Vegetarian Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup is Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Carb, super healthy and will clear your sinuses!
Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
This Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup has been a favorite of my husband since he was a kid.
Every time we go out to a Chinese dinner, he orders a bowl.
Unlike me, Ed seems to get sick every Winter. And he is a baby when sick! Seriously.
Hot and Sour Soup used to take quite a while on the stove.
So that I can make it for him in an instant, well, not quite an instant, I converted my recipe to the Instant Pot and it is a breeze.
There are not too many ingredients to Hot and Sour Soup and it comes together so easily.
(Please excuse the blurry and bad photos for this recipe (I’m going through a difficult time at the moment.)
If you don’t have all the ingredients called for in the recipe, I will add substitutions in the notes sections. You will still end up with a terrific Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup, it will just be a tad less authentic.
*** Substitutions for the fancy products are listed in the Notes section on the Recipe Card Below. Your Soup will still be Amazing using them instead. However, the Soup will be Super Amazing using the recommended ingredients. 🙂
What are Wood Ear Mushrooms?
- They are sometimes called “Black Fungus.”
- They are a fungus.
- They are in the shape of an Ear.
- Wood Ear Mushrooms grow on Wood, either dead or alive.
- Modern research has concluded that auricula-judae has antitumour, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering properties.1
Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms are pretty inexpensive. I paid $1.50 for 2.5 ounces at my local Asian store.
Today, Amazon has them on sale for only $9.69 for a whole pound. You might think that sounds high, but they expand about 10 times the size. Seriously.
That is enough for EIGHT or more (depending on how many you like in your Soup) large pots of this Pressure Cooker Hot and Sour Soup. If you love Hot & Sour Soup, go with the pound bag.
You can get Whole or Shredded Wood Ear Mushrooms.
The Shredded Wood Ear Mushrooms cost a bit more than the Whole, as the stems and hard nubs will already be removed. I’d go with the whole, if I were you. It doesn’t take much effort to cut off the nubs and slice the Fungus.
An essential ingredient to a great Hot and Sour Soup are the Dried Lily Flowers. Many people leave them out of their Soup, but it will take it up a notch. You will only need a bit, as these expand quite nicely.
Soak the Lily Flowers separately, so that you will be able to squeeze out the water.
Again, if you want to leave these out, just do it. The Soup will still be delicious. You know from my recipes, I aim for extra delicious. 🙂
As you can see, I wasn’t kidding. Look at the size of these damn things!
Option – If you like a thicker Soup, set aside about 1/4-1/2 cup of the Mushroom Water and whisk it with 1 Tablespoon Potato Starch to be added in after pressure is released. This is not something that I do, but I know others prefer more substance to the liquid part of Soup.
When you drain the Lily Flowers, make sure to squeeze them out well, since they may contain a little sodium metabisulfite.
A Cheese Grater works well for grating the Fresh Ginger and Fresh Garlic.
Typically, the Asian broth used to make this Soup, is first cooked and then strained of any solids.
To make life easier, I am doing it all in once step. Hence the reason for grating the Ginger and Garlic, as finely as possible.
You can even use a Mini Food Chopper to grate the Garlic and Ginger at the same time.
If you already have some of my Ginger-Garlic Paste in the refrigerator of freezer, use two Tablespoons.
This recipe is very close to a “dump and go,” method. There is really very little work involved.
Tofu comes in 14 ounce blocks so use between 10-14 ounces. It is up to you how much you want to use.
Sometimes you will see sliced pork in the recipe, sometimes not. If you want pork, add it, otherwise, keep it vegetarian. Ed prefers a vegetarian version.
Huey Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste is something that everyone should keep in their refrigerator. It is a nice and pure Chili, which won’t interfere poorly with the other ingredients.
Pop some in and give everything a nice stir. I’ve been using this di Oro Living Spatula for a while now and I really like it. It is one solid piece, so no yukkies get caught in crevices.
Keeping this Vegetarian, I use Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base and mix it with Fresh Water.
You can use Better than Bouillon Chicken Base, if you like. I always have various flavors of Better than Bouillon Base in my refrigerator, as it is a great option to use, if you don’t have fresh Chicken Feet Bone Broth or Homemade Chicken Bone Stock/Broth.
I believe I first introduced the Better than Bouillon line of flavor Bases to you in my Pressure Cooker Pork Chops and Homemade Mushroom Gravy recipe, almost two years ago. Check out this recipe, as it is in the top ten on this blog!
For this recipe, I like to keep it vegetarian and go with the Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base option.
Make sure to first hit the Sauté or browning button and bring the Soup to a Simmer. If you don’t have one of those buttons, just use any button that will heat up your Pressure Cooker.
Pour in the Egg Mixture and wait a few seconds, so that the Eggs will begin to firm.
Then slowly, stir the Soup in a circular motion, just a few times.
If you need this Soup now and don’t have time to get some Chinkiang Vinegar, here are some options.
Personally, I like the Chinkiang Vinegar, which is a Chinese Black Vinegar.
Adding in the “hot and sour” ingredients, shortly before serving, will pop the Hot and Sour flavor nicely.
Drop in the Scallions and you are ready to serve.
Totally forgot to add the Cilantro garnish.
Serve the Soup with some Sambal Oelek on the side, for those who prefer a more intense heat.
Grab a bowl and warm blanket and curl up in front of the fire or TV and relax.
This makes a lot of soup! You can easily cut the recipe in half, or package it up using your Foodsaver and freezing, as it freezes and reheats very well.
Special thanks to Ed for helping me create this recipe. It’s his favorite. I prefer Won Ton Soup, so this is to his taste….. and you know how picky he is!
Hot and Sour Soup makes a great start to a Pressure Cooker Chinese Orange Pepper dinner. Chinese Take-Out Beef and Broccoli always makes a delicious meal. Don’t forget the Chinese Pressure Cooker Fried Rice.
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Instant Pot DUO Plus 60
- J.A. Henckels Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- di Oro Living Silicone Spatulas Set
- 6 oz Porcelain Ramekins
- John Boos Maple Cutting Board with Groove
- 3.5 Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
- Small 1.5 Quart “Pot in Pot” Mixing Bowl
- Microplane Artisan Course Grater
- Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- Huey Fong Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
- Chinkiang Vinegar
- Woodear Mushrooms
- Dried Lily Flowers
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Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
This Vegetarian Pressure Cooker Chinese Hot and Sour Soup is Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Carbs, super healthy and will clear your sinuses!
- 1 ounce Dried Woodear Mushrooms rehydrated
- 1/2 ounce Dried Lily Flowers rehydrated
- 10-14 ounces Firm Tofu sliced/cubed
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek Ground Chili Paste
- 1/2 cup Bamboo Shoots sliced
- 3 cloves Fresh Garlic Finely minced/grated
- 2 inches Fresh Ginger Root peeled and finely minced/grated
- 1/4 cup Dark Soy Sauce (or regular Soy Sauce)
- 2.5 Quarts Vegetable Stock
- 3 large Eggs cracked and whisked
- 1/4 cup Chinkiang Black Vinegar (or other vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, Rice Vinegar or White Vinegar)
- 1- 1.5 teaspoon Ground White Pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil (or Pure Sesame Oil)
- 6 Scallions sliced
Place Mushrooms in a medium bowl and Lily Flowers in a small bowl and cover each with hot water for 30 minutes. Drain liquid from the Mushrooms, remove stems and hard nubs and thinly slice. Drain Lily Flowers and rinse and then cut in half.
To the cooking pot add, Mushrooms, Lily Flowers, Bamboo Shoots, Chili Paste, Ginger, Garlic, Tofu, Vegetable Stock and Soy Sauce.
Lock on Lid and close Pressure Valve. Cook at High Pressure for 5 minutes. When Beep sounds, wait 10 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
Turn off Pressure Cooker and Select Sauté. Crack the Eggs into a cup and add a couple of drops of Sesame Oil. Whisk well. When Soup begins to bubble, pour Eggs into middle of cooking pot. Wait a few second and then in a circular motion, slowly stir the Soup, just a couple of times.
Turn Pressure Cooker to Keep Warm and add the rest of the Sesame Oil, White Pepper and Vinegar. Drop in Scallions and serve with a garnish of Cilantro, if desired.
- If you have my Ginger-Garlic Paste, use 2 Tablespoons instead of the individual measurements above. Otherwise, use a cheese grater or food processor.
- For a thicker Soup, reserve ¼ cup of the Mushroom Water and mix it with 1 Tablespoon Potato Starch. Whisk into Soup, after pressure has been released, right before adding in the Eggs.
- If you prefer a milder flavor, start out with 1 teaspoon of Sambal Oelek, as you can always add more. Huy Fong Foods Sambal Oelek is a wonderful chili paste, as it offers a wonderful pure chili taste.
- Dried Wood War Mushrooms, often referred to as “Black Fungus,” are very inexpensive and are found in Asian Markets. They expand significantly when re-hydrated. Cremini Mushrooms (8 oz) can be subbed.
- Try adding 4 ounces of Snow Peas, after pressure is released, to add some veggie crunch to the Soup.
- Chinkiang Black Vinegar - Apple Cider Vinegar or Rice Vinegar
- Dry Wood Ear Mushrooms - 8 ounces Cremini Mushrooms
- Lily Flowers - Nothing
- Sambal Oelek - 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper (if you must. Sambal Oelek highly recommended)
- Vegetable Broth - Chicken Broth will give a different and delicious flavor.
The Soup will still be delicious, using the substitutions.