Whilst pondering what to do with leftover stuffing from wonton for wonton soup; we made like 50 dumplings. I bounce over to Eating Club Vancouver to find just what I was craving – meerkat brains! I shouldn’t kid. I am sure that some of you find the cute meerkat cute. But the point is, that stuffed savoy cabbage looks like brains. And that drizzle of sesame oil in the picture isn’t helping matters any either. I am a huge fan of Asian inspired cuisine and I will experiment at home whenever I can. I had to attempt one of my absolute favorites, wonton soup. So I prepared a rich stock from country pork ribs, aromatics, dark chicken meat, and few other things. Then I composed a filling of ground pork, minced shrimp, scallion, and spices, for the store-bought pasta squares. We then filled a little over 50 dumplings before my pinkies fell off and we had to stop. I used some for the soup and froze the rest. …the dumplings not the pinkies. While this may be an inspiring blog entry for an excellent bowl of homemade wonton soup, alas it isn’t to be, which is apparent by the lead photo. Don’t misunderstand, the soup came out okay, but just okay. Gotta tweak the stock a little bit more and skip the soy in it next time.
Creating these is really easy if not a bit tedious. I used two small heads of cabbage. I blanched the heads by just bringing them to a boil, turning off the heat, and covering them for about a minute until the leaves are tender and pliable. Then they get stuffed and rolled like burritos. Since this is a steaming application, I used my bamboo steamer, lining the bottoms of the steaming chambers with parchment so as to not leave any funky residue. Any steamer will work just as well. Cool thing about these pods is that we freeze the leftovers and by placing them in a bowl with a small about of water, they nuke nicely from a frozen state for lunch or anytime. So come on and stick a fork in a meerkat brain!
Recipe after the jump.
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage
- 1 large head savoy cabbage (or 2 smaller heads)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound shrimp, minced
- 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon five spice
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl taking care not to overwork the pork. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge the cabbage and return just to a boil. Turn off heat, cover pot, and wait until leaves are tender; about 40-60 seconds.
3. Slice out the core of the cabbage. Remove outer leaves one at a time and lay flat. Add a spoonful or two of the meat mixture to the middle of the leaf. You may need more or less depending on the size of the leaf. You want a good stuff but not an over stuff. Fold the outer parts of the inward then roll then roll the leaf away from you. Place seam side down. Repeat until out of mixture or cabbage.
4. Prepare steaming device and steam pods for 15-20 minutes