If you love egg rolls, you’ll enjoy this dish as well. I use the same exact filling from my egg rolls recipe for this one. The difference between the two is that one is fried with egg roll wrappers and the other is steamed with cabbage leaves. Cabbage egg rolls are a healthier option to fried egg rolls and make the best left-overs. It can be a long process to make them, which is why my family always makes them in big batches, enough to last for a few days.
I left my camera tripod behind in Utah when Sam and I made our big move to North Carolina, and so I needed his help with this shot. Doesn’t he make a great hand model? 😀 Husband to the rescue!
In order to easily remove the leaves from the cabbage head, you’ll need to cut off the root of the head and place the whole cabbage in boiling water. This process helps to soften the cabbage leaves, making it easier to wrap the filling tightly. You might want to make a wider cut on the root than shown in the picture above. I didn’t come to this realization until after I took this picture and placed it in boiling water. Because I didn’t cut wide and deep enough, it was harder to remove the inner leaves from the stalk so I had to manually remove the leaves individually by slicing them off from the stalk. You gotta do what you gotta do, right? As the leaves peel away from the cabbage head, let each leaf cook for about two minutes or until completely soft. Carefully remove the leaves from the hot water with a set of tongs and set aside to cool.
Once cool, use a knife to “shave” the vein of each leaf until the vein is flush with the cabbage leaf. This part is an additional step that helps the cabbage rolls to roll smoothly, beautifully, and tightly.
There is no right or wrong way to roll a cabbage roll. I personally like to tuck the sides in first, then roll them tightly forward. I used a 3-tier steamer pot to cook mine. Get the recipe for the filling here.
I forgot to mention that I like to incorporate the leftover cabbage leaves that are too small to roll, into the filling. This way nothing goes to waste. Serve with peanut chili sauce.
If you give this recipe a try, please leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you guys! 🙂
- 2 large cabbage heads
- Get the recipe for the filling --> here
- Cut off the root of the head and place the whole cabbage in boiling water on high heat. Cook the cabbage head for about 5 minutes in boiling water to soften. After the initial 5 minutes of boiling, turn your heat down to medium. Remove each layer or leaf from the cabbage head about every 2 minutes or until leaves are soft. Carefully remove the leaves from the boiling water with a set of tongs and set aside to cool.
- Once the cabbage leaves cool, use a knife to "shave" the vein of each cabbage leaf until the vein is flush with the cabbage leaf.
- Place roughly 2 spoonfuls of filling onto the lower end of the cabbage leaf closest to you. Tuck the sides in first, then roll it tightly forward.
- Place the cabbage rolls into a steamer. Once the water boils, let them cook for 45 minutes.
- Serve with peanut chili sauce.
- Yields: 20-30 cabbage rolls, depending of the size of cabbage head and how big or small you roll each cabbage roll.