hot and Sour Soup. I made this and my husband gave it (an astonishing) five stars! A very rare event.

  4. Monique

    Can this be made without the mushrooms? My husband hates mushrooms (I love them, but someone’s got to compromise and I guess that’s me).

    • Wendy Bowen Morris

      Why not sub zucchini for mushrooms? Maybe you can even cook some mushrooms on top and then just scoop them out for your own bowl before mixing?

    • Tracy

      I was going to ask this, as my husband has recently been told to avoid mushrooms (food allergies), even though he loves them :^( The comment below about zucchini seems like a good idea! I think Jeffrey’s suggestion about adding chicken would be good, too!

  5. Rochelle Belove

    Wow! Super easy recipe with great flavor and easy cleanup (one pot)! I used chicken stock and put chicken in the soup, it was delicious. I followed the directions and cooked it for the 9 minutes as stated. Thank you for another award winning, easy to follow recipe!!

  6. Karen

    So very good! Left out spinach and added extra tofu. Great experience for my second time using the pot! Looking forward to getting my cookbook! Thanks Jeffrey!

  7. Tyler

    I think this recipe is AWESOME!! I think it’s the right amount of white pepper and the right amount of vinegar. I used just a little bit more of the vinegars. When my friend made it he went overboard with the vinegar and it was just too acidic. I added baby corn because why not? I’m excited that it freezes well and I can enjoy some later.

    • Tracy

      Baby corn!! Great idea! We are currently avoiding mushrooms because of possible food allergies, even though we love mushrooms…:^(
      I love the vinegar flavor in this type of soup, but will be careful about the amounts.

  8. MaryAnn

    Just made this and it’s delicious. I used chicken broth as I don’t like vegetable, and I may leave out the spinach next time and put pork in it like in the one I get for take out, but the taste was authentic hot and sour soup. Thanks for another great recipe.

  9. Christina

    This is the best hot and sour soup I’ve ever had! I’ve been craving hot and sour soup often during my pregnancy. Today, I decided to try this recipe and all I can say is wow. I will be making this quite often. Thank you!

  10. Michelle

    Very good recipe! I would like for tweak it a bit but not sure how. My local restaurants make it a little hotter, sour and add ground pork. I’m thinking to add fresh ginger and maybe brown a little ground pork before adding all ingredients. Overall, my kids loved it and they’re a tough crowd!

  11. Shawna

    I tried my best to mess this up, but it’s such a good recipe that was impossible lol. I came in from work feeling under the weather & desperate for some hot, comforting soup. I started throwing everything in the pot & then realized I was missing some key ingredients. I had to use leftover takeout packets of soy sauce because someone used the last of the bottle I had. Had to sub white wine vinegar because I was out of red. Had to omit bamboo shoots because I forgot them on my last grocery run. Added chicken because I don’t like tofu. Despite my subs, it was delicious & just what I wanted for dinner. It was pretty much ready by the time I washed up & changed into my jammies. Great recipe that I look forward to making properly next time!

    • Nell

      I agree! First time making this recipe, I used it. Second time, omitted it—and as far as I could taste, absolutely no difference!

  12. Mike

    It’s up for rotation again in two days. We halve the tofu (only I eat it), halve the mushrooms and use sliced white button mushrooms, and prefer chicken broth over veg broth in this one. And we get the crispy fried noodles from the grocery store to top this. (The ones at our local take-out always taste stale.)

  13. Patricia

    I’m gifting a batch and I’m so bummed because it taste delicious but then I realized I hadn’t put in the egg ribbons. I added them.They made it look time I am omitting the egg.

  14. Mybell

    Hello Jeffrey

    I just purchased my Instant Pot the Duo one. And I’m loving it, especially when I discovered your website. I have been non stop cooking your recipe like a mad woman lol. My husband is so happy that he gets to eat different recipes. My latest is this Hot and Sour soup. Omg !! this is excellent, just like the taste of the hot sour soup that we order out. If I want it a little more sour do I just add more red wine vinegar? Thank you for really giving us such tasty and delicious recipes for our Instant Pots.

  15. Katharine in Virginia

    Just like Mae in Alaska, this is on regular rotation in our household of six, and has a special place during cold and flu season. We love it!! Fantastic soup for adding miscellaneous vegetables. I throw in a handful of dried sliced shii-take (budget friendly) and they are fully rehydrated and cooked when the IP beeps it’s ready.

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