Day Sixteen: Pork and Shrimp Cabbage Rolls

16 Jan

And we’re back. We had a great holiday season, with Christian thoroughly enjoying a break from pork shoulder challenge. In fact, he enjoyed it so much that I’ve acquiesced and decided that (but not necessarily agreed that) 100 different pork shoulder recipes in 365 days may be difficult to achieve…..or stomach.  So, we’re removing the timeline from the project. Perhaps a little side Christmas gift from me to him. I will still be cooking a few recipes each and every month, just not as many as before. I have to maintain my momentum here – despite this schedule change, I will not allow for failure!

The first recipe of 2011 is a light(er) one. I just ate way too much over the holidays and am still recovering. I had first thought to do a typical Hungarian cabbage roll, but that will have to come later after I’ve built my heavy food tolerance back up. So instead, I opted to kick 2011 off with some pork and shrimp cabbage rolls. Yes, it is similar to the wontons, but this is much better.

The blanched cabbage “wrapper” gave a slight crunch, despite being blanched and steamed. The flavors were a bit too subtle, however, so the amounts of some components (ginger and cilantro, mainly) listed below are basically doubled from what I used. I really think that it would make all the difference. I might also add some chili sauce or chopped fresh serrano peppers next time, to give it something even more. But I will say, they were tasty as-is and I’m happy with the results, for sure. As a whole, I ended up serving this with a bit of the broth and some rice with garlic stir fried bok choy.

I didn’t make the whole batch at once and ended up saving some of the filling, which I browned up another night. Sort of like little Vietnamese burgers. If there is any filling left over, I’d highly recommend doing this – it was a great late night snack.

Pork and Shrimp Cabbage Rolls (serves 4 to 5)

  • 3/4 lb pork shoulder
  • 6 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms, minced
  • 4 tbsp shallots, minced
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 15 large cabbage leaves (green cabbage or napa cabbage)
  • 15 green onions
  • 4 cups chicken broth

Cut the pork into small pieces, removing as much fat as possible. Place the pork in a food processor or meat grinder. When ground, remove and set aside. Cut the shrimp into small pieces and process until ground; add to the pork.  Mix in the ginger, cilantro, garlic, mushrooms and soy sauce.

Carefully remove the cabbage leaves and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes in boiling water, to soften. Remove and add the green portions of the onions to the water and blanch until soft.

Place one large tablespoon of filling into each of the leaves, rolling them up like a burrito. Tie each roll with the blanched green onions.

Slice the white portions of the onions and add to a saute pan with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the rolls and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until cooked.

Place 2 to 3 rolls in a bowl and add some of the broth and onions.

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