P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc.'s 40-plus restaurant chain, operating in 19 states, owes much of its success to founder Paul Fleming's unique idea of pairing oriental cuisine with American-style service. At the outset, when he opened the first of the restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Fleming broke with the traditional Chinese restaurant format. With his collaborator, chef Philip Chiang, he devised a comparatively limited menu that featured far fewer dishes than the menus of typical, full-service, Chinese restaurants. Incorporating an American steak house dining style and a formidable selection of wines and cheeses, P.F. Chang's offers such additional oriental restaurant anomalies as espresso and cappuccino. Although P.F. Chang's China Bistros are stylish in decor, displaying motifs from the Ming and T'ang Dynasties and hand-painted murals, the dishes are moderately priced, partly because one of Fleming's aims was to provide high quality but affordable Chinese food for "the masses."




Hot and Sour Soup

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Copycat Recipe

Serves 4-6

6 ounces chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper
6 ounces bamboo shoots, cut into strips
6 ounces wood ear mushrooms, cut into strips  (or canned straw mushrooms, if woodear can't be found)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
4 ounces white vinegar
6 ounces silken tofu, cut into strips

Cook chicken strips till done. Set aside. Bring stock to boil. Add soy sauce, white pepper, bamboo, mushrooms and chicken. Stir. Let cook for 3 minutes. While cooking, in separate bowl combine cornstarch and water to make slurry. Add slurry a little at a time and stir until thick (all slurry may not be necessary, so add as much as necessary for desired thickness - I used about 3/4 of slurry). Add eggs while stirring and cook for 30 seconds or until eggs are done. Turn off heat. Add vinegar and tofu, give it a quick stir. Spoon into bowls.


  1. Where's the "Hot" part of the "hot and Sour" soup? White pepper isn't going to cut it!! LOL

    1. White pepper will hit it. I also add 1 tbsp of Sarachaand 1/2 tsp red pepper flakess

  2. I've made a lot of Hot and Sour soup over the years, and YES, white pepper does make it hot. I would recommend 2 tsp instead of 1 tsp if you really enjoy the hot flavor. If you want to move out of tradition, try adding Sambal or Sriracha.

  3. The white pepper makes it really hot once the soup has had the chance to sit and neld, like eating it the next day. But I love the spicy part of the soup so I add a full tablespoon of freshly ground white pepper. The importance is FRESHLY ground. And otherwise I add pickled serrano and garlic, that I make homemade Chinese style with sesame oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce.

  4. I also start with 6 chicken thighs and 1/2 cup of celery leaves, 1/2 carrot and 1 cup of white onion diced to make my broth. I then ad 2 tbsp of sliced ginger and 2 tbsp of fresh garlic to the mix.

  5. Don't forget the sesame oil, 1 tbsp. I also add to the mix 1 cup of thinly sliced white mushrooms.