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Napa Cabbage Rolls with Vegan Stuffings

It always amazes me how many similarities we can find in food across drastically different cultures and countries. Cabbage roll, for instance, is a popular dish in Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and much of  Asia, as well as parts of North Africa. But of course, they're made somewhat differently from region to region.

In China, in particular, cabbage rolls are usually made with napa cabbage, as opposed to cannonball cabbage, or commonly known as green cabbage. They're then stuffed with minced pork and vegetables and finally steamed or pan-fried. The cabbage rolls are such a comforting treat, juicy, savory, light, and nourishing that I had to make a vegan version!

For the vegan stuffing, I used brown rice, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, and sweet peas. You can also try other kinds of mushrooms but I highly recommend shiitake, they have a very special aroma that goes beautifully with Asian dishes!


INGREDIENTS:

Napa cabbage

1 cup cooked brown rice

6 oz shiitake mushroom, sliced

1/3 cup frozen sweet peas

1 carrot, shredded

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon coconut amino

Oil for cooking

For the Sauce -

1/2 cup vegetable stock

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon tamari/soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder


TO MAKE:

- Trim off the root of the cabbage, take off the leaves one by one, bring a pot of water to boil, blanch the leaves for 1 minute, then quickly ran them under cold water to cool down;

- In a large non-stick frying pan, heat a drizzle of cooking oil over medium-high heat, sauté the scallions till fragrant for about 2 minutes;

- Add carrot and shiitake mushroom, cook till soft, then add the frozen sweat peas, cook till heated through, and add in brown rice, stir to mix well;

- Season with the tamari sauce and coconut amino, continue to cook until everything is well combined;

- Add about 1 1/2 tablespoon stuffings to 1 napa cabbage leaf, fold up both sides, then the bottom, and roll all the way up, repeat till all ingredients are used up;

- Clean the frying pan then heat another drizzle of oil, pan-fry the cabbage rolls for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown;

- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, fry the garlic with a small drizzle of oil, then carefully pour in the veggie stock, tamari sauce, and syrup, bring to a boil, mix the arrowroot powder with a little bit of water and add to the pan, stir and heat till thickens to your preferred consistency;

- Transfer all pan-fried cabbage rolls to a plate then pour on the sauce, garnish with sesame seeds and scallion. Enjoy!


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