Growing up my mum was always on a diet so I don’t think the takeaway delivery man ever visited our house. However, my Grandma did like the odd Chinese takeaway so maybe that is where my love of Chinese food developed. Hot and sour soup was my absolute favourite and it’s great to recreate it now in a vegetarian form just as Chinese New Year is due. This recipe is from Ching He Huang’s ‘Chinese Food In Minutes’. Due to the never-ending lockdown, there’s restrictions on shopping together in most supermarkets therefore we’re shopping at our local which doesn’t have a great range of ingredients. However, I still got everything on this list from that supermarket except for the dried mushrooms so I think it’s fair to say it’s not too specialist.

Serves 4


  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 chillis (mine were quite mild – buy according to your heat tolerance)
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tin stir fry vegetables
  • 10g dried mushrooms
  • 1 box tempeh (or tofu or other meat substitute)
  • 1 tin kimchi (about 200g)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil (I used Chiu Chow Chilli Oil – it comes in a jar and has chilli flakes aswell as oil – I recommend as it’s not just purely heat flavour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 spring onions
  • 5 g fresh coriander


1.) Boil a kettle. Measure out the mushrooms into a bowl. Pour over the boiling water and leave to soak up for 20 minutes

2.) Measure out 1 litre of water and add the stock cube

3.) Peel and chop the ginger

4.) In a small container, crack in the egg and beat

5.) In another small container, measure out the cornflour, add 2 tbsp cold water and stir until there’s no lumps

6.) Chop up the chillis, spring onions, tempeh and coriander

7.) When the mushrooms are done, squeeze out the water and chop them up

8.) Put the stock into a large pan and bring to the boil.

9.) Add the mushrooms, ginger, chilli, tsp rice wine vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, tin of stir fry veg and the kimchi

10.) Turn the heat down to simmer and add the tempeh, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp chilli oil (I tried to get a bit of both the oil and the chilli flakes). Simmer for 10 minutes.

11.) Stir in the egg, stir in the cornflour mix and mix to thicken the soup.

12.) Garnish with the coriander and spring onion.

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