This dish is very common in Japan. Apparently, cabbage roll is originally from Western Asia. It spread out widely to Europe, Northern China, North Africa, in the United States, Japan and so on. When I was in Japan, my mother made this dish often. Japanese people eat this dish at home a lot. Sometimes, Japanese people roll bacon on top of the cabbage roll. I will introduce a simple Japanese style cabbage roll.

Ingredients (For 4 plates):

  • 4 cabbage leaves
  • 1500ml (50.7floz) of water (for boiling)
  • 200g (0.5 LBS) ground pork
  • 1/2 of onion
  • 1/4 of carrot (for decoration, if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons of *Panko (bread crumbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cubes of *Japanese consomme
  • 600ml (20floz) of water
  • 2 teaspoons of salt & pepper

*Japanese consomme is made of vegetable extract, beef extract, chicken extract, yeast extract, soy sauce, salt, sugar and so on. It is similar to vegetable, chicken and beef stock. -> See picture A.

Picture A: *Japanese consomme

Here is how to make it at home. Cooking time is about 45 - 55 minutes.

  1. Mince an onion and put it in a microwave for about 1 minute. Remove skin from a carrot. Remove thick stems from the bottoms of cabbage leaves. -> See picture B and C.
Picture B: Minced onion
Picture C: A cabbage leaf without thick stem
  1. Boil about 1500ml (50.7floz) of water in a big pot with medium heat. Add the cabbage leaves and the carrot, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the cabbage leaves from heat and put it in a strainer basket. For the carrot, simmer about 10 minutes or until it is soft. Cut the carrot into 4 flower shapes using by a flower shape cutter and a knife for decoration.
  2. Put ground pork in a big bowl. Add the onion, *Panko, an egg and salt & pepper. Mix it up with hands very well. -> See picture D. Divide it into 4 round shapes.
Picture D
  1. Boil 600ml (20floz) of water in a medium or a big pot with medium heat. Add *Japanese consommé until it dissolves. (Please try little soup carefully and if you like more thick taste and tomato base soup, you can add 2 or 3 tablespoons of tomato ketchup. I didn't do it this time, but some people would prefer more thick taste.)
  2. Meanwhile, put cabbage leaves on a big cutting board. Put each 3. on the right bottom side of cabbage leaves. -> See picture E.
Picture E
  1. Fold the left side of the cabbage leaves, roll cabbage leaves and shape as shown in the picture. -> See picture F.
Picture F
  1. Put 6. into 4. carefully and simmer for 20 minutes. -> See picture G.
Picture G
  1. Pour soup into a soup cup or a deep plate. Put the cabbage roll using by chopsticks and a ladle carefully. Add the carrot on top.