Serves 6
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This Chinese culinary classic combines tofu, bean paste, bamboo shoot strips, as well as a variety of mushrooms and spices for a spicy, sour and tangy soup. We love it meat-free, but if you’d like something more, feel free to add eggs for an added silky, creamy touch.


  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 750 g mixed asian mushrooms, torn coarsely
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 green onions (scallions), sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp Chinese chilli bean paste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tbsps light soy sauce
  • 565 g can bamboo shoot strips, drained
  • 300 g firm tofu, cubed
  • 3 tsps cornflour (cornstarch)
  • Coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

Heat peanut oil and half the sesame oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add mushrooms; stir to coat in oil. Cook, covered, for 5 mins or until mushrooms soften but retain their shape. Remove 1 cup of the mushrooms; reserve.


Add ginger, garlic and green onion to the pan; cook, stirring for 2 mins or until fragrant. Stir in chilli bean paste, ground peppers and chilli flakes.


Stir in stock, vinegar, soy sauce and bamboo shoots; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 5 mins. Add tofu.


Combine cornflour and 2 tbsps cold water in a small bowl to make a paste; stir into soup. Cook for 2 mins or until mixture boils and thickens slightly.


Ladle soup into bowls; top with reserved mushrooms and coriander. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil; serve.

TIP We used a pre-packaged mix of mushrooms, containing oyster, shimeji and shiitake.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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