Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

We got cabbage from the farm this past Monday and decided to get a little creative with it. I (Tamar) have not really worked with cabbage much, except one time in college when I needed lettuce and bought cabbage by mistake (that may have been in my pre-glasses days, or so I hope). Needless to say, our cabbage rolls came out delicious; Greg made a peanut butter-coconut sauce to put on top, which perfected the dish.

Cabbage Rolls (vegan)

10 outer leaves of cabbage
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 onion
1/2 cup chopped vegan meat or tofu (we used morningstar chicken strips, which I actually think might not be vegan... oops)
1 clove garlic
~1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 carrot, cut into short sticks
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TBSP hoisin sauce (an Asian barbecue-ish sauce)

To prepare the cabbage:

People have all sorts of tricks for getting the leaves off the cabbage (freezing the cabbage, sticking the whole this in a pot of water, etc.), but we were lazy and wanted to find a way around it all. So with some determination, we ran a knife across the bottom of each leaf we intended to pull off, right near the core, and used a sort of "popping" method to get it off by pushing from the bottom up.

Heat up a large pot with a few cups of water and bring to a roaring boil. For each leaf, stick it in the boiling water for about 2 minutes; remove it with a slotted spoon and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside so that the leaves dry off, or wipe with towel.

To prepare the carrot sticks:

Place the sticks in about a TBSP or two of canola oil in a frying pan. Stir, coating each piece with oil and cover for about 5-6 minutes until the carrots get softer, but are still crunchy.

To prepare the filling:

Sautee the tofu/fake meat/whatever with the onion and garlic for about 2-3 minutes. Add in the rice, and occasionally stir for another minutes. Pour in the soy sauce and hoisin sauce, and taste to make sure you don't need any additional seasoning. Stir in chopped cilantro.

To assemble the rolls:

Place 1-2 large scoops of the filling in the center and top with 2 or 3 carrot sticks. Fold in the top and bottom (it's a little tricky with the vein toward the bottom, so cut some of it off if necessary) and roll the leaf, making sure to tuck in the edges as you go. Very burrito like, only smaller.

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