Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Soups)

Broth with Stuffed Cabbage Leaves Soup Recipe

(Canh Bap Cuon)

The origins of this soup, called canh bap cuon, could be attributed to the French dish chou farci, or to the ancient Chinese tradition of cooking dumplings in a clear broth. Whatever the source, this classic Vietnamese soup takes a little time to prepare, so it is often reserved for special occasions such as the New Year, Tet. Each cabbage leaf is blanched, then rolled into a bite-size bundle with the mushroom, minced pork and shrimp filling. It is then tied securely with blanched spring onions (scallions).

Ingredients : Serves 4




115 g

115 g


30 ml

15 ml

4 cm



1 sprig


For Stock



4 cloves

4 cm

30 ml

30 ml


2 sprigs


Chinese cabbage leaves or savoy cabbage leaves, halved, main ribs removed

Spring onions (scallions), green tops left whole, white part finely chopped

Dried cloud ear (wood ear) mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes

Minced (ground) pork

Shrimp, shelled, deveined and finely chopped

Thai chili, seeded and chopped

Nuoc cham sauce

Soy sauce

Fresh root ginger, peeled and very finely sliced



Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves



Meaty chicken carcass

Onions, peeled and quartered

Garlic, crushed

Fresh root ginger, chopped

Nuoc Mam

Soy sauce

Black pepper corns

Fresh thyme

Sea salt, or to taste

Method :
  • To make the stock, put the chicken carcass into a deep pan. Add all the other stock ingredients except the salt and pour over 2 liters of water. Bring the water to boil, and boil for a few minutes, skim off any foam, then reduce the heat and simmer gently with the lid on for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes to reduce the stock. Skim off any fat, season with salt then strain the stock and measure out 1.5 liters.

  • Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until tender.

  • Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and refresh under cold water.

  • Add the green tops of the spring onions to the boiling water and blanch for a minute, or until tender, then drain and refresh under cold water. Carefully tear each piece into five thin strips and set aside.

  • Squeeze dry the cloud ear mushrooms, then trim and finely chop and mix with the pork, shrimps, spring onion whites, chili, nuoc mam and soy sauce.

  • Lay a cabbage leaf flat on a surface and place a teaspoon on the filling about 1 cm from the bottom edge. Fold this bottom edge over the filling, and then fold in the sides of the leaf to seal it. Roll all the way to the top of the leaf to form a tight bundle. Wrap a piece of blanched spring onion green around the bundles and tie it so that it holds together. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

  • Bring the stock to the boil in a wok or deep pan. Stir in the finely sliced ginger, then reduce the heat and drop in the cabbage bundles. Bubble very gently over a medium heat for about 20 minutes to ensure that the filling is thoroughly cooked.

  • Serve immediately, ladled into bowls with a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves.

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