Finally, summer has arrived and our garden is producing all sorts of deliciousness! One of our favorite homegrown vegetables is napa cabbage. We’ve been obsessed with it for the past few summers, first we were enjoying it in my Napa Cabbage Slaw with Feta then it got really intense when I came up with my Beef & Cabbage Bowl – I’m pretty sure we ate it at least once every week last summer. This year I’m excited to share another way we’re enjoying our homegrown napa cabbage, in my Napa Cabbage Wrapped Shiitake Pork Rolls!
Now I can’t take 100% credit for this awesome idea. Last year we made Diane Sanfilippo’s Shrimp & Pork Cabbage-Wrapped Dumplings a few times and they were so delicious that I we immediately started thinking about having them again when our homegrown napa cabbages were almost ready to be picked. But here’s the thing, I don’t often keep shrimp in the house because when I buy it we always eat it up quickly, but I do have at least 10 pounds of ground pork in the freezer from the 1/2 hog we got this spring… and I can’t forget to mention that our cultivated shiitake logs just flushed so I have bunches of shiitake mushrooms to use up!
I threw caution to the wind and modified Diane’s recipe to be a better fit with our selection of local, seasonal and on-hand foods. The napa cabbage, shiitakes, onions, garlic, and carrots were all home grown, pork from the 1/2 a local, woodland raised hog we got in the early spring — toss in a few pantry staples and my homemade Thai Sweet Chili Sauce — that’s a damn delicious dinner!
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup chopped shiitake mushroom caps
- 1 medium Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic minced or pressed
- 1/4 cup shredded or finely chopped carrot
- 1 head nappa cabbage
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
- Sea Salt to taste
- Black Pepper to taste
- 1 pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes optional
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping
- In a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet, over medium heat, cook ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onion and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, ghee or coconut oil if your pork very lean.
- While your pork and vegetables are cooking, remove the outer 8-10 large leaves from your napa cabbage, set aside. finely chop or shred 4 small napa cabbage leaves (you are saving the largest leaves for your rolls)
- Add your shredded cabbage and remaining ingredients to your skillet and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook until vegetables are soft and pork is cooked through. When done, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large pot fitted with a steamer insert, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Steam napa cabbage leaves for 1 minute, working in batches of 3-4 leaves at a time. Place steamed leaves in a colander to drain.
- Return filling to the stove and heat over medium/low.
- Lay out a steamed napa leaf, with the stem towards you and the leafy portion pointing away. Trim off any excess stem. Place roughly 1/8 of the warm filling mix on the stem end of the napa cabbage leaf, about an inch from the edge. Fold the bottom stem up and over the filling, rolling to catch the edge. Then fold in the sides and continue rolling, using a toothpick to secure.
- Serve immediately with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce.