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Banh canh chay in a bowl with chopsticks in the bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Bánh Canh Chay (Vegetarian Tapioca Noodle Soup)

Our most searched for tapioca noodle soup is VEGETARIAN in this Bánh Canh Chay! It uses a homemade vegetable stock for a fragrant broth.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Vegetable Stock Cooking3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Vegetarian, Vietnamese
Servings: 10
Calories: 959kcal
Author: Jeannette


  • Sieve
  • Large pot


The Broth

  • 2 1/2 kg / 5.5 lb Chinese cabbage
  • 2 kg / 4.4 lb cabbage
  • 700 g / 1.5 lb daikon
  • 1 1/2 kg / 3.3 lb corn
  • 6 carrots
  • 700 g / 1.5 lb rehydrated shiitake mushrooms (or half lion's mane)
  • 10 L / 42 US cup water
  • 1 L / 4.2 US cup coconut water
  • 3 1/2 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • 8 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable stock powder

The Toppings and Noodles

  • 1 kg / 2.2 lb assorted fresh mushrooms
  • 2 boxes fried tofu (we buy it from the Asian supermarket)
  • vegetarian ham (we buy it from the specialty vegetarian shop)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
  • 2 bags tapioca noodles (banh canh)

The Garnish

  • coriander
  • lemon/lime
  • chili (optional)


  • Wash the vegetables in cold water until they are free of dirt. For the cabbage, soak them in lightly salted water and rinse 2-3 times.
  • Bring the pot of water to a boil and add the stock vegetables in along with the rehydrated mushrooms. Let the water come back to a boil, then turn the heat to low to simmer for 3 hours or until the vegetables are soft.
  • When the vegetables are soft, scoop them out using a sieve and pour in the coconut water.
  • Cut the toppings into smaller pieces to a size of your preference.
  • Add the salt, vegetable stock powder, vegetarian fish sauce and fried tofu in to season the soup.
  • Heat up a saucepan with oil and stir fry the fresh mushrooms with the vegetable stock powder.
  • Pour the cooked mushrooms into the broth pot.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tapioca noodles for 5 minutes or until just loosened from a clump.
    Note: These noodles are already cooked, so putting them in hot water just helps to separate each strand. Use a spatula to gently ease them apart.
  • To serve Bánh Canh Chay, put the tapioca noodles in a bowl along with the toppings and heated soup. Garnish with chopped coriander, chili and a squeeze of lemon juice!


  • Cook the mushrooms in the broth. This will make it much sweeter with a richer base flavor.
  • Simmer using a low to medium heat. As with any stock, boiling over a high heat for long periods of time will turn the liquid murky.
  • Use dehydrated mushrooms for the stock and fresh ones for the toppings. Rehydrated mushrooms have a much stronger taste which works well for a soup base.
  • If you prefer other vegetables or would like to use fruit (E.G. apples or pears), they will also work well.
  • We also buy pre-prepared lion's mane mushrooms and vegetarian ham from our local vegetarian shop, but if that's unavailable then shiitake mushrooms are just as tasty.
  • Our assorted mushroom selection includes fresh king oyster, shiitake, enoki and oyster mushrooms but if you prefer other types, they can be used instead.
  • We use precooked tapioca noodles delivered fresh to our local grocery store, but you can find uncooked versions as well.


Calories: 959kcal | Carbohydrates: 183g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3547mg | Potassium: 3974mg | Fiber: 34g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 8608IU | Vitamin C: 201mg | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 10mg