This stuffed cabbage is packed with Asian flavors like fresh ginger, cilantro and shiitake mushrooms. It bakes with a hoisin and rice wine vinegar glaze, which keeps the bundles moist. You can adjust the spiciness by adding more of less red pepper flakes. Serve this dish with a cold soba noodle salad.
Asian-Style Cabbage Rolls
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2-inch (5-cm.) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. (125 g.) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
1 lb. (500 g.) ground pork
3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g.) cooked brown rice
1 carrot, shredded
2 green onions, white and tender green parts, sliced
1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) fresh cilantro leaves, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. soy sauce
3 tsp. rice vinegar
1 head napa cabbage, cored and leaves separated
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) hoisin sauce
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a frying pan, heat the canola and sesame oils over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and transfer to a bowl.
Add the pork, rice, carrot, green onions, cilantro, pepper flakes and soy sauce to the bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the vinegar. Using your hands, mix until well combined.
Lay a cabbage leaf on a work surface with the stem end closest to you. Put a heaping 1/4 cup (2 oz./6o g.) of the pork mixture near the stem end, fold the stem end over the filling, fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up the leaf rightly around the filling. Place the roll, seam side down, in a 9-by-9-inch (22-by-22-cm.) baking dish. Repeat rolling cabbage leaves until all the filling is used (reserve any leaves for another use).
In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin sauce and the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar. Brush the sauce over the rolls. Bake until the pork is cooked through, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, carefully unwrap a bundle and check that the pork is cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve. Serves 4-6.