International / Main Dishes / Soup

Pork and Cabbage Soup Recipe

This comforting Pork and Cabbage Soup Recipe is adapted from a friend’s Chinese family recipe. It’s so hearty and flavorful that I love making huge batches of it and saving some for leftovers. The cabbage and pork are a perfect pairing, and the addition of ginger, green onions, and garlic really make this soup perfect for fall.

I love cabbage. I’m a firm believer it’s also a highly underutilized vegetable. There aren’t many recipes that showcase cabbage, and I’m always hard pressed to find a recipe with cabbage that I can utilize on a weekly basis. But, ladies and gentleman, I present to you: Chinese Meatball Cabbage Soup. This Pork and Cabbage Soup Recipe is savory, spicy and salty and oh-so-comforting and so easy to make.

The main players are pork, cabbage, garlic, green onions, ginger, and chicken stock.

The instructions…

First, grab your giant stock pot and put in about 6 cups of chicken or veggie broth. Heat up under medium heat, so that it boils by the time you’re ready to toss in the meatballs.

Next, grab one pound of ground pork. Place it in a large mixing bowl and toss the garlic, green onions, and ginger with the pork. Don’t skip on these spices because these spices are what makes the soup – the flavors blend so well and integrate a nice kick.

Blend well with your hands. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What about the salt?” I didn’t forget! I just don’t like adding it to this recipe because there’s enough salt in the broth and the soy-sauce dipping sauce.

Now, you’ll want to form round balls from the pork mixture. I usually use a cupcake scooper, so my meatballs are uniform.

Roughly chop up your cabbage head. Meg and I love cabbage so much that we used 2 cabbages. Is that crazy? Anyone else love cabbage that much? Chop it up.

Now, check on your water. Is it boiling? If so, toss in all that heavy, dense, delicious cabbage. Let it cook on high heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cabbage starts to release water and cook down.

Next, place your meatballs gently on top. Cook until done, another 10 minutes.

And, viola, you’re finished! Ladle up a large bowl and serve with a side of rice and a dish of soy sauce. Use chopsticks to grab a large biteful of cabbage and meatball, and dip into the soy sauce. Eat! And repeat.

A few extra notes…

  • This recipe is dependent on personal flavor and taste. If you like lots of ginger, add more grated ginger. Like garlic and green onion? Add tons. And, if you don’t like those, then don’t add as much.
  • The easiest way to make uniform meatballs is with a cupcake scooper. Over the years, I’ve bought so many cupcake scoopers that I can’t recall which ones I’ve purchased; therefore, we don’t have this exact scooper, but they’re all pretty similar and just vary in size.
  • You’ll want a dipping sauce for this soup, and our go-to is soy sauce. Sometimes we use spicy sauce. But you’ll defiantly want something salty to compliment the pork and the cabbage.

Pork and Cabbage Soup Recipe

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people


  • 1.5 pounds ground pork
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 5 long stems of green onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large head of green cabbage, chopped


  • Heat broth in a large stockpot until boiling.
  • Once boiling, add chopped cabbage and cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Mix ground pork, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Form into meatballs.
  • Place rounded meatballs ontop of the cabbage in the stock pot, and let cook about 10 minutes, or until done.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with soysauce and dipping sauce.

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