1 tablespoon black pepper (half for the broth and half for the meat)
1-3 tablespoons mushroom seasoning
1-2 tablespoons Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
1-2 tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 head cabbage (we used Taiwanese cabbage because of its sweeter flavor and large leaves)
Fill a 6-quart soup pot until about ¾ full of water. Add sea salt and bring to a boil.
While water heats, peel shallots, ginger, and garlic, then chop into small pieces. Chop about ¼ of the cilantro. Cut the ends off of the green onions and use a knife to split down the center (these will be used as ties for the cabbage rolls).
In a large bowl, combine the freshly chopped shallots, ginger, garlic, and cilantro. Add the pork, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and seasoning sauce.
Using a large spoon, mix the ingredients until combined and tightly packed. Using the back of the spoon to pack the mixture together will help prevent separating during cooking.
Add the sliced green onion to the boiling water and cook until limp, about 2-4 minutes. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
To make the wraps, begin by carefully coring the cabbage and removing the stem. Gently peel the cabbage, being careful to keep the leaves intact.
Place the cabbage leaves in the boiling water and cook until slightly limp and flexible, about 2-4 minutes.
Take out the cabbage leaves, then remove the pot from heat and discard water. Set the pot aside for now.
To make the cabbage rolls, start with a boiled cabbage leaf. Using a knife, slice down both sides of the white center vein and remove. This will create two halves.
Using a spoon or your hands, roll pork mixture into small, oval-shaped balls. Place pork onto one half of the sliced cabbage leaf.
To make the roll, begin by folding the sides of the cabbage inwards. Then, fold the end over the pork and begin to roll.
Once your pork is nice and snug in the cabbage leaf, secure it with a strip of boiled green onion. Carefully tie with one knot and set aside. Repeat until you’ve used all of your boiled cabbage leaves. One cabbage head should yield approximately 15 pork rolls.
TIP: You can save any excess cabbage, green onion, and cilantro and use it to make Cabbage Stir Fry!
If you have any excess cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, or green onions, these can be added to the bottom of the soup pot with a small amount of oil. Saute until the vegetables are fragrant. Then, add water until pot is about ¾ full. Add the mushroom seasoning and sea salt and bring to a boil.
Once water reaches a gentle boil (a full rolling boil can tear the cabbage rolls), carefully place the rolls into the water using tongs. Boil for 20-25 minutes, until the cabbage rolls take on a slightly yellow color.
TIP: Any excess meat can be rolled into meatballs. These can be added to the boiling water and cooked with the cabbage rolls. If you have excess vegetables, these can also be added to the soup or saved to make Cabbage Stir Fry.
After 15 minutes, taste the soup and add your desired amount of salt and pepper.
Once the rolls are cooked through, remove soup pot from heat. Ladle soup and cabbage rolls into bowls and serve hot with a side of Cabbage Stir Fry. Season with black pepper to taste. Enjoy!
With Joe Westfall
Good food and easy hospitality are the hallmarks of hands-on classes at The Cooking School. This new American Bistro menu is casual, friendly and hits all the right flavor notes that make the food sing.