Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chinese Beef Cabbage Rolls in Shiitake Enoki Chicken Broth

     Savory Cabbage Rolls!
     The flavor of today's savory stuffed cabbage recipe is definitely warm and cozy.  The light chicken broth is full of mushroom flavor.  The beef and rice stuffing is seasoned with Chinese Five Spice Powder.
     Chinese style stuffed cabbage can be made with minced pork or just about any kind of meat.  Fish, crab and even a vegetable mousseline can be used to stuff Napa Cabbage.  There are always options for stuffed cabbage recipes that will suit anybody's fancy.    

    *This entire recipe yields 1 entrée that can be shared!
     Napa Cabbage Leaf Preparation:
     Boil some water that is about 2" deep in a wide sauté pan.
     Place 4 large undamaged whole napa cabbage leaves in the boiling water.
     Blanch the napa cabbage leaves, till they start to wilt and so they are just tender enough to bend the stalk end.
     Remove the cabbage leaves from the boiling water.
     Cool the cabbage leaves under cold running water.
     Pat the leaves dry with a pastry towel.
     Set the blanched cabbage leaves aside.
     Five Spice Beef Stuffing:
     The amount of stuffing that is needed depends on the size of the cabbage leaves!  The rice can be used to stretch the amount of beef if necessary.  There may be a little bit of leftover rice after the cabbage rolls are made. 
     Those who have a rice steamer surely know how to put it to use.  The proportion of water is less when using a steamer.
     Step 1:  Boil 1 cup of water over high heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of plain long grain white rice.
     When the water returns to a boil, reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Simmer and steam the rice, till it is fully cooked.
     Let the rice cool to room temperature.
     Step 2:  Place 5 ounces of ground beef in a mixing bowl.
     Add an equal volume of the cooked rice.  (There may be some rice leftover!)
     Add sea salt.
     Add 3 pinches of Chinese five spice powder.
     Thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
     Set the stuffing aside.
     Chinese Beef Cabbage Rolls:
     Lay the blanched napa cabbage leaves side by side on a counter top.
     Place a small amount of the beef stuffing on the "leafy" end of each cabbage leaf.  (A 2 1/2 ounce to 3 ounce scooper can be used.)
     Fold the sides of the leaf over the stuffing.
     Roll the stuffing and cabbage leaf into a sealed cylinder shape.  Be sure that the stuffing is completely sealed inside the cabbage leaf.  If there is way too much cabbage on the stalk end, then trim a little bit off.  The cabbage rolls should all be the same size and shape.
     Chill the cabbage rolls till they are needed.
     Chinese Beef Cabbage Rolls in Shiitake Enoki Chicken Broth: 
     Step 1:  Place the stuffed cabbages side by side in a small sauce pot, so they do not unravel while cooking.
     Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth.
     Set the pan over medium heat.
     Step 2:  Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 thin sliced large shiitake mushroom.
     Bring the broth to a gentle boil.
     Step 3:  Immediately reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Simmer the cabbage rolls in the broth, till the stuffing becomes fully cooked.  (The steam from the broth will cook the top half of the cabbage rolls.  About 10 to 15 minutes of simmering is enough to cook the stuffing.)
     Place the cabbage rolls side by side in a large soup bowl.
     Skim any grease off of the top of the broth.
     Pour the mushrooms and broth around the cabbage rolls in the bowl.
     Place 2 small bunches of enoki mushrooms in the hot broth.
     Place a few cilantro leaves on the broth.
     Simple, comfortable and delicious!  

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