Dim Sum Steamed Cabbage Roll: If you love Dim Sum and are a bit of a health nut, you will love these adorable mini cabbage rolls masquerading as Dim Sum, giving a new interpretation to a nostalgic favourite childhood food.
Steamed Cabbage Roll is one of the dishes I used to cook very often for my children when they were young. I hadn’t been cooking Steamed Cabbage Roll for quite a while, but recently my family requested for this dish again.
When I prepared it, my youngest daughter commented that she felt so nostalgic eating this steamed cabbage roll as it reminded her of her childhood days.Her comment reminded me of how long it’s been since I cooked this dish. But the good thing is that it tastes just as good as before.
Above is the old-style version of the steamed cabbage roll that my family is used to eating.
The modern ‘dim sum’ interpretation of the dish which we have dubbed “Dim Sum Steamed Cabbage Roll” was given by my second daughter Melissa who run this blog with me. She wanted to reinvent the tasty but rather drab looking cabbage roll into adorable miniature dim sum for her young son, to make the dish look as appetising as it tastes, because somehow the first photo above does not do justice to how great this dish actually tastes!
I really love this new way of presentation the dish (the recipe is exactly the same, except for the garnishing). Doesn’t this photo make it feel like picking up a piece and popping it straight into your mouth? We did a test with my grandson – and it was obvious which version he preferred!
By the way, this is a really great dish for children because it’s such a healthy yet tasty dish that uses very little oil, so even older babies and toddlers can enjoy it too.
Dim Sum Steamed Cabbage Roll
If you love Dim Sum and are a bit of a health nut, you will love these adorable mini cabbage rolls masquerading as Dim Sum, giving a new interpretation to a nostalgic childhood food we have all grown up eating.
- 350 grams Lean Pork
- 2-3 pieces Black Wooden Ear Fungus Depending on the size
- 15 Medium Size Prawns Medium sized
- 6-7 Water chestnuts
- 1 Egg
- 2 stalks Spring Onion
- 10-12 leaves Cabbage leaves
Marinade for Pork
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2-3 tsp Oil
- 2 tsp Corn flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Light sauce
- 1 dash White pepper
- 1 tsp Chopped Garlic
- 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1/2 rice bowl Juices from the cabbage after steaming
- 1 tsp Corn flour
- 2 tbsp Water To be mixed with cornflour
- 3 tbsp Shrimp Roe (Ebiko)
- 1 Sprig Spring Onion
PREPARATION METHOD FOR STEAMED CABBAGE ROLLS (40 mins)
- Mince the pork coarsely.
Marinate the pork with the marinade ingredients for about 15 minutes.
Soak the wooden fungus for about 20 minutes until it expands and becomes soft.
- Wash the wooden fungus thoroughly to remove the sand in between the grooves and cut into small squares.
- Wash the water chestnut, using a brush to remove the mud. Remove the skin with a peeler. Then cut the water chestnut into small cubes.
- Wash, shell and devein the prawns. Then cut into 3-4 pieces each. See my video on how to devein prawns here.
- Wash and cut the spring onion into small pieces.
- In a big bowl add in the pork, wooden fungus, water chestnut, prawns and spring onion and mix well.
Crack an egg into the mixture, then mix well until incorporated.
- Leave the meat mixture in the fridge for 1/2 hour.
Remove the leaves of the cabbage one by one, being careful to keep each leaf intact.
Blanch the leaves into boiling water for about 1 minutes or until they turn limp.
Remove the leaves and place on a strainer, then run over tap water and drain dry.
- Take a big, unbroken leaf and place it on a cutting board. Scoop 2 Tbsp of the meat filling on top and roll it from the top and also fold in the 2 sides and continue to roll till the end of the leaf. Watch video at the end of this post to see a demonstration.
Place the rolls on a stainless plate. Continue to do the same for the other leaves until all the filling is used up. Any excess leaves can be placed under the cabbage rolls to steam.
COOKING METHOD FOR STEAMED CABBAGE ROLLS (30 mins)
- In a wok, bring the water to a boil over high heat.
Place the cabbage rolls on the rack and cover with a lid and steam for about 20-25 mins.
Cut the cabbage roll into bite sizes (about 3 to 4 pieces per roll) and transfer onto a serving plate.
In a small pan, heat up 1 Tbsp of oil. Add 1/2 tsp of garlic and fry till aromatic.
Add in the juices from the steamed cabbage roll and simmer over lower heat for 1-2 mins.
In a small bowl, add in the 1 tsp cornflour, 2 tpsp of water and 1 tbsp of oyster sauce and mix well. Pour the mixture into the wok and stir into the juices to thicken. If it is too starchy, add in a little more water.
Arrange the cabbage rolls on a serving plate and garnish with ebiko (prawn roe) and spring onions. Serve hot with the dipping sauce in a separate dish.
- Don't crush or smash the water chestnut, just cut it into tiny squares. Otherwise all the water will ooze out and it will lose its crunchy texture and become powdery.
- The outer leaves of the cabbage are easy to remove, but once you reach the middle, it is harder to remove the leaves of the cabbage without them breaking. So what you can do is use a knife to trim off the excess hard stem at the centre of the cabbage. This makes it easier to remove the leaves without breaking them. You can repeat this as often as you need to.
- The leaves get smaller as you go along. So you can join smaller leaves to make a larger cabbage roll. Do not throw away the broken leaves, they can be used to patch up the holes by placing them on top of one another so that it form one complete leaf.
- When rolling the cabbage, use your fingers to press the filling tightly against the leaf to give firmness to the cabbage roll after steaming.
- After mixing the meat with the rest of the ingredients, leave the filling in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up the meat for easy wrapping.
Here is my video demonstration for wrapping the cabbage rolls. To key is to get them tightly wrapped so they don’t fall apart while cutting, but yet not too compacted.
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and please leave me a comment below if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for me!
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Baby/Toddler-Friendly: Suitable for older babies and toddlers. Cut into small pieces before serving to avoiding choking
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Egg-Free: Skip the egg, the stuffing should still be able to bind together as corn flour is added to the marinade.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Ensure all condiments are gluten free
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.