Chinese Cabbage Soup

This recipe originally comes from Super Cookery: Wok & Oriental by Paragon Publishing, with tweaks made by past Root Radical worker Erin (and input from workbee volunteer test eaters!)

Chinese Cabbage Soup


  • 1 pound Chinese cabbage
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry (optional)
  • 1 fresh red chili thinly sliced; or dry red chilis
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water


  1. Wash the Chinese cabbage very well, then chop it.

  2. Heat the stock in a large saucepan. Add the cabbage and cook for 10-15 minutes. 

  3. Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sherry and chilies together. Add this mixture to the stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Blend the cornstarch with the extra water to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup. Cook, stirring constantly, until it has thickened, then cook for a further 4-5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

I have weighed a wide selection of heads and found that a medium sized head can be about one pound while a really large head can weigh more than two pounds. I realize that there’s a lot of leeway there, so put as much in until it looks like it will feed who ever may be at the table. You could also try this recipe with bok choy, kale, collards or turnip tops! We also added some finely chopped red pepper to give the soup some colour.  Serves four.