Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Instant Pot Hot & Sour Soup

Start to finish cook time: 34 minutes* (3 prep + 20 pressurize + 6 high pressure + 2 high saute + 3 sitting covered) *If using pork and or wood ear mushrooms add 20 minutes of prep*
*reaching pressure time is based of a 6QT*
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 4-5 servings (2 cup portions)
Yields: 8-9 cups total

I have had this hot and sour soup recipe for years, it's my go to when I don't live near a Chinese place that can make a good version. Just a solid recipe. I have been craving this, so I thought it's time to create the IP version! This makes my already good recipe just that much easier.

One crucial step not to skip, you must use white pepper and vinegar. This is what makes it spicy and sour, so it's a key step and black pepper is not the same. Trust me!

There are a few variations of this recipe you can tweak depending on your needs. I personally prefer shredded dried Wood Ear (black) mushrooms, however they can really only be found in a Chinese market. So, in a bind you can sub in sliced Bellas or Shiitake mushrooms. I also prefer it with pork tenderloin, which you can get small amounts with a butcher, but if you are at a store where you can only buy prepackaged you may not feel like buying a whole think of pork for just a bit. So, you can always skip the pork and have a vegetarian version it's still tasty. The day I made this I actually did skip pork and the specialty mushrooms, just because I was lazy, and it turned out great anyway!

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

  • 16 oz firm tofu container, drained and sliced into strips (only use 1/2-2/3 container of tofu if using pork too, if not using pork use 2/3-full container depending on how much tofu you like)
  • 3 ounces pork tenderloin, sliced into little strips (can skip if you prefer vegetarian)
  • 4 tbsp shredded dried black wood ear mushrooms (if desired, can sub instead 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms or 8 oz sliced shiitake mushroom instead)
  • 5 stalks green onions, finely sliced
  • 8 oz sliced bamboo shoots, drained 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 cups water 
  • 8 chicken bouillon cube or 8 tsps chicken better than bouillon 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce for soup and also 1 tsp soy sauce for pork marinade if using pork
  • 1 tsp sesame oil for soup and also 1/2 tsp sesame oil for pork marinade if using pork
  • 6 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 6 tbsp water for thickener for soup and also 1 tsp cornstarch for marinade if using pork
  • 5 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp hot chili oil or Sriracha (optional) 

  1. If using pork, thin slice pork into little strips. Mix 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp cornstarch to make a marinade for pork. Marinate pork for 20 minutes. If skipping pork, you can skip this step.
  2. If using wood ear mushrooms, soak in warm water for 20 minutes in a bowl or cup. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel. If using sliced shiitake mushrooms or bellas, you can skip this step.
  3. Add to your Instant pot water, bouillon, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, sliced pork (if using), salt, sugar, remaining soy sauce, both vinegars, remaining sesame oil, white vinegar, and hot chili or Sriracha. Stir. DON'T add egg, green onion,  remaining cornstarch, or tofu- this will happen later.
  4. Seal and set to high pressure for 6 minutes and allow 20 minutes to reach pressure. Be sure the steam vent is set to the sealed position.
  5. While soup is cooking, cut tofu into small strips. Slice green onions into strips. In a small bowl, scramble one egg with a fork. In a small container mix the cornstarch and water.
  6. Once your IP beeps that it's finished on high pressure, quick release steam. Set your Instant Pot to high saute. 
  7. Once boiling,  pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup stirring while it is being added to avoid clumping or burning. Sauce will thicken, immediately turn off and set to keep warm. Drop in the beaten egg into your soup, stirring in one direction to disperse. You will see the egg quickly cook.
  8. Add diced tofu and chopped green onion, stir and cover. Allow to sit for 3 minutes just to let tofu warm up. Serve and enjoy!

Not pictured- pork and mushroom prep, see instructions. Once
complete add to your pot mushrooms, bamboo shoots, both vinegars,
soy sauce, salt, sugar, sesame oil,  white pepper, and hot chili or sriracha.
Mix and set to 6 minutes high pressure, allow 20 minutes to build pressure.
While soup is cooking, do remaining prep. Chop green onions into thin slices.
Cut tofu into strips. Scramble egg in small container. In separate container, mix
water and cornstarch. 
Set to high saute and once boiling add the cornstarch mix, stir
until thicken and shut back off. Set to keep warm. 
Mix scrambled egg in and stir in same direction, it will quickly cook. 
Add green onions and tofu, stir and cover for 3 minutes allowing
tofu to get warm. 
Serve and enjoy!