Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vietnamese Steamed Stuffed Cabbage (Bap Cai Nhoi Thit)

My very first cookbook ever was a pictureless Vietnamese cookbook I bought about 15 years ago, now considered an antique, called simply, "Vietnamese Dishes", by Duong Thi Thanh Lien, a pediatrician and professor who lived through World War II and who wrote her book after urgings from friends whom she cooked for while undertaking her medical fellowship in the US. One of the recipes I've used over and over again from her book is the Steamed Stuffed Cabbage, but over time, I started using napa cabbage (cai bac thao) instead of the usual cabbage (bap cai) because it was simply larger and easier to separate, and I changed a few other things around.

12 napa cabbage leaves
12 green onion stems, bulbs removed
1 lb ground pork
2 tablespoon onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper

Ingredients for the Sauce:
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon hot sauce (leave this out if you've got kids like I do)

First blanch the cabbage leaves and green onions in boiling water until they're pliable, about 10 to 20 seconds.

Prepare the stuffing ingredients by mixing the ground pork, salt, pepper, and onion.

Stuff the cabbage by placing about a tablespoon and half of the stuffing onto the cabbage leaves, tucking in the sides, and rolling it. Then tie up each roll with the green onion. I often cut up the stems of the napa cabbage before rolling if it's too stiff, although in the photo above I left it on.

Place the cabbage rolls into a shallow dish and into a steamer. Cover the steamer and steam for 30 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by placing all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmering on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Remove the cabbage when done (there will be lots of liquid in the dish in steamer), and spread the sauce over the rolls.


Food For Tots said...

I have been searching for this recipe and glad to find it here! Can't wait to try it out. Impressive presentation & excellent shots!

imjustatree said...

i've never seen this before....it looks real good though! i liked your apple post too. i love caramel apples, and apple cider!

beautiful pictures. autumn really isn't experienced in terms of colors here in socal suburbia...

White on Rice Couple said...

OMG, these look just beautiful, amazing and delicious!
Your blog deserves those accolades equally too!

I've made this dish many times, but they never come out as pretty as yours! I'm totally inspired now...

gaga said...

Yum, and you made yours look so pretty too.

Cynthia said...

This is bookmarked to definitely try!

shavedicesundays said...

Food For Tots, I'm glad you are able to find it here!

mothermayi, I know, it's a bummer experiencing Autumn here in SoCal sometimes, but now you know where to go to see it.

White on Rice Couple, awww..that's a really sweet comment. Judging from all the beautiful food you make on your blog, I'm sure yours come out as good, if not better than mine.

gaga, thank you for the lovely comment.

Cynthia, Thank you, and tell me how it goes!

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

This recipe looks absolutely delicious. I'm definitely bookmarking. I love napa cabbage. :)

Anonymous said...

Well done!
Great pics!
Easy to read and understand recipe!
And I love Vietnamese Cusine!
A big thanks!

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh those looks so devine! Your photos are soOo nice too!

inland empire restaurant and food reviews said...

This looks really good!!!Great post!!

Selba said...

What a great idea of way to wrapped the stuffed cabbage. Looks so yummy too.

Chubbypanda said...

You've got a great DoF setting on that first shot. I love it.

shavedicesundays said...

Amanda, thank you for the nice compliment.

Robert, thanks you for coming by again with the kind words.

lengslog, thank you, I've been working a lot on my food photography.

inland empire, thank you kindly.

Selba, wish it was my idea, but I like getting the veggie and the meat in one bite for my kids.

Chubbypanda, Thanks, been paying a little more attention to it recently.

mysimplefood said...

Wow! This looks really lovely and its simple too..inspired to try

shavedicesundays said...

mysimplefood, thank you for the kind comment. They're not hard at all to make.

MyCollegeKitchen said...

Shaved Ice Sunday,
Thanks for the recipe and cooking instruction. This dish is simple to make, yet delicious and healthy. I tried your recipe here, turned out pretty good, the hubbie kept nodding his head as a compliment :) hehehe