Posted by: SV | December 9, 2008

Napa Cabbage Soup with Pork

Ever wonder what you do with napa cabbage aside from using it to line a bamboo steamer or in stir-fries?It makes for a wonderful soup with or without rice!Very light in taste and calories.For those times where you are counting calories – this is the perfect meal.

Unlike regular cabbage, napa cabbage does not emit a smell.  So even if you are not a fan of cabbage, I think you will like this.

In this recipe I’ve used pork but feel free to substitute with chicken (see previous posting).

Napa Cabbage Soup

(Serves 6)

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 lb of sliced pork (or 3-4 pork ribs)
  • 1 head of napa cabbage, sliced into 1-inch thick rings
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 sprig of chopped green onion for garnish

1.      Add salt to water in a medium size pan, bring to boil

2.     Place sliced pork, chopped onion into boiling water, heat over medium heat for 10 minutes.Ifusing pork ribs, it will need to be on a slow simmer for 45minutes to 1 hr so that the meat is tender and falls off the bone when gently probed.

3.      Once pork stock comes to a boil, skim off the top

4.      Add to pork stock, sliced napa cabbage, fish sauce and black pepper

5.      Gently stir the soup and bring to boil

6.      Soup is done when napa cabbage leaf turns bright green and starts to turn slightly translucent in the center

7.      Garnish soup with chopped green onions.

Napa Cabbage Soup, originally uploaded by simpleviet.



  1. Hi, thank you so much for all the recipes you have on here. I just discovered your site and can’t wait to try them all! I am Vietnamese, and I love experimenting with different recipes. Well, I tried making this napa cabbage soup today, and unfortunately it turned out a bit salty. It might be because my fish sauce bottle was close to being empty. I’m not really sure. I even added 2 tablespoon of sugar at the end to try to offset it but it was still salty. On the other hand, the pork in this soup was SOOOO tender and juicy. I used a boneless shoulder blade roast. I think that part came out even be better than what my mom used to make. I’m looking forward to making it again, maybe with just 1 or 2 tablespoon of fish sauce. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. Thanks again!

    • I think you hit the nail on the head. Fish sauce varies by sodium content depending on brand. Some brands, especially the ones in plastic bottles, seem to have salt crystals when you reach towards the bottom of the bottle and so it can be more salty. My suggestion is to go easy on the fish sauce – you can always add more at the end of cooking process or at the table. Good luck.

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