Going carb-free can be difficult, but really, it’s about finding alternatives which you can not only live with, but which you really, truly like. Cabbage rolls, after all, aren’t a new idea and once you’ve wrapped (wrapped, heh) your head around the fact that cabbages can be used to replace rice paper rolls, feel free experiment with flavours. This dish is inspired by the classic Vietnamese rolls, served with a spicy dipping sauce.
- Dipping sauce: 1 large onion, rough chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 red chili, fine diced
- 1 stalk lemongrass, buised and sliced
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
- For rolls: 10 large whole cabbage leaves
- 10 medium prawns, poached and halved lengthwise
- 5 mushrooms, sliced and blanched
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- Spring onions, cut lengthwise into thumb-long strips
- Handfull mint leaves, chifonade
- Handfull parsley, chopped
- Using a pestle and mortar, crush the onion and garlic to a fine paste.
- Add all other sauce ingredients, except the salt, and mash till combined.
- Check the seasoning and add salt accordingly.
- Store in fridge for use later.
- Now for the cabbage rolls: Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and prepare ice bath for the cabbage leaves.
- Once the water is boiling, blanch the leaves till they become soft, (around 60 seconds) and immediately place in ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Dry with paper towel and cut the hard stem base and leave aside. (You can use the same water to poach the prawns).
- Take about 1 tbsp of the dipping sauce and mix with the prawns, and leave to cool in the fridge until it is time to assemble the rolls.
- When assembling, place the cabbage leaf facing upwards with broad steam end facing you.
- Place two pieces of prawns, top with a few slices of mushrooms, chili, bell pepper, spring onions, some mint and parsley.
- Begin by folding the left and right sides of the leaf inwards, then roll the bottom end of leaf upwards, away from you and over the prawn and veges, creating a tight roll.
- Continue rolling the leaf, ensuring the roll is tight. Repeat process til all the rolls are done.
- Serve with dipping sauce. Yum.
Do you have extra dipping sauce? Don’t throw it out! Use the leftover as a marinade. We used it with pork to create a comforting Warm Asian Salad.