This easy Napa cabbage soup is a delicious, umami packed light dinner you can put together on a cold winter night.
Featuring Chinese cabbage as the star ingredient, this comforting broth based soup is just bursting with flavor.
Whether you’re looking for a savory side dish or a simple soup packed with healthy and nutritious ingredients, this one’s the perfect recipe.
Whether I’m down with a cold or I’m looking for a simple, effortless dinner to put together, a good bowl of comforting soup is what I turn to.
You can get this soup ready in 30 minutes and enjoy it with your other Asian creations, or even on its own.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Napa Cabbage Soup Recipe
- How to Make Napa Cabbage Soup
- Substitutions & Variations
- 💭Top Tip
- How to Store the Leftover Napa Cabbage Soup
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- How to Serve Napa Cabbage Soup
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Recipes
- Napa Cabbage Soup
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
I love this recipe for its simplicity and adaptability.
This has quickly become my go-to recipes when I’m thinking about putting a quick, effortless meal together for the entire family.
Ingredients For the Napa Cabbage Soup Recipe
Ready to make this recipe? Here’s all you’ll need to put it together.
Napa cabbage: I used Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage to add that beautiful texture to the soup.
Chicken: You’ll also need some chicken thighs to prepare the broth for the soup. You can choose bone-in or boneless chicken- whatever you prefer.
Carrot: I also added a carrot to give the soup a bit of a texture.
Green onion: Chopped green onions elevate the flavor and beauty of the flavorful soup.
Aromatics: For the aromatics, you’ll need to use fresh onion, garlic and ginger.
Seasonings: I kept the seasonings simple and used salt, black pepper and red chili flakes.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Napa Cabbage Soup
Got all the ingredients ready? Here’s what you’ll need to do to make the Chinese cabbage soup.
In a large pot over medium heat, add the chicken and diced aromatics and cook for 3-5 minutes on high heat.
Lower the heat to medium and add in the carrots and water.
Bring the mixture to a boil, add the cabbage, cook for 5 minutes, and then take off heat.
Strain the soup, remove the onions, garlic and ginger and add everything else back to the pot.
Bring it back on heat and simmer the soup for 5 minutes.
Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with lemon juice, sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
Substitutions & Variations
- I’ve kept the soup super simple, but you can also add a dash of soy sauce if you want to lend some more flavor and a pop of color to the soup.
- Miso paste can be another great addition to this soup, and can make it more flavorful.
- Don’t have chicken? You can use some chicken bouillon powder to prepare the chicken base.
- Want the soup to have a clear, white color? Use white pepper instead of the crushed black pepper as the seasoning, and skip adding the red chili flakes.
To lend the soup the perfect Asian flavor, you can also add a dash of sesame oil into the pot while cooking the chicken.
How to Store the Leftover Napa Cabbage Soup
If you have some leftover soup, you can let it cool down completely and then transfer it to a clean glass container before refrigerating it.
You can store it for 2-3 days, and then reheat it in the microwave or in a soup pot over medium-high heat.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- To make this soup more filling, you can add some firm tofu into the mix and turn it into a nice cabbage tofu soup.
- You can also add some other veggies of your choice into this soup. Bok choy or savoy cabbage are two great options, but you can also choose green beans, bell peppers, zucchini and bean sprouts.
- Fresh shiitake mushrooms can be another great addition to the soup.
- A dash of fish sauce can also elevate the flavors of this soup.
- You can also try making an egg drop soup featuring the chicken broth, chopped green cabbage and some whisked eggs.
- Another great way to make the soup more filling is to add some rice noodles into the mix along with the carrots.
- To cut down the cooking time for the recipe, you can start with store-bought stock or broth, and add the chopped cabbage, veggies and seasonings into the soup.
How to Serve Napa Cabbage Soup
This versatile and comforting soup can be enjoyed in a lot of ways. Here are some good ideas to inspire you.
As a Side
This flavorful soup can be served as a side dish with any of your favorite Asian foods.
As a Main
You can also serve this hearty soup on its own as a main dish, perfect when you’re looking for something that’s light and comforting. You can add some orzo or noodles into the soup too!
Frequently Asked Questions
This Chinese napa cabbage soup tastes best when you use napa cabbage, but you can, of course, try using regular green cabbage or any other favorite cabbage of your choice if you want to.
You can definitely try this soup in an Instant Pot too. In fact, using a pressure cooker will help reduce the cooking time for the recipe.
To make a vegan Napa cabbage soup, you can skip using the chicken, and use some mushroom broth or vegetable broth as the base, add in lots of veggies and tofu!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Napa Cabbage Soup
- 1 napa cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1 green onion
- 2-3 garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 inch ginger
- 200 g chicken
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the chicken and diced aromatics and cook for 3-5 minutes on high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the carrots and water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, and then take off heat.
- Strain the soup, remove the onions, garlic and ginger and add everything else back to the pot.
- Add the cabbage and simmer the soup for 5 minutes.
- Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with lemon juice, sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove