Sunday, July 8, 2012

cabbage roll soup

Do you have hard time finishing up the whole cabbage before it goes bad? Yes, I have this problem. So whenever we buy big cabbage (like Taiwanese cabbage), I take the first 6-7 layers off and save them for roll cabbage filled with meat and veggies. It's one of my favorite things growing up. This dish can be Chinese style, Japanese style or Western style, all depending on what kind of chicken stock you use. Western chicken stocks tend to be lighter in color and taste. Whereas Chinese chicken stock tends to be stronger in flavor.


Cabbage leaves - 6 or 7

[Meat filling]
Ground pork or turkey - 1 lbs
Onion - 1/2 med (chopped)
Carrots - 2 med (chopped)
Egg white - 1
Flour (or bread crumbs) - 1/4 cup **see TIPS
Salt & Pepper - 1 tsp each
Soy sauce - 2 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves (minced)

[optional stuffing]
Cooked spinach

Water - about 3 quarts
Chicken stock cube - 1 and half


Chicken stock (can or carton) - fill 3 quarts

Cooking string, toothpicks or wooden sticks


  1. Chop onion, carrots and other optional stuffing. Mince garlic.
  2. Mix all meat fillings (and optional stuffing) with spoon or hand. Separate into 6-7 parts (depending on how many cabbage leaves you are using). Make into a ball and throw from one hand to another and let the air out a bit. 
  3. In a pot, bring water to boil. When it's ready, boil cabbage leaves for 1 minute (until it gets soft). You can do it all together or in two batches.  Drain and cool a bit.
If you have picky eaters, grind all veggies in a blender

Blanched cabbage is easy to work with


  1. In a 5 quart pot (or bigger), boil chicken stock.
  2. Place the cabbage leaf, the hard part towards you, put one part of meat filling in the middle. Wrap the meat filling by first taking the hard part over the meat, take the two sides and then continue rolling from down going up. Repeat for all cabbage rolls. Put toothpick or wooden stick in the middle so it won't come apart (you can also use cooking strings).
  3. Place the cabbage rolls in the chicken stock. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the cabbage rolls are nice and close so it won't come apart. (**see TIPS)

The pot was a bit too small :)


  1. You can take the string, toothpicks or wooden stick out before serving.
  2. You can add pasta in it to make into a pasta soup. Or you can eat with rice. 


  • Bread crumbs in the meat filling will give a heavier texture. You can omit flour or bread crumbs and just add less egg whites. 
  • If you only have long wooden stick, just cut it into desired length
  • You can add veggies to the soup so it'll be like chicken noodle soup, except with cabbage rolls. :)
  • Not a big fan of soggy, mushy cabbage? Then you can cook the cabbage rolls for 20 minutes. the longer you cook, the mushier it gets.


  1. I haven't made this for a long time! I love cabbage rolls! I love with tomato based soup!