west lake beef soup

west lake beef soup

west lake beef soup

West Lake Beef Soup

A hearty and thickened soup filled with minced beef, tofu, mushrooms, and egg ribbons that can be done in under an hour.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6


  • 8 oz beef cheaper cuts or ground beef
  • 7 oz soft tofu ½ block
  • 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large knob ginger crushed
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 10 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth

Beef marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Few dashes of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil

Cornstarch slurry:

  • 5 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoon water (cold or room temp)


  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (can omit if using chicken broth)
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper or more to taste
  • scallions
  • cilantro


Prepare the ingredients

  • Rinse and rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms by putting them into a bowl with hot water. Cover the bowl and let rehydrate.
    4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms, 1.5 cups hot water
  • In the meantime, prepare the beef. If you’re anything but ground beef, finely dice the beef. It’s easiest to cut the meat into strips first, then dice.
    8 oz beef
  • In a bowl, add the minced beef, Shaoxing wine, salt, sugar, white pepper, cornstarch, and water. Mix until fully incorporated. Add neutral oil, then mix again. Set aside to let it marinate.
    1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon sugar, Few dashes of white pepper, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon neutral oil
  • Prepare the tofu by draining any excess liquid from the package. Finely dice the tofu (about the same size as the beef).
    7 oz soft tofu
  • Wash the scallions and cilantro. Slice thinly.
    scallions, cilantro
  • Separate the eggs into two bowls, one for the whites and another for the yolks.
    3 large eggs
  • Once the mushrooms are rehydrated, squeeze out the liquid from the mushrooms. Save the water to use in the soup later.
  • Remove the tough stems from the mushrooms, then either thinly slice or finely dice the mushrooms.

Make the soup

  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil to parboil the beef. Drop the beef in the simmering water, then stir to break up any chunks. Let simmer for 1 minute, then drain.
  • To a large clean pot, add crushed ginger, diced tofu, diced mushrooms, the reserved mushroom broth, and 10 cups of water.
    1 large knob ginger, 10 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • Season with salt and chicken bouillon. The seasoning here will give the tofu and mushrooms more flavor. Bring the soup to a boil.
    1.5 teaspoon salt, 1.5 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • Once the soup is boiling, lower it to a simmer. Add the beef, and stir to break up any chunks.
  • As the soup simmers, skim off any foam on the surface.
  • In a bowl, mix the cornstarch slurry until fully dissolved.
    5 tablespoon cornstarch, 5 tablespoon water
  • With the soup at a simmer, gradually add the cornstarch slurry while stirring the soup slowly. It should thicken almost immediately. If you prefer the soup to be thicker, you can add more cornstarch slurry.
  • Very lightly beat the egg whites, just to break up the large clumps. Do the same with the egg yolks. You don’t want to beat them too hard as they will form bubbles, which you don’t want in your soup.
  • Slowly drizzle in the egg whites to the soup while stirring slowly to create delicate ribbons. Repeat afterwards with the egg yolks.
  • Add the chopped cilantro and scallions, white pepper, and any additional seasoning to taste. Enjoy!
    ¼ teaspoon white pepper
Keyword chinese soup, west lake beef soup
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