napa cabbage roll

I once ate something similar from a chinese take-away and decided to give it a try. The Napa Cabbage used in this dish is also known as Chinese White Cabbage (大白菜) or similar to Kimchi. It is longish and sweet in taste and widely used in East Asia. Though I usually stir fry this dish or use them in soups, this is my first attempt at steaming them after rolling them up like popiah.

There are 3 main steps to this dish. Preparing the stuffing, softening the cabbage and steaming the cabbage rolls. This recipe makes about 10 to 12 rolls with each roll using a single napa cabbage leaf. Actually, the stuffing can be left to your creativity. I used pork and prawns here. You can use fish paste, chicken meat or even beef or lamb mince depending on the seasoning applied.

The result was good and I was happy with how it turned out. The stuffing was nice and firm (and does not crumble) whilst the napa cabbage leafs were not overcooked and retained a slight resistance when bitten. Rather healthy dish, I must say. Tasted great with steaming white rice and a favourite with the kids. I should cook this for Chinese New Year Eve Dinner 😀

This is my recipe for Napa Cabbage Rolls


  • 150 grammes pork mince
  • 150 grammes prawns (deveined, shelled and chopped roughly)
  • 5 pieces chinese dried mushrooms (pre-soaked till soft and chopped)
  • 12 pieces Napa Cabbage leafs


  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • a few dashes of white pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour


Place steaming rack on steamer and steam napa cabbage leafs one by one till limp and soft enough to roll. Set steamed leafs aside to cool.

Place pork, prawns and mushrooms with marinade in a large mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients in a one-way movement (eg. clockwise or anti-clockwise) till even. Leave mixture to stand for at least 30 minutes.

Place a single napa cabbage leaf on a large plate / table with pointed leaf away from you. Take 2 tablespoons of mixture and place on the stem end and form into a sausage-like roll. Fold stem end over the mixture, fold both sides and roll over till the pointed leaf edge. Repeat with the rest of the leafs and mixture till complete.

Arrange rolls on a plate and steam for 10 minutes. To test whether completely cooked, pierce with a chopstick. If the chopstick comes out clean, it’s cooked.

Remove steamed rolls and place on a plate (you can slice them if you want). With the remainder of the gravy on the steaming plate, pour it into a saucepan and reduce it into a thicker gravy using a little cornstarch if necessary.

Serve hot by pouring over with gravy.

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  1. 1
    May 28th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    wow this looks like popiah! hehe … very pretty & yummy looking 😉

  2. 2
    Pink Parisian
    May 29th, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    mmmmm…. looks a bit like the chai pau which uses the usual pohpiah filling. Becoming quite adventurous aren’t we? 🙂

  3. 3
    May 29th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    It looks really good! How I wish you are my neighbor and I can just go over to your house for dinner.

  4. 4
    May 30th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    This is one recipe I will definitely try out. It’s simple and healthy and I love vegetables!

  5. 5
    May 30th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    noobcook : Yup, looks like Popiah! Same concept, different ingredients.

    Pink Parisian : Once in a while, have to crack head for new recipes 😀

    reeseboston : There’s no one living next door 😀

    Pureglutton : Give it a try and impress someone!

  6. 6
    May 30th, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    wahhh so easy leh, just the right recipe for the lazy me :p thanks

  7. 7
    June 2nd, 2008 at 10:06 am

    babe_kl : Hope to see it on your blog soon 😀

  8. 8
    teoh gek choo
    June 2nd, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Just came across u site,very interesting.I love mee suah,would like to try the mee suah kueh.I hv 2 questions for the recipe:-
    1)How much is 2 soup bowls of hot water in ml or cc?
    2)Can u kinly send me a photo of the packet of the Muar mee suah u r using?
    I am sorry to trouble u.Many thanks in advance.

  9. 9
    teoh gek choo
    June 2nd, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Sorry,1 more question.When allow to cool overnite,do i leave it to cool at room temperature or in the fridge?thanks

  10. 10
    June 4th, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Gek Choo : 😀 This should actually be answered in the Mee Suah Kueh recipe post but nevermind. 2 bowls of water is approximately 400ml. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the water covers the mee suah at the surface. Cool it overnight in the fridge but let it come back to room temperature before frying. I have run out of mee sua at home and will take a pic the next time I purchase them. If you are living in Malaysia, it’s commonly available in supermarkets or even grocery stores.

  11. 12
    September 15th, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I just made these for the first time as they looked mighty tasty! I used the only similar looking ‘Chinese leaf lettuce’ in place of the napa cabbage, maybe its the same thing? Either way they held up beautifully, and were awesome!
    With a bit more seasoning next time I think these will be a common sight on my dinner table and in my lunch boxes 😀


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