I recently joined my first CSA and have been…how should I say it…drowning in cabbage. They are in full harvest here in Florida, and not just the traditional cabbage either, but all types of cabbage including Asian varieties like napa and bok choy. I was telling my friend Bev about my over-abundant cabbage dilemma the other day and she immediately remembered a recipe that she had tried years ago that she found in a magazine. You gotta love it when your memory tucks away great recipes waiting for just the right time to share. And this one was a perfect recipe to use up some of my stash of napa cabbage.
I learned something really useful while trying out this recipe. The directions shared a tip to roll out your cabbage leaves with a rolling pin before stuffing to make the leaves more pliable and easy to work with. Brilliant. I have never used napa cabbage to make a meal like this before, my experience with napa cabbage has been mostly in stir frys so stuffing the leaves with an asian inspired filling turned out to be a wonderful meal that my whole family enjoyed – even my kids! (tip…to make it less intimidating, I cut the cabbage up very small for my little ones, since cabbage is not something they are used to eating, it looked like a plate of just filling in the end)
Note: the original recipe uses 1 one head of napa cabbage. My cabbage was on the smaller side so I used more than 1 head and because the leaves were a lot smaller I used 2 leaves with both ends overlapping each other before rolling up filling. Use your judgement on the best way to stuff your cabbage rolls.
Asian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Recipe adapted from Whole Living
3/4 – 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup cooked brown rice
4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated on a microplane zester
2 tablespoons ginger, finely minced or grated on a microplane zester
1 small onion, minced
3 tablespoons low sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 – 2 splashes rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili sauce or pinch red pepper flakes, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
leaves from 1 head of Napa cabbage
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, prepare your filling by combing your beef (or turkey), carrots, rice, garlic, ginger, onion, tamari (or soy sauce), sesame oil, chili sauce or red pepper flakes (optional) and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Take the leaves from your cabbage and roll with a rolling pin to make leaves more pliable (see note above regarding size of leaves).
Add filling to your leaves and tightly and carefully roll up and place side by side in a large baking dish. Pour 1 cup of water over cabbage and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until completely cooked through. Serve with juices from baking dish and additional chili sauce.
Time saving tip: Prepare rolls ahead of time (without water) and refrigerate until ready for baking.
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