Top | Main Dishes

Asian Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Meat filling

(recipe, Katie Hickey)


This recipe is AWESOME. It is light on the meat and keeps and freezes super-well. It is from the book I want called "Not Your Mother's Casserole." The original recipe called for ground pork, but I used 93% lean ground turkey and didn't notice anything lacking.


  1. 1 large head napa or savoy cabbage
  2. 1 tsp. salt
  3. ½ lb. ground pork or turkey
  4. ½ cup cooked brown rice
  5. ¼ lb. shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  6. 1 large egg, beaten
  7. 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  8. 2 Tbsp. soy sauce OR 1 Tbsp each of soy and fish sauce
  9. One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  10. 3 cloves garlic, grated or 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  11. Freshly ground black pepper
  12. 3 scallions, chopped
  13. 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  15. 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  16. 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  17. ⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  18. 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  19. ½ tsp. sugar
  20. ½ to 1 tsp. sriracha or other hot chili sauce, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish (you may need 2 dishes to fit all the rolls).
  2. For Napa cabbage- Remove 12 large outer leaves from the heads of cabbage. Roll each leaf with a rolling pin gently to flatten and smooth it. For Savoy cabbage, cut out the core, pour boiling water over the upside-down head of cabbage and let sit 5-10 minutes. Then remove outer leaves, flatten and proceed.
  3. Core the remaining cabbage and chop it very fine. Sprinkle it with the salt and set aside in a colander.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the pork or turkey, rice, mushrooms, beaten eggs, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a generous amount of black pepper. Stir in the scallions
  5. and cilantro. Press and drain any remaining water off the salted cabbage and stir the cabbage in as well.
  6. Lay a prepared cabbage leaf down with the stem end facing you. Place about ⅔ cup meat mixture into the stem end of the cabbage leaf. Fold in the sides and roll up the leaf, then place the bundle, seam side down, in one of the baking dishes. Re- peat with the rest of the cabbage leaves and meat mixture, placing 2 rows of 6 rolls in each dish. (If you have any leftover mixture it can be rolled into meatballs and tucked between the cabbage rolls to bake with them.)
  7. To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and pour it over the cabbage rolls, dividing it between the 2 baking dishes. (At this point the rolls can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. You can also freeze one dish for later use. Before adding the sauce, place the dish in the freezer and let the rolls freeze completely, then remove from the dish and stack in a freezer bag or con- tainer. To bake, thaw the rolls in the refrigerator overnight, place in a baking dish, pour the sauce over them, and bake as directed below.)
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a roll at the center of a dish registers 160° F. Serve drizzled with the pan juices.