Spicy Asian Pork Cabbage Rolls are a spicy, Asian-inspired twist on traditional cabbage rolls! Use turkey, chicken, beef or even tofu if you prefer!
One of my all-time most favorite comfort foods in the world is traditional, old-fashioned cabbage rolls. They’re a traditional Polish/East European dish called Golumpki or Galumpkis. No matter what you call them, they’re delicious!
I wanted to do a modern twist on the traditional and created Spicy Asian Pork Cabbage rolls. I spiced them up with a healthy dose of Sriracha hot sauce. Ground pork is more budget-friendly than beef. However, feel free to use turkey, chicken, beef or even tofu if you desire.
How to prepare cabbage leaves for stuffing:
Preparing the cabbage leaves for filling can be a bit tricky. There are two ways to do it and both have their downside:
- Carefully remove 12 of the outermost leaves from a large head of cabbage then cook them in salted, boiling water until they’re pliable. DOWNSIDE: They can be difficult to peel off. You have to be extremely careful not to tear the leaves when removing them.
- Dunk the entire head of cabbage into a pot of salted boiling water and carefully peel leaves off the head of cabbage until you have enough. DOWNSIDE: You end up with a small, semi-cooked leftover inner part of the head of cabbage.
If I have an immediate use for the remainder of a head of cabbage such as soup or a quick stir-fry, I prefer the second method. I say immediately because if you leave the semi-cooked cabbage sealed up more than a day or two in a plastic bag or plastic container, you’ll have something that smells like a batch of sauerkraut when you open it. Just saying.
How to make Spicy Asian Pork Cabbage Rolls:
- First, you’ll need to make a V-shaped cut out of the bottom of each leaf. This makes the cabbage leaf easier to roll up and provides two “flaps” to place over the meat.
- Give the broccoli slaw a quick blanch in the boiling water you used for the cabbage.
- Mix the filling ingredients together and start rolling!
- Simply place a good handful of filling in the center, pull the flaps over the meat, fold the sides in and continue rolling.
- If you keep a well-stocked pantry of basic Asian ingredients, you will be able to whip the sauce up easily. Check out this list of Asian pantry essentials from The Kitchn. You definitely want to add hoisin sauce to that list!
Now, you’re probably going to read the recipe for the sauce and wonder what you’ll then do with a half of a can of leftover tomato paste! Irritating, I know. I freeze small amounts of leftover tomato paste in snack-size zipper-top bags in approximately 1 to 2 tablespoon amounts. Then, when I need a small amount for soups, sauces or other recipes that require a small amount of tomato paste, it’s always ready to go. The frozen paste pops right out of the bag and thaws quickly.
And there you have Spicy Asian Pork Cabbage Rolls. Ahhh, fiery Asian-inspired goodness!
Any leftover rolls reheat beautifully and will also freeze and reheat beautifully. Hope you enjoy!
For more great cabbage recipes, try my:
- Spicy Italian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Farmhouse Cabbage Soup with Cannellini Beans and Kielbasa
- Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Mustard Vinaigrette
- Parmesan Roasted Cabbage Wedges
- Russian Cabbage Soup (Shchi)
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- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ can (3 ounces) tomato paste
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce (or to taste)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- CABBAGE AND FILLING
- Oil or non-stick cooking spray
- 1 large head green cabbage
- 1 container (12-ounce) broccoli slaw
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 bunch of scallions, white and light green part only, chopped, divided
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- SAUCE: Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan until the cornstarch dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened.
- Transfer ¼ cup of the sauce to a bowl large enough to accommodate the filling you will be mixing up. Set remaining sauce aside to cool.
- ROLLS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil or spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Remove 12 outer leaves from the head of cabbage, being careful not to tear or break the leaves.
- Place three leaves at a time in the boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes or until pliable. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to drain and cool. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
- Alternately, boil the entire head of cabbage and remove the leaves with a knife as they become pliable.
- Keep the water boiling and add the broccoli slaw. Drain immediately in a colander and cool under cold tap water. (You just want it softened slightly so it's easier to roll into the cabbage leaves.)
- Combine the broccoli slaw, pork, brown rice, all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and egg in the bowl with the reserved sauce and mix well.
- Cut the thick vein out of each leaf of cabbage in an upside-down V-shape. Place 1/12th of the filling in the center of each cabbage leaf.
- Pull the bottom "flaps" up and over the filling, overlapping them slightly. Fold in the sides and roll up.
- Place in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of each roll registers 165 degrees. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Spoon any sauce that settled in the bottom of the baking dish back over the rolls. Garnish with reserved 2 tablespoons scallions and sesame seeds.
* Broccoli slaw is typically found near the prepped vegetable section of the produce department. It is shredded broccoli stems, cabbage and carrots.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 1668mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 25g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.