Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup

Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup
Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup

There is nothing more satisfying than the smooth tang and suggestive burn of a harmonious hot-and-sour soup. Sinigang is the general term used for sour broth soups that are altogether bright and refreshing, often with a chile kick. Traditionally soured with fruit such as calamansi (Filipino lime), tamarind, or green mango, native vinegars distilled from coconut water, palm sap, or sugarcane are also used as mild souring agents, being less acidic than the distilled white or cider vinegars used in the United States. In this recipe, mushrooms really shine, their earthy flavor a natural complement to the clean broth. A healthy mix of dried and fresh mushrooms gives this soup maximum flavor and weighty texture.



  • 4 to 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • One ½ -oz (15-g) piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 5 cups (1 ¼ liters) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small Thai chile, stem removed
  • ½ lb (225 g) fresh assorted mushrooms (such as shiitake, chanterelle, oyster, enoki), sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 3 tablespoons palm or coconut vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


Reconstitute the Dried Mushrooms

Place the dried mushrooms, ginger, water, bay leaf, and chile in a large pot. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, ginger, bay leaf, and chile from the broth, discarding all but the mushrooms. Cut off and discard the mushroom stems. Slice the tender caps into thin strips and return to the pot.

Make the Soup

Add the sliced fresh mushrooms, garlic, tomato, vinegar, soy sauce, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the calamansi.


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