Hot and Sour Soba Noodle Soup

Japanese soba noodles are packed with nutrients and comforting to eat, especially in this soup.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 10 dried lily buds
  • 5 dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of scallions, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 8 ounces firm tofu, diced
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Chinese black vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 ounces dried soba noodles
  • Chili oil, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small bowl, cover the lily buds with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. In another small bowl, cover the dried wood ear mushrooms with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse and coarsely chop.

  2. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the garlic, scallions, ginger and pork and cook, stirring to break up the meat until no pink remains, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Measure out 1/4 cup of the stock and set aside in a small bowl. Add the lily buds, mushrooms, tofu, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and sugar to the pot. Return the soup to a simmer.

  4. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved 1/4 cup of stock, then drizzle the mixture into the soup, stirring gently until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the soba noodles and simmer for the amount of time specified in the manufacturer's instructions.

  5. Taste and add more of the vinegar and soy sauce if desired. Divide into bowls and garnish with scallions. Serve with chili oil.

Make Ahead

Steps 1-4 can be made the day before. Cook the soba noodles directly before serving.


Lily buds, wood ear mushrooms, and Chinese black vinegar are available at Asian grocery stores. 

Contributed By Photo © Molly Yeh Published October 2014

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