3 Cabbage Soup Recipes In Chinese Style 高丽菜汤

These cabbage soup recipes use the green cabbage or head cabbage, as it is commonly known. 

Round or green cabbage is known as 高丽菜 (gao li cai) or 卷心菜 (juan xin cai) or 包心菜 (bao xin cai). It is "famous" because it is the key ingredient in the 7 Day Cabbage Soup Diet Eating Plan.

I saw the 7-day diet and it is obvious that it was designed for a Western diet. Baked potato with butter isn't something common on the Chinese table. 

It is highly nutritious. It contains Vitamin A, K1, U, and especially high level of Vitamin C. It also contains manganese which supports metabolism. 

Dieticians believe that the round cabbage is an ideal ingredient in a weight loss eating plan since it has very low caloric count. But I don't think the 7-Day diet is the best way to do it. 

It is also a key ingredient in coleslaw, and a side dish for Japanese katsu (fried pork cutlet). The problem I have with eating raw green cabbage is the gas it creates. Not a very socially acceptable side effect. 

I prefer to use them in soup. Here are 3 recipes: 

Recipe 1: Simple Green Cabbage Broth Recipe

Ingredients

  • 50g round cabbage
  • 1 cup of soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the cabbage and cut into slightly bigger than bite-sized pieces
  2. Place the cabbage into the soup pot, add the stock. 
  3. Bring the stock to a boil
  4. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste

Note: Lengthen the simmering time if you like softer vegetables

Recipe 2: Chicken Cabbage Soup Recipe

This chicken cabbage soup is good for someone recovering for flu or the cold. The cabbage is cooked till soft and sweet. 

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs, chopped into big pieces
  • 5 red dates
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries
  • 1/4 round cabbage
  • 1 packet shimenji mushrooms (substitute with any type on mushrooms) 
  • 1 litre water

Method

  1. Parboil the chicken pieces
  2. Cut the round cabbage into smaller pieces and separate into individual pieces
  3. Bring 1 litre of water to a boil, add the parboiled chicken
  4. Bring back to a boil and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add the cabbage pieces, red dates, and mushrooms
  6.  Lower to medium heat and maintain a cheery simmer 
  7. Simmer for 30 minutes. The cabbage pieces should be soft and translucent and the chicken cooked. 
  8. Add the goji berries and cook for another 5 minutes. You can add the goji berries together with the red dates but I don't like mushy goji berries so I add much later. 
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Recipe 3: Vegetarian Green Cabbage Soup

This recipe is designed by a Taiwanese nutritionist for the elderly. She used round cabbage because, besides the vitamins and minerals, it contains a high amount of soluble fibre. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 carrot, thinly sliced,
  • 200g round cabbage, cut into bite-sized
  • 1/4 onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 stalk celery, chopped finely
  • 40g chinese tofu (not the silken one, the version that's firmer), cubed
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat up the cooking oil in a soup pot 
  2. Lightly fry the minced garlic until fragrant
  3. Add the onion, carrot, and celery for a couple of minutes
  4. Add the cabbage pieces, tomato and tofu
  5. Cook all the vegetables until the cabbage soften 
  6. Add enough vegetable stock to barely cover all the ingredients
  7. Bring the pot to a boil and let the vegetable soup simmer for about 10 minutes
  8. Add the cooking wine, salt and pepper to taste

Note: How long you cook the soup depends on how you like your vegetables. If you want them to be softer, let it simmer for another 20 minutes on medium heat. 

The round cabbage is also used in cabbage rolls and chap chye also known as bean thread noodle stew

Happy Souping, Phoebe