Recipe: Stuffed Chinese Cabbage

I remember my Indonesian mother preparing this dish very often when I was a kid. It’s very easy and healthy. She never really explained where she learned the recipe from. And quite recently I learned that it appears to be Japanese by origin. Except for the fact that we use Indonesian spices for the seasoning.


Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS  (Serves 4 as a main dish):

  • 8 leaves Chinese cabbage, blanched and drained
  • A little flour
  • 8 toothpicks
  • steampan


  • 150 gr ground beef
  • 45 gr bamboo shoot, diced
  • 3 fresh shiitake muchrooms diced (or dried mushrooms, soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • garlic
  • onion

Seasoning for filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 teaspoon soy sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ketoembar
  • 1 small carrot, cut into little bits
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce (ketjap manis)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar


Mix the ground meat, bamboo shoot, and shiitake mushrooms and add the filling seasonings. Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape into ovals.

Scrape away the hard core of the cabbage leaves to make them easier to roll, then lightly dust the inside with flour. Place one portion of meat filling into each cabbage leaf and roll, securing each roll with a toothpick.

Place stuffed cabbage rolls in a steampan filled with water. Steam over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve stuffed Chinese cabbage rolls topped with the sauce and garnished with carrot strips.


* You can also use tofu and bell peppers to stuff with ground beef.

* For best flavor, allow the meat to rest overnight in the fridge before wrapping it up with cabbage leaves.

* Want to have this taste like an actual Japanese dish? Add some sake with the salty Japanese soy sauce for a Japanese taste.

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