This easy Instant Pot hot and sour soup recipe with tofu and vegetables in a spicy, sour, savory broth is an amazingly rejuvenating, low-calorie vegan soup.
The Instant Pot is super-quick, but not to worry; stovetop instructions are included because no one should miss out on this delicious soup.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
A healthy soup made with no added oil and wholesome plant-based ingredients.
Customizable in terms of veggies, even frozen) and sources of protein. You can easily substitute the tofu for adzuki or soybeans.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Soy sauce. Classic Asian umami flavor and a beloved global ingredient. Dark soy sauce gives hot and sour soup a deeper flavor – and more sodium than regular soy sauce. Choose a lower salt or light soy sauce if you watch your salt intake. Use tamari sauce as a gluten-free option.
Rice vinegar. It's a sweet and smooth flavor that's great in recipes like hoisin sauce or sriracha dipping sauce. White vinegar, specifically white wine vinegar, is a good substitute. This recipe can also use red wine vinegar because the broth is quite dark.
Tofu. Firm or extra-firm tofu is your best option for this recipe. Unlike other tofu recipes, like crispy tofu, you want to press the tofu for sweet and sour soup. Use a tofu press or wrap the tofu block in a paper towel and press it between two plates with the top weighed down.
Mushrooms. You can run the gamut with mushrooms in this delicious soup. I like chestnut (baby Bella mushrooms) or white button mushrooms. They are more affordable. If you want variety, add a few shiitake mushrooms or a wild mushroom mix with wood ear mushrooms and other types.
Cornstarch. A cornstarch slurry thickens the soup. Even traditional hot & sour soups that add whisked eggs also use a cornstarch mixture. Of course, we skip eggs and use tofu as our protein.
Vegetable broth. Use a flavorful veggie stock or vegan chicken broth. It is the foundation of the Asian broth you make as the first step.
Chili sauce. Sriracha or Sambal Oelek are good choices, but any chili paste will do. Sriracha has garlic, whereas sambal is red chili flakes and some vinegar. Avoid a Mexican-style hot sauce with extra ingredients or flavors like chipotle. As always, check that what you use is vegan.
Vegetables. Think texture and shape when you choose the rest of your veggies. I chose carrots, bamboo shoots, scallions, and mung bean sprouts. Additional good options include celery, baby corn, green beans, or veggies you’d use in a stir fry.
Step 1: Press the tofu for 15-20 minutes and cut it into cubes.
Step 2: Pressure-cook vegetable broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, ginger, and black pepper for 2 minutes.
Step 3: Add the vegetables and tofu. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
Step 4: Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add it to the soup and cook on Sauté for 1 minute.
- Be Instant Pot cautious when opening the steam handle for a quick release. Unlike natural release, there will be a lot of hot steam that can burn your hand. Use a wooden spoon to release the handle. Remove the lid after the silver pressure valve has fully depressed.
- The tofu will be soft, so dice it into small cubes if this puts you off. Or substitute the tofu cubes with a crispy air fryer or oven-baked tofu.
- If the soup is too thin, sauté it for another minute or add another tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and sauté for another minute.
- Cornstarch or other thickeners get lumpy when added to soups or gravies. For this reason, always mix it with water before adding it to hot soup.
To make hot and sour soup on the stove, add all the ingredients for the broth to a soup pot. Start on medium-high heat. After the broth begins to boil, reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover the Pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the vegetables and tofu, cover the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in the slurry and cook for another 5 minutes.
Hot and sour soup makes a delicious starter for Asian-inspired dishes. Consider hearty salads like Asian chopped salad or dishes with noodles like peanut sauce with mango, loaded rice noodle salad, or Thai brussels sprouts and noodles.
Of course, spring rolled in a spicy sriracha sauce is always an option, as is a more traditional approach of slices of crusty bread.
Storage / Freezing / Reheating
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before freezing it.
Reheat hot and sour soup on the stove or in the microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
As an entirely plant-based soup prepared without oil, this hot and sour soup recipe provides substantial nutritional value with minimal calories, low fat, and no saturated fat.
Adzuki beans (azuki/aduki) are firm, dark brown beans often used in Asian cooking. They can be substituted for tofu in this hot and sour soup recipe. Add a can of rinsed adzuki beans to the Instant Pot and vegetables.
Yes – branding. Rice vinegar is made by fermenting rice into sugar that turns into alcohol and continuing the fermentation process to create acid (vinegar). Whether labeled with 'wine' or not, both products are identical.
Besides beans, noodles, extra vegetables, cooked rice, quinoa, or other grains can be added to or served with the soup.
More Instant Pot Soups
Instant Pot Hot and Sour Soup
Easy Instant Pot hot and sour soup recipe with tofu and vegetables in spicy, sour, savory broth is an amazingly rejuvenating, healthy vegan soup.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Instant Pot
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Asian
- Diet: Vegan
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup soy sauce or Tamari
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 2 - 3 teaspoons chili sauce (Sriracha or another you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10 ounces firm or extra firm tofu
- 1 pound (16 ounces) button mushrooms (see notes for alternative)
- 7 scallions (green onions) sliced (white and green parts)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into sticks
- 8-ounce can of bamboo shoots, cut into sticks
- 10 ounces bean sprouts, rinsed and chopped in half
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch (see notes for substitutes)
- ¼ cup of water
- Press the tofu using a tofu press or wrap it in a paper towel and place it between two plates with the top weighed down. Press for 10-20 minutes.
- Prep all the ingredients and then cut the tofu into small cubes.
- Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, ginger, and black pepper to the Instant Pot. Cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes.
- When the Instant Pot is done, carefully release the steam valve, then remove the lid.
- Add the vegetables and tofu. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to form a smooth slurry.
- When the Instant Pot is done cooking, again, carefully release the steam valve and remove the lid. Pour in the cornstarch slurry and stir it in the soup.
- Replace the Instant Pot lid and cook on the Sauté setting for 1 minute.
- Open the steam handle, remove the lid and stir the soup. Taste the soup and adjust the flavorings if desired.
To make hot and sour soup on the stove, add all the ingredients for the broth to a soup pot. Start at medium-high heat, and lower the heat when the broth starts to boil. Cover the Pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the vegetables and tofu, cover the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes. Mix in the slurry and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Substitutes for cornstarch include arrowroot or tapioca starch.
- Consider making air fryer (or baked) crispy tofu for firmer tofu. Stir it in after finishing the soup.
Keywords: Easy Instant Pot hot and sour soup, vegan
Made this for dinner tonight. I was missing the tofu and bamboo shoots so I added extra veggies (corn, green beans and kale). My husband grew up in a Chinese restaurant and said my soup tastes exactly like his dad’s hot and sour soup. Everyone noticed the missing ingredients (note to self— buy tofu and bamboo shoots) but really enjoyed it. My college age kid is thrilled that this is something she can make herself at school. Overall, a major win!
I'm thrilled you enjoyed this! I keep saying that I'll make a batch and freeze it - that never happens, there's never leftovers :). Thanks for the review. It is more certainly appreciated.
Absolutely LOVE this soup! Its delicious and easy to make. I added some black fungus from a local market to add a little more texture but otherwise followed the recipe.
Yahoo! So happy to hear you liked it. I've been known to have this for breakfast - it's so yummy 🙂