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Thai Glass Noodle Soup

4 servings


15 minutes

active time

1 hour

total time


5 cups water (see note 1)

12 oz Chinese-style chopped pork spare ribs or chicken wings drumettes (see note 2)

1 2-inch section daikon or ¼ onion (peeled and large-diced, optional)

5-6 cilantro stems

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 ⅖ oz dried glass noodles

250 g egg tofu (or soft tofu)

4 cups 160 g napa cabbage, bite-sized pieces

Chopped cilantro and/or green onions

Fried garlic and garlic oil for topping (optional but highly recommended, recipe below)

½ lb ground pork or chicken (preferably not lean)

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

¾ teaspoon sugar

Few cracks of freshly ground white pepper

1 head garlic

1/3 cup neutral oil


If you’re using pork ribs, go through them to find ones that are meaty, and cut them down so the meaty part isn’t more than about ½-inch thick. This is just to speed up the cooking; you can leave them chunky if you have time to let them cook longer.

Add the ribs or the wings to a pot, cover with water and season with fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Let that simmer for 5-10 minutes, just until you see a bunch of foam gathered on top, and then skim it off.

Add cilantro stems and daikon and loosely cover the pot so it doesn’t reduce too much. Let this simmer until the meat is fork tender, wings will take a total of 20 mins, and the ribs 30-40 mins depending on the size.

Meanwhile soak the glass noodles in room temp water for at least 7 minutes to soften, then drain and cut into 2-3 sections. (If you want to add fried garlic, now would be a good time to make it, recipe below.)

Make the meatballs by combining all ingredients together and use your hand to knead the mixture until well combined.

Once the ribs/wings are done simmering, use 2 spoons to scoop and flick bite-sized chunks of meatballs into the soup.

After the meatballs are all added, allow the soup to come back to a boil if it has stopped, and then add the napa cabbage and egg tofu, then wait for the soup to come back to a boil. Then add the glass noodles and cook for 3 mins.

Taste and adjust seasoning with more soy sauce or fish sauce as needed, then finish it off with green onions and/or cilantro. Top with fried garlic to finish. This soup is typically served with rice, but if you want to eat it by itself, that's fine too!

For the Fried Garlic and Garlic Oil

Chop the garlic just until the pieces are no bigger than ⅛-inch, but don't mince it finely.

Add the oil to a small pot, then put one piece of garlic in it and turn the heat to medium. Once the piece of garlic is bubbling, add the rest of the garlic then turn the heat down to medium low.

Stir the garlic until the pieces are a light golden (not brown!) and the bubbling has mostly subsided. Off the heat and drain using a metal sieve. Keep the garlic and the garlic oil in separate air-tight containers, and store them in the fridge.


Looks like a great way to get rid of some veg and get protein

4 servings


15 minutes

active time

1 hour

total time
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