Wholesome Napa Cabbage Soup: An Effortless Chinese Delight – Seaco Online
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Wholesome Napa Cabbage Soup: An Effortless Chinese Delight

This delightful Napa cabbage soup serves as a heartening and straightforward option, especially when the weather turns cold. A Chinese recipe that is straightforward, it calls for only a few basic components, making it an excellent choice for a swift and nutritious evening meal. Enjoyed for its gentle flavour and velvety feel, napa cabbage soup holds a special place in various Chinese households.

A steaming pot of napa cabbage soup simmers on a stove, filled with tender cabbage, savory broth, and aromatic spices

To make napa cabbage soup, you will need napa cabbage, chicken or vegetable broth, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. You can also add other ingredients such as meatballs, tofu, and mushrooms to add more flavour and texture to the soup. If you are looking for a seafood option, you can add fish balls or shrimp to the soup.

To prepare the soup, you will need to wash and chop the napa cabbage and mince the garlic and ginger. Then, you will need to sauté the garlic and ginger in a pot before adding the napa cabbage and broth. Let the soup simmer until the napa cabbage is tender and the flavours have melded together. Serve the soup hot with a sprinkle of green onions or cilantro on top.

Key Takeaways

  • Napa cabbage soup is a simple and comforting Chinese recipe that is perfect for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.
  • You can add other ingredients such as meatballs, tofu, mushrooms, or seafood to add more flavour and texture to the soup.
  • Napa cabbage soup is easy to make and can be served hot with a sprinkle of green onions or cilantro on top.

Ingredients and Substitutes

A pot of napa cabbage, mushrooms, tofu, and broth simmering on a stove. A bowl of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic nearby for seasoning

Key Ingredients

To make a delicious Napa cabbage soup, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Napa cabbage: This is the star of the dish and cannot be substituted. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavour and is perfect for soups and stews.

  • Chicken broth: This is the base of the soup and adds depth of flavour. You can use vegetable broth if you prefer a vegetarian version.

  • Rice: This is optional but can be added to make the soup more filling.

  • Ginger: This adds a warm, spicy flavour and aroma to the soup. Fresh ginger is recommended, but you can use ground ginger if you don't have fresh.

Vegetable Add-Ins

You can add any of the following vegetables to the soup to make it more nutritious and flavourful:

  • Carrots: These add a touch of sweetness and colour to the soup.

  • Enoki mushrooms: These delicate mushrooms have a mild flavour and add texture to the soup.

  • Green onion: These add a subtle onion flavour and a pop of colour.

  • Garlic: This adds a pungent flavour to the soup and has many health benefits.

Protein Options

If you want to add some protein to the soup, you can use any of the following:

  • Tofu: This is a great vegetarian option and adds a creamy texture to the soup.

  • Chicken: This adds a meaty flavour and is perfect for non-vegetarians.

  • Seafood: If you want to add seafood to the soup, you can use shrimp, clams or mussels. Seafood adds a unique flavour and texture to the soup.

Flavour Enhancers

To enhance the flavour of the soup, you can use any of the following:

  • Soy sauce: This adds a salty flavour to the soup and is a great umami booster.

  • Oyster sauce: This adds a savoury flavour to the soup and is perfect for seafood-based soups.

  • Sesame oil: This adds a nutty flavour and aroma to the soup.

Experiment with different combinations of vegetables, protein and flavour enhancers to find your perfect Napa cabbage soup recipe.

Preparation Before Cooking

A cutting board with sliced napa cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. A pot filled with broth simmering on the stove. Ingredients arranged neatly on the counter

Washing and Chopping

Before starting to cook the Chinese Napa Cabbage Soup, you need to make sure that your napa cabbage is properly washed and chopped. To wash the napa cabbage, remove any wilted or damaged outer leaves and cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water, making sure to get in between the leaves to remove any dirt or debris. Once the cabbage is clean, chop it into bite-sized pieces.

In addition to the napa cabbage, you will also need to wash and chop the green onions. Cut off the root end of the green onions and remove any wilted or damaged outer leaves. Cut the green onions into thin slices, separating the white and green parts.

Marinating Proteins

If you plan to add any proteins to your Chinese Napa Cabbage Soup, such as chicken or shrimp, it's important to marinate them before cooking. This will help to infuse the proteins with flavour and keep them tender.

To marinate your proteins, start by mixing together a marinade of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. Add your proteins to the marinade and mix well to coat. Let the proteins marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

If you are looking to add seafood to your soup, consider using prawns or scallops. To marinate the seafood, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, and a pinch of salt. Add the seafood to the marinade and let sit for 10-15 minutes before cooking.

Now that you have your napa cabbage washed and chopped and your proteins marinated, you are ready to start cooking your Chinese Napa Cabbage Soup.

Cooking Method

A pot simmers on a stove. Napa cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu float in a savory broth. Steam rises, filling the kitchen with the aroma of Chinese spices

Soup Base Creation

To start, you will need to create the soup base for your napa cabbage soup. Begin by heating up your chicken or pork stock in a pot. Once heated, add in the napa cabbage, carrots, and any other vegetables you would like to include. Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes until they have softened.

Next, add in your seasoning. You can use a combination of light soy sauce, salt, oyster sauce, and Shaoxing wine or sake to create a rich and savoury flavour. If you prefer a spicier soup, you can also add in some chilli oil or dried chilli flakes.

Simmering the Soup

Once you have created your soup base, it's time to let it simmer. Place a lid on the pot and let the soup cook on low heat for around 20 minutes. This will allow the flavours to meld together and create a delicious and comforting soup.

Adjusting the Flavour

After 20 minutes, take a taste of your soup and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the soup is too salty, you can add in some water or more stock to dilute it. If it's not flavourful enough, you can add in more seasoning or a dash of sesame oil for extra depth.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add in some seafood to your napa cabbage soup. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition, and would pair well with the savoury and slightly sweet flavours of the soup. Simply add them in towards the end of the cooking process and let them cook for a few minutes until they are pink and cooked through.

With these simple steps, you can create a delicious and comforting napa cabbage soup that is perfect for any time of year.

Serving Suggestions

A steaming bowl of napa cabbage soup garnished with sliced green onions and a drizzle of chili oil, accompanied by a pair of wooden chopsticks resting on a delicate porcelain spoon


Napa cabbage soup is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed on its own or with a few accompaniments. Here are some suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

  • Steamed Rice: The best way to serve your Chinese cabbage soup is with a bowl of freshly steamed rice, be it brown or white rice. For a lower carb version, you can use cauliflower or broccoli rice instead.

  • Noodles: Noodle dishes like a simple rice vermicelli stir fry or teriyaki soba stir fry will pair beautifully with this soup. You can also add some cooked egg noodles to the soup for a more filling meal.

  • Bread: A crusty bread roll or baguette is perfect for soaking up the soup and adding a bit of texture to your meal.

  • Side Dish: A simple side dish of stir-fried vegetables or a light salad will balance out the richness of the soup.

Garnishing Tips

Garnishing your napa cabbage soup can add a touch of colour and flavour to your meal. Here are some suggestions to try:

  • Green Onion: Thinly sliced green onion adds a bit of freshness and crunch to the soup. You can also sprinkle some chopped cilantro or parsley on top.

  • Sesame Oil: A drizzle of sesame oil on top of the soup adds a nutty flavour and aroma.

  • Seafood: For a more luxurious version of the soup, you can add some seafood such as shrimp or scallops. Simply sauté the seafood in a bit of oil until cooked and add it to the soup before serving. Alternatively, you can add some fish balls or crab sticks for a more budget-friendly option.

By following these serving suggestions, you can elevate your napa cabbage soup to the next level and impress your family and friends. Enjoy your meal!

Storing and Reheating

Napa cabbage soup in a pot on a stove, steam rising, with a pair of chopsticks nearby

Once you have made your delicious Chinese Napa Cabbage Soup, you may have some leftovers. You can store your leftover soup in the fridge for 3-4 days. To ensure that the veggies do not turn mushy upon reheating, it is best to slightly undercook them if you plan to make this soup ahead of time.

When storing your soup, it is important to use an airtight container to prevent any odours from your fridge from seeping into the soup. You should also let the soup cool down to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.

If you want to keep your soup for longer, you can freeze it. However, keep in mind that when reheating the greens will get softer. You can store the soup in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When reheating your soup, you can do so on the stove or in the microwave. If you are reheating on the stove, make sure to use a soup pot and heat the soup on low to medium heat. Stir the soup occasionally to ensure that it heats evenly. If you are using a microwave, you can reheat the soup in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the soup on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you want to add some seafood to your soup, you can use fish balls or cuttlefish. For example, you can add Fuzhou fishballs or dried cuttlefish to your soup for a delicious seafood twist.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming pot of napa cabbage soup simmers on a stovetop, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

What's the best way to prepare vegetarian Napa cabbage soup?

Vegetarian Napa cabbage soup is a delicious and nutritious meal that is easy to make. The best way to prepare this soup is to use fresh Napa cabbage, along with other fresh vegetables and herbs. You can also add some tofu or mushrooms to give the soup a more substantial texture.

Could you suggest an easy method for making Chinese Napa cabbage soup?

Chinese Napa cabbage soup is a simple and easy recipe that can be prepared in just a few steps. First, you need to chop the Napa cabbage and other vegetables into small pieces. Then, you need to sauté them in a pot with some oil and garlic. After that, you can add some vegetable or chicken broth, along with some soy sauce and other seasonings. Finally, you can let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes until all the flavors have blended together.

What are some top tips for creating the most flavourful Napa cabbage soup?

To create the most flavorful Napa cabbage soup, you can use a variety of herbs and spices such as ginger, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns. You can also add some meat or seafood to the soup to give it a more complex flavor. If you want to make the soup more nutritious, you can add some beans or lentils to it.

How is Napa cabbage prepared for inclusion in a soup?

To prepare Napa cabbage for inclusion in a soup, you need to wash it thoroughly and remove any damaged or wilted leaves. Then, you can chop it into small pieces or shred it. You can also blanch the cabbage in boiling water for a few minutes to soften it before adding it to the soup.

Are Napa cabbage and Wong Bok the same thing?

Napa cabbage and Wong Bok are both types of Chinese cabbage, but they are not the same thing. Napa cabbage has a sweet flavor and a more delicate texture, while Wong Bok has a stronger flavor and a firmer texture.

Is Napa cabbage referred to as Chinese cabbage in some recipes?

Yes, Napa cabbage is sometimes referred to as Chinese cabbage in some recipes. This is because it is a type of Chinese cabbage that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine.