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Friday, May 21, 2010

Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup)

Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup) 1

If you know the basics of how to make Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth), then this Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup), or pretty much any Vietnamese green leafy soup should be quick and easy.

Usually, when I boil pork to make Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad Rolls), I use the resultant broth to make soup. Then it's a simple matter of adding in fish sauce for flavoring. This type of soup isn't meant to be a meal, but is served in addition to a meat and a side dish.

Incidentally, does anyone have a better translation for collard greens? I went with cai la xanh as in leafy green cabbage.
Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup) 2

Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup)

For 4 servings, you'll need:
Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth)
1/2 lb collard greens
Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce) to taste

I used to have a few stalks of collard greens growing in my garden and like using young collard greens for this soup as they're lighter in flavor. Of course, if you don't grow your own, any kind will do.

Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup) 3

While the broth is cooking on the stovetop, prepare the collard greens. Remove the tough stems in the center. Roll the leaves and chiffonade as thinly as you can. Then run your knife in the opposite direction to cut down the length of the strips.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup) 4

Thoroughly wash the leaves.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup) 5

Taste the soup and add fish sauce if need.

Then add the collard greens to your soup pot, and let simmer for about 5 minutes, just enough to soften the leaves, while retaining their bright green freshness.

Canh Cai La Xanh (Vietnamese Collard Greens Soup) 4


Other green soups:
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Aguadito-ish Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Puree
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Broth)
Canh Bap Cai Bac Thao (Vietnamese Napa Cabbage Soup)
Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup)
Stinging Nettle Soup

1 year ago today, Nearly Wild rose.
2 years ago today, Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus.
3 years ago today, I started a series of dumpling posts with J&J (Jin Jian) Restaurant - San Gabriel.


  1. Simple, yet delicious. Thanks for idea to "supplement" my meal menu, WC!

  2. Co Toan,
    Ha! Like you really need a recipe for basic canh. :)

  3. I like to add beef strips to this.

  4. Hi WC, I googled several times until I found out:
    collard green => colewort => lá lốt
    Collard greens are larger because you know they're american produce.
    I hope it helps.


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