Asian Style Cabbage Rolls

cabbage rolls

Another Monday is almost over! After a long day at work I wanted to cook something quick, savoury and satisfying. The cabbage choice was a bit unplanned: I don’t do my shopping thinking of what I’m going to cook, rather vice versa. I shop from a nutritional point of view, making sure that every week I buy something different to make my diet as rich as possible. Then, I open the fridge and combine different ingredients trying not to make something too bizarre.

So, today I bought two types of cabbage, bell peppers, carrots, and some other veggies. White cabbage is ok for rolls, but red cabbage takes forever to cook in my experience, so I used it to make some “boats”. I think they could be pretty at a buffet style dinner party, or as a fun way to present food to yourself… Food should taste and look nice, imho.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cabbage leaves (6 white, 2 red)
  • 100 gr rice vermicelli
  • ½ aubergine, chopped
  • ½  yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 generous handfuls shiitake mushrooms, soaked or fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbs toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • sesame seeds, to garnish

Method:

Start by steaming the cabbage. The quickest way to do it is to use the tender leaves in the middle so they cook faster. However, these leaves are also smaller, so it’s up to you. The outer leaves take longer, but if you have time that’s not a problem. I put the white cabbage leaves on top of the red so that the red won’t stain the white one.

Soak the rice vermicelli in warm water for 5 minutes. Drain and cut in short pieces. My brand of vermicelli allowed me to do this, but please read the instructions on the package, perhaps your brand requires pre-cooking.

While the cabbage is steaming, also place a pan on medium-high heat and add two tbs toasted sesame oil. When the oil is hot, press the two cloves of garlic and cook for 30 to 60 seconds.

Add the aubergine and the mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes or until the aubergine is brown. Add the soy sauce and stir everything well.

Add the vermicelli and cook for one minute.

Add the bell pepper and carrot, keep cooking for one to two minutes. Remove from the heat.

By now the cabbage should be cooked. Place the white cabbage leaves on a board or flat surface and add one to two tablespoons of the stir-fry on each one depending on their size. Fold the bottom of the leaf and close the roll by folding the sides. The more you cook the cabbage, the easier this process will be (unless the cabbage goes mushy :D)

When you run out of white cabbage, you can add the remaining stir-fry inside the red cabbage. If you want to make just rolls, you could replace the two red cabbage leaves with six white ones, as the rolls require less filling and you’ll need more leaves.

This is the final result:

cabbage rolls 2

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