Gluten Free Hot and Sour Soup

If you miss hot and sour soup at your favorite Chinese restaurant, this is a must-make recipe. Shiitake mushrooms pair well with chicken and garlic, and with the additional ingredients, this soup is a delight. However, you may use tofu instead of chicken as a vegetarian option, as well as vegetable broth for chicken broth. As a plus point, shiitake mushrooms are packed with iron.

Note: This soup contains mushrooms. A small percentage of people who are gluten intolerant react to mushrooms. Mushroom spores are grown on grains, usually rye. However, they can also be grown on wheat or a combination of grains. They contain a trace amount of gluten. Many people who react to mushrooms may not react to wild mushrooms. Speak with a grower at your local farmers’ market.

This is another recipe from my upcoming cookbook,  Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.

Photo credit: Denise Trudeau – one of my cookbook recipe testers

Gluten Free Hot and Sour Soup


Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 small servings/serves 2 - 3 as a meal

Gluten Free Hot and Sour Soup

A gluten free hot and sour soup recipe that even mushroom haters love! They just remove the mushrooms. Between the flavorful shiitake mushrooms and fresh ginger, they'll be begging for seconds.


  • 5 cups gluten-free chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, approximately 2 x 1-1/2-inches
  • 2 teaspoons minced or finely grated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red hot chili paste* (or 1/3 teaspoon dried/crushed red chili pepper/flakes)
  • 1/4 - 1/3 pound chicken, lean pork, or silken tofu, cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar** (or lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar**
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil, store-bought or homemade chili oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 serving rice flake noodles, gluten-free soba noodles, pasta, or cooked rice, as desired
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a 2 to 3-quart saucepan, add chicken broth and dried mushrooms. Bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and set aside for about 35 minutes or until rehydrated.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms from broth and transfer to a cutting board. Slice off and discard the stem. Slice mushroom caps thinly and add them back to the broth.
  3. Preheat a medium-size skillet with oil.
  4. Crush ginger using the back of a large knife or mallet. (You will later remove it from the broth.) Add ginger, garlic, and if using dried chili flakes/peppers, to the skillet. Stir over medium heat until the oil becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the chicken and stir until no longer pink on the outside, about 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken mixture to the saucepan containing the broth. Add chili paste, if using, and stir. Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot chili oil, and cornstarch. Add it to the boiling soup and stir until it becomes slightly thick.
  9. Remove the large pieces of ginger and discard.
  10. Add your desired gluten-free noodles and cook until tender. Thin with additional broth as needed. You may also serve this soup with cooked rice. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, if desired, and serve hot.


Shiitake mushrooms are full of flavor. They provide so much flavor that you may be satisfied with the flavor of the broth without any soy sauce or vinegar. If substituting it with fresh button mushrooms or the like, use about 25 mushrooms.

If you’re a huge ginger fan, feel free to mince the ginger prior to frying it and keep it in the soup.

*I always bring the gluten-free red chili paste home from PF Chang’s restaurant and use it in my recipes at home. However, you may substitute chili paste for 1/3 teaspoon of red hot chili flakes added to the oil along with ginger and garlic.

**You can substitute white distilled vinegar for both the rice and apple cider vinegar, but not as a substitute for the rice vinegar alone.

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