Suan La Fen (Hot and Sour Noodle Soup)

We love pretty much all Asian food, especially soups, and this Chinese hot and sour noodle soup doesn’t disappoint. There so so many flavor components to this dish, and they come together beautifully. I wish I had another bowl right now. 🙂

Traditionally, this soup is made by placing all the ingredients and seasonings into individual bowls, then pouring hot broth in, to make sure each bowl is seasoned properly and I followed that when making it.

There are a few key things needed for this recipe to have it’s full flavor (and you want it to, trust me). First, you need some glass noodles (sweet potato noodles). You can definitely sub other noodles here, but these have the best texture and they absorb flavor from the soup and are just so good. You can find them at Asian markets, or on amazon with my link above.

You also need sui mi ya cai, which are chopped, pickled mustard greens. These are the main seasoning for the pork in the soup and their flavor really can’t be compared to anything else. You can get them at the Asian market as well, or from the link. For serving, you need some zha cai (pickled mustard stems). I love these and they really add dimension to the soup.

This recipe also uses chili oil, dark soy, Sichuan pepper, Chinkiang vinegar and Shaoxing wine. All of these can also be found at the Asian market or online. The noodles and broth are topped with seasoned cooked pork, garlic, green onions, roasted peanuts, cilantro and the zha cai.

Suan La Fen (Hot and Sour Noodle Soup)

Hot and sour noodle soup with pork and veggies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Servings 4 people


For the pork:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 8 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 8 tsp sui mi ya cai

For the soup:

  • 8 scallions sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic thinly sliced or minced
  • 8 tbsp chili oil to taste
  • 8 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 8 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 120 g dried sweet potato glass noodles
  • broccoli, spinach, bok choy or other vegetables if you like

For topping:

  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped cilantro
  • Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • zha cai


For the pork:

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium high and add the ground pork. Cook until browned and fully cooked through. Add the wine, soy and the sui mi yai cai. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the liquids are evaporated. Set aside.

For the soup:

  • Cook noodles according to instructions and divide between 4 bowls. Heat the broth and sugar to boiling in a pot on the stove. If using vegetables, par cook in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain and divide among the bowls. Divide the green onions, garlic, chili oil, vinegar and soy equally among the 4 bowls.
  • Ladle hot broth over each bowl and serve with the peanuts, pepper, more chili oil, cilantro and zha cai on the side for adding as you eat.
Keyword Lunch, Main Dish, Pork, Soup

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