Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
We hate grape leaves.
We've tried warm dolma, tried cold dorma, which was even worse, didn't like either. I guess it's just not our thing. Luckily, we were allowed to use tougher greens instead of grape leaves like Swiss chard, kale or cabbage. The filling was totally us as long as rice was included. The first thing that came into mind was golabki, but since I made it before, I thought I'd do something different - the Chinese way.
I used savoy cabbage for the rolls as I initially planned to stuff the rolls with a beef filling. I changed my mind at the very last minute since pork is more commonly used in Chinese cooking and the milder flavour of pork would compliment the delicate soup better. I was quite pleased with the final dish, delicious but I think Chinese napa cabbage would be a better choice than savoy. Napa cabbage is more delicate and sweeter and would add a nicer flavour to the chicken soup.
Chinese stuffed cabbage rolls soup
Ingredients: about 15 rolls
- 1 head savoy cabbage
- Chives for tying the rolls
- 1 handful goji berries
- 1 can golden needle mushrooms - drained and rinsedFor filling:
- 250 g minced pork
- 1/2 block firm Silken tofu
- A few dried mushrooms - soaked, chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 cup chives - chopped
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice - washed
- 2 tbs light soy sauce
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tbs kecap manis
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- A dash white pepper powderFor stock:
- Mix all ingredients for filling together.
For cabbage: detailed instructions found here
- Cut the core out of the cabbage.
- Place the whole cabbage in a pot with empty core area facing up.
- Boil water and pour the water over the cabbage and let it sit for about 10 minutes to soften the cabbage leaves a little.
- Drain the head of cabbage. Remove leaves one by one, cut out the tip of large vein (do not throw the tips, save this for the sauce!). Pat the leaves dry with paper towels.
- Place about 2 tbs of filling on a leaf (more or less depending on the size of your leaf). If leaf is too small, overlap 2 leaves.
- Roll and wrap.
- Tie the cabbage rolls with chives.
For chicken stock:
- Place all ingredients for stock into a pressure cooker pot and cook under pressure for about 30 mins.
- Remove any scum.
- Remove chicken bones from stock. Pick out the chicken meat from the bones and return the meat to the stock. Discard bones.
- Place stuffed cabbage into the stock.
- Add more water to cover most of the stuffed cabbage.
- Bring to boil then lower heat to simmer for about 30-45 mins. Cut open one after 30 mins to check for doneness. Do not overboil the stuffed cabbage as the filling will become mushy.
- Add goji berries and mushrooms towards the last 10 mins of cooking.
- Season the soup to taste.