Chinese Pork and Cabbage Rolls

    30 minutes

    Crunchy water chestnuts are combined with minced pork, soy sauce, fresh ginger and five-spice powder to make a flavoursome, Chinese-style filling for fresh green cabbage leaves. Serve with steamed white rice and a simple salad for a quick and easy family meal.

    8 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 500 g lean minced pork (choose the leanest possible)
    • 1 can water chestnuts (about 230 g), drained, rinsed and finely chopped
    • 2 tsp five-spice powder
    • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
    • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 medium egg, beaten
    • 8 large green cabbage leaves
    • 2 cups (500 ml) hot chicken stock, preferably homemade (recipes on this website)
    • 2 tsp cornflour
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce, or to taste
    • curled strips of spring onion to garnish

    Preparation:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Place the pork in a bowl and add the water chestnuts, five-spice powder, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, garlic and egg. Mix thoroughly with your hands or a fork until the ingredients are well blended, then divide into eight equal portions.
    2. Cut the tough stalk from the base of each cabbage leaf with a sharp knife. Place a portion of the pork mixture in the centre of each cabbage leaf, then wrap the leaf around the filling to enclose it.
    3. Pour the stock into the bottom section of a large steamer. Arrange the cabbage rolls, join side down, in one layer in the top section. Steam for 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender and the rolls are firm when pressed. Remove the top section from the steamer and keep the cabbage rolls hot.
    4. Mix the cornflour with the water, then stir this mixture into the stock in the bottom of the steamer. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Add the chilli sauce.
    5. Serve the cabbage rolls with the sauce spooned over and sprinkled with curls of spring onion.

    Some more ideas…

    Chinese pork balls with wilted greens: Shape the pork mixture into 16 balls. Place in the steamer over the pan of stock and steam for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a wok and stir-fry 1 sliced bunch of spring onions with 200 g broccoli florets and 200 g sugar snap peas for 4 minutes. Add ⅓ cup (80 ml) water and 200 g pak choy separated into leaves, and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes. Finally, add ⅓ cup (80 ml) oyster sauce, or to taste. Serve the stir-fried vegetables topped with the pork balls.

    Health points

    *Extra-lean minced pork is lower in fat than minced beef or lamb and only slightly fattier than skinless chicken breast.
    *Water chestnuts provide small amounts of potassium, iron and fibre, but their big advantage is that they contain no fat and very few kilojoules.
    *Cabbage, like broccoli and cauliflower, contains flavonoids, which research has shown help to suppress cancer-causing cells. It also contains the beneficial anti-cancer anti-oxidants vitamins C and E.

    Each serving provides

    GI estimate medium.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    I made this recipe last night and but didn't have any Five Spice in the pantry so improvised, with what I had, on the spices. In my rush forgot to mix in the egg into the meat mixture. Despite all that came out well and everyone enjoyed it. Quick and easy. Definitely make this one again. I'm not very good at wrapping, anyone have any tips?  -  27 May 2013