chinese white radish soup

It’s time for another comfort soup and this time, I am featuring the Chinese White Radish Soup. The chinese white radish is also known as white radish (surprise!) or amongst the Japanese as the Daikon Radish. It basically looks like a white carrot which is oversized. It is quite a versatile vegetable as you can use it to make lo bak kou (turnip cake), stirfried, pickled or cooked in soups like the above. I am given to understand that amongst the chinese who practice or partake in traditional herbal medicine, the white radish is a no-no in the diet of the patient during treatment as it supposedly absorbs all the medicinal values. Anyone knows about this?

Anyway, the Chinese White Radish Soup is a simple recipe which is suitable even for beginners. Just prepare the ingredients, drop them into a crockpot / slow cooker / double-boiler or pot and simmer it. A good tasting healthy soup awaits you when it is done. I usually add dried cuttlefish and dried oysters for added taste and flavour but that is optional. Give this soup a try. It’s delicious.

This is my recipe for Chinese White Radish Soup


  • 300 grammes pork ribs / bony pork or chicken parts
  • 1 white radish (about 200 grammes or more – cut into large chunks or sliced)
  • 8 red dates
  • 1 piece dried cuttlefish
  • 6 pieces dried oysters
  • 700 ml water for soup (or approximately 2 1/2 soup bowls of water)
  • 500 ml water


Bring to boil 500 ml water in a pot. Add pork ribs / chicken part and allow the meat to cook slightly. Remove scum from surface of water. Remove meat and discard water.

Bring to boil 700 ml water in a clean pot. Add the partially cooked meat and the rest of the ingredients and bring back to boil. Then reduce heat to simmer for 2 to 3 hours or till soup reduced to 1 1/2 bowls water. Add salt to taste before serving.

If you are using a crockpot or double-boiler, reduce amount of water to just over a soup bowl. Add ingredients into pot. Boil the water separately and pour the boiling water into the pot before simmering. Enjoy your chinese white radish soup.

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  1. 1
    Rasa Malaysia
    May 4th, 2008 at 5:36 am

    I heard about the no-no Chinese saying too…I tend not to follow though.

    I love this soup too, and you can’t do wrong with dried cuttlefish or dried oysters. 🙂

  2. 2
    May 4th, 2008 at 11:29 am

    This is probably the only soup I know how to make. I should try it with dried cuttlefish and dried oysters. Sure would make the soup taste much sweeter.

    The white radish is supposed to be good for cleansing which could be the reason why the Chinese believe it will absorb all the medicinal values of herbal medicines.

  3. 3
    May 4th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I’ve also heard that ‘chai po’ will ‘cancel’ the effects of medication but I don’t know the reason too, hee. Your soup look delicious, it is perfect with white, warm fluffy rice, yum~

  4. 4
    May 5th, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    “Bring to boil 500 ml water in a pot. Add pork ribs / chicken part and allow the meat to cook slightly. Remove scum from surface of water. Remove meat and discard water.”

    Do not boil the water. Place the meat together with water and bring it to boil. When water boils. switch off fire and remove the meat. This will retain the sweetness of the meat.

  5. 5
    May 5th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Rasa Malaysia : Are the ingredients easily obtainable in California?

    Tracy : I suspect it’s the cleansing effect too. I wonder if chewing on radish upon being poisoned would be effective? LOL!

    noobcook : Yes, steaming white rice goes well with this soup. And I like it with minimal fat 😀

    es : Thanks for your tip. I will try that.

  6. 6
    May 6th, 2008 at 7:27 am

    I am not a fan of soup when I was living in Malaysia. Probably because of the humid weather. In Boston, I will only drink soup when the weather gets cold. But your recipe for the soup is very similar with my sis’s. I can tell it is delish!

  7. 7
    May 6th, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I heard that before too. Same with bamboo shoots (which is like a “toxic” plant like that).

    I don’t know how to describe this soup other than saying SWEET!

  8. 8
    Mama BoK
    May 11th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Yes.. i heard about the chinese no-nos . .about this too.. so i never really venture to cook them.

  9. 9
    yg ong
    May 14th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    thks for sharing your cooking tips. i tried making the white radish soup a second time; this time around i had the pork ribs and the soup really tasted much better.

  10. 10
    May 20th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    reese : It’s quite a common soup and I won’t be surprised if your sis’s version is similar. Btw, congrats on your convo!

    tigerfish : Sweet…but don’t drink too often, ya? LOL!

    Mamabok : I suppose it’s okay to take them once a while. That shouldn’t be detrimental to one’s health.

    ygong : Glad you liked it the second attempt 😀

  11. 11
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Thanks! I am searching through your library of recipes now. I am thinking of making a chicken entree tomorrow. Busy looking for a job but will make time to cook again! : )

  12. 12
    September 28th, 2008 at 1:41 am

    hey i wonder is the taste is sweet? salty or?

  13. 13
    September 30th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    heng : I would say a subtle combination of both.

  14. 14
    October 9th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Thank u for this recipe :). We’re Malaysian family living in this remote part of Russia(Sakhalin Island) at the moment. And I only have one huge radish and pork ribs…gonna try this recipe anyhow :). And ginger!

  15. 15
    December 28th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    i was told its good to make the soup once in awhile for its cleansing effects

  16. 16
    February 28th, 2010 at 2:19 am

    What I learned from my Mum was that this soup is effective for clearing toxins from our system.

    My aunt discovered that drinking this soup regularly helps to maintain her blood pressure.

    Each time she visit the doctor to follow up with her high blood, she would drink this soup the previous day.

  17. 17
    November 19th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    The medicinal value of white radish to absort herbal medicine is true, but is limited to some nature of herb only. e.g. if you use abalone, deer antler, etc, the effect will be neutralized by the white radish. Other nutritional value will not be affected. As a matter of interest, white radish can relieve the symptom of gout and arthritis pain and swelling. Gout sufferer should eat white radish once a week or so, and will avoid gout attack reoccurance.

  18. 18
    November 21st, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Sportken : Thank you for your info on the medicinal value of white radish.

  19. 19
    November 3rd, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hi, glad to find this recipe. I’ve heard about how you cannot cook white radish together with carrots. Do you know if it’s true and if so, why?

  20. 20
    August 27th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Not true Michelle. It’s ok to boil soup with white radish and carrots. The soup tastes better and it has more nutritious too. Just add pork bones (meat is optional)and dried oysters. Its a simple dish on the table (soup).

    Hope you like it.

    Regards/Frances, Malaysia

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