Simple Vietnamese Watercress and Pork Soup

This Vietnamese pork and watercress soup is a very healthy and easy dish. Traditionally, it is eaten with rice but on its own makes a nutritious low-carb meal. If you’re in need of a meal in under 10 minutes and are watching your weight, then this is for you.

Today’s recipe is so simple that I am slightly embarrassed to put it up on the blog. Honestly, you could probably guess how to make this from the title alone. But in saying that, this is easily one of my favourites. Especially, if I am in need of a low carb meal that is loaded with veg and quick to make.

Why Watercress?

I have said this before on the blog, but I really believe watercress is the best forgotten vegetable. It packed full of flavour and has a wonderful crispy texture. If you are not sold on that, then here are some general health benefits:

  • Very low in calories
  • High in antioxidants
  • High in minerals and vitamins

If you are interested in other watercress recipes then this Vietnamese beef and watercress salad is an absolute gem that you have to try out.

My Tips for Success

  1. Generally, I have found that watercress is much cheaper to get from Asian groceries. If you have the time, it is worth the trip.
  2. Watercress does not store very well. Try to use as soon as possible after purchase.
  3. To store watercress, put it in an untied bag in the vegetable section of your fridge. The vegetable must be able to breath to prevent wilting.
  4. A good variation of this recipe is to substitute the watercress with one or two zucchinis chopped into slices.
  5. If you don’t have pork mince, then a good substitution is chicken or turkey mince.

Recipe Costing

This table shows how much this recipe will cost if you had to go out and buy everything on the ingredients list (“Shop Price”), as well as the value of ingredients actually used in the recipe (“Recipe Cost”).

We haven’t included optional ingredients or small quantities of salt, pepper or sugar as the cost would be negligible. All prices are in Australian dollars and are based off what was published on Coles Online or Woolworths Online as at time of writing.

IngredientQuantity BoughtShop
Watercress1 bunch$3.001 bunch$3.00
Pork Mince500 gm$5.50100 gm$1.10
Fish Sauce300 ml bottle$2.002 tsp$0.07
Total$11.02 $4.30

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Simple Vietnamese Watercress and Pork Soup

Vietnamese Watercress Soup

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Light Meal, Lunch, Rice Dish
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 2
Calories 145 kcal


  • Medium sized pot (at least 1 L / 1 quart)


  • 600 ml boiling water
  • 1/4 brown onion, roughly sliced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 100 gm watercress cut into 8 cm / 3 in pieces
  • 2 tsp fish sauce, to taste


  • 100 gm pork mince
  • 1 pinch salt


  • Prep all of your ingredients.
  • In a pot on medium high, add the water, pepper, salt and onions. Allow it to come to the boil.
  • In a bowl, add the mince, pepper and a pinch of salt. With your hands, combine the ingredients together thoroughly. ( move the meat through your fingers!)
  • Break the mince into pieces and add it to the pot. Let the pot come back to the boil and skim off any scum with a spoon.
  • Add the chopped watercress and cook for roughly 2 – 3 minutes. And then turn off the heat.
  • Add 2 tbsp of fish sauce and adjust the soup according to your taste. If you want more seasoning + flavour, then add fish sauce otherwise add salt.
  • Serve by itself or with rice.


Calories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 10gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 574mgPotassium: 329mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1596IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 1mg
Keyword watercress
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

6 thoughts on “Simple Vietnamese Watercress and Pork Soup

  1. I am an avid soup-maker and usually start all my soups by browning onions, celery, and garlic. This is totally different and I thought it would be watery, but I gave the recipe a chance because I’m growing so much watercress right now. Oh my gosh – it is SO good. Like amazingly good. I ate 3 bowls! And soooo easy. I could see eating this at least once a week. I saved the recipe and can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    1. Thanks Leah! Yeh, it is so simple! The watercress really does everything in this dish. Thanks for leaving us a comment!

  2. Made this tonight. I thought it was going to watery and bland. Definitely wasn’t ! Delicious and authentic. Thanks!

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