If you’ve been following me a while you must realise by now that I like to mix things up a bit.  Think a little outside the box. So when I came up with this idea for Asian inspired cabbage rolls it was a rather tense Em’s Food Kitchen moment.  There is always a chance that these fusion style recipes will be a dismal failure and that is not a feeling I am entirely comfortable with.  No one likes to be a failure and for me, especially in my kitchen.  No fear!  I am pleased to say they were a success, the kids and dog were allowed to re-enter the kitchen and I am confident that I can pass the recipe on and even the most basic of cooks will be able to master these little bundles of sheer delight!  They were delish!


Prep time:  45  Minutes            Cooking time:  30  Minutes             $$  Medium Budget


Serves 4


Oil for frying (peanut or vegetable)

16 Wombok cabbage leaves

500gm of pork mince

250gm of green prawn meat, chopped

2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

6 coriander stems, roughly chopped

1 lemon grass stalk (white part only)

1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped

1 egg, whisked

2 tbs of red curry paste

400ml tin of coconut cream

2 tbs of fish sauce

2 tsp of caster sugar

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 cup of bean sprouts

1 cucumber, deseeded and finely diced

1 cup of coriander leaves

Steamed jasmine rice to serve


To prepare the cabbage leaves, use a sharp knife to cut the hard vein out of the bottom of the leaves in a ‘V’ shape.  Take half of the hard stems and finely chop them and set aside and discard the rest (or munch on them like I did).  Heat a large pot of water to boil.  Using a pair of tongs, dunk the cabbage leaves in the boiling water for about 10 seconds and then place them in a sink of cold water.


Place the ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander stems and lemon grass in a small food processor and blitz until they are chopped nice and fine.  Place half the mixture in a large bowl and set aside the rest for the sauce.  Place the prawns, pork mince, egg, the chopped cabbage stems  and one tablespoon of the red curry paste in the bowl with the aromatics and mix well to combine.


Spread out two cabbage leaves on a board with the cut out ‘V’ ends in the centre and overlapping so there are no gaps.  Place two tablespoons of the pork mixture in the centre, pull the sides in and roll the cabbage leaves until you have nice sealed bundles.  Repeat with the remaining leaves and mixture.  Don’t worry if they are not perfect just try to have as few gaps as possible. Place two cups of water in a wok with bamboo steamers (stacked) or a metal steamer that lays flat (the kind that fold out) and place the cabbage rolls on it.  Cover with a lid and bring the water to a simmer.  Steam the cabbage rolls for approximately 12-15 minutes.  The cabbage rolls are cooked when they are nice and firm when pressed gently.


Heat a large pot and add a little oil.  Lightly fry the remaining aromatics until fragrant before adding a tablespoon of red curry paste.  Fry for 30 seconds before adding the coconut cream, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.  Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.


In a bowl combine the sprouts, cucumber and coriander leaves.  Toss gently to combine.


Divide steamed rice between four serving plates.   Top each plate with two cabbage rolls and spoon over the sauce.  Garnish with a nice handful of the sprout salad and serve.