Canh Cai

Canh Cai

As I age my palate seems to be more accepting of the things I hated when I was a child, I guess most us do since most of the adults I know loves their vegetables. I hated vegetables before with passion but now it seems to be the other way around as those ones I hated are the ones I crave now. Vegetables like okra, bitter gourd, broccoli and any leafy vegetable tops that hate list but now I am in constant search for recipes that involve these.

I guess taste buds become more accepting of different flavours as we grow old hence we can eat things that we were not used to before. Take this post for example, as a young Raymund this will never look appetizing, just look at that green colour I would rather prefer an oily fried chicken but now I can finish a full big bowl of that just by myself (I still like that chicken).

Canh Cai, this soup recipe for today is a simple Vietnamese soup dish made out of chopped leafy greens in a broth flavoured with meats and/or seafood. If the Chinese are used to having blanched greens on the side the Vietnamese have this soup as a part of their common meal. It’s simple, delicious and definitely nutritious.

Canh Cai 1

Canh Cai

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese


Canh Cai is a simple Vietnamese soup dish made out of chopped leafy greens in a broth flavoured with meats and/or seafood.



  • 2 large bunches leafy vegetables (choy sum, bok choy, gailan, mustard greens), chopped
  • 250 g fatty minced pork
  • 6 cups good chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup crispy fried shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
  • ground white pepper
  • fish sauce
  • oil


  1. In a pot add oil then sauté garlic and ginger.
  2. Add minced pork continue to cook until it turns light brown.
  3. Pour chicken stock and add the crispy fried shallots, bring to a boil and simmer in low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the leafy vegetables, simmer for 2-3 more minutes or until vegetables are cooked but still crispy.
  5. Turn heat off, serve with rice and other dishes.

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Canh Cai Wide


3 Responses

  1. Great looking soup and I love the veggies. So true we learn to appreciate some foods only later in life. Love okra but I never crossed one as a child, that was a grown-up discovery.

  2. Jasline Ng says:

    I still hate bitter gourd but I’ve grown to love many other vegetables that I don’t even want to try in the past. This canh cai looks so simple yet satisfying and comforting on the tummy.

  3. mjskit says:

    Still can’t handle okra. 🙂 But yes, I hated “greens” as a kid, but now I love them. Bok Choy is one of my favorites so this dish sounds awesome!

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