The bright aromas of this Chinese-inspired soup will have you hooked from the first spoonful. Tart lemon juice mingles with umami-rich soy sauce, sweet maple syrup, and bright brown rice vinegar to create a fusion of flavors that perfectly complement a medley of earthy vegetables. The secret ingredient? A few pinches of Sichuan pepper. Known for its strange but satisfying mouth-numbing effect, this unique ingredient adds more of a sensation to the dish than a taste. While you will certainly notice a bit of added heat, Sichuan pepper mainly makes your mouth and tongue feel a bit tingly, which is said to enhance the other flavors of the food. Feel free to leave out the pepper if you aren’t a fan of this unique culinary phenomenon!

Tip: Enjoy this soup as a side or appetizer, or add brown rice noodles to make it a meal.

For more vegan Chinese recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ½-inch slices baby bok choy
  • 2 pinches Sichuan pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


  • Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high. Add the first five ingredients (through garlic); cook 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly cooked, stirring frequently and adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Stir in bok choy and a pinch of Sichuan pepper flakes (if using). Cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until bok choy starts to turn bright green. Add 7 cups water. Bring to boiling.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together a pinch of Sichuan pepper flakes (if using) and the next five ingredients (through lemon juice). Stir mixture into soup. Return to boiling; turn off heat. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and additional Sichuan pepper flakes.

Comments (9)

(5 from 5 votes)

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is there something you can use instead of the mushrooms?

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Michelle, You could leave the mushrooms out, or substitute with another vegetable like zucchini or broccoli. Hope that helps. let us know how it goes! Thanks, Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support


Making fir the second's absolutely delicious. I added snow peas to the broth and veggies, also some fresh corn. Having a birthday dinner with this recipe. Husband loved it the first time and wanted t again.


Delicious depth of flavor!!! This is so good! Pretty simple to make as well.

HIlda Hopp

Have you ever added diced tofu (marinated first in a bit of soy sauce?)


What can I substitute for pepper ingredients


Hi Pam, If it is the red pepper, you could just add more of the other veggies. If you want color and texture I would julienne cut the carrots add a sprinkle of fresh sliced red radish as a garnish, even fresh mung bean sprouts would be good. For the pepper spice it is optional. I have not made this but I have eaten this way for a long time and had to learn to make substitutions. I hope this helps.


Hi seems like the amount of broth is missing??


Good looking soup hope to try, in the second paragraph it says add 7 cups of water after you woke cook the veggies. Hope that helps. It is a bummer when it is not listed with other ingredients easy to over look.

About the Author

Headshot of Darshana Thacker

About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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