Thursday, July 7, 2016

Asian Stuffed Cabbage

"These aren't too labor intensive for a birthday meal, are they?"

When my husband asked me that question when I served these for dinner the first time, I knew I had hit the jackpot. I was already fairly certain. After all, the recipe has some of my favorite ingredients in the Asian-inspired sauce - sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce - and I have always loved stuffed cabbage. The thing is that prior to this recipe, I had never actually made stuffed cabbage. In my head, it was way too labor intensive. In reality, for me, the most labor intensive part was cleaning the cabbage leaves. And really, that wasn't a big deal. I did have to watch a video to make sure I was rolling them right (I found this quick one to be helpful: but beyond that, this recipe is surprisingly easy. And offer the sauce as a dipping option. It was a huge hit.

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa (I used quinoa)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili or chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • leaves from 1 large head of Napa cabbage

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare your filling by gently combining uncooked beef (or turkey), shredded carrots, cooked rice (or quinoa), garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili sauce and a pinch of salt and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. To make your leaves easy to roll, use a rolling pin to flatten to make leaves more pliable. If you find that your leaves are on the smaller side, use two to roll, overlapping both ends to make one big leaf.
  4. Spoon your filling to each leaf. Carefully roll each leaf tightly and place side by side in a large baking dish. Pour 1 cup of water over stuffed cabbage rolls and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until completely cooked through.
  5. Serve with juices from baking dish and additional chili sauce.

Difficulty: easy-medium
Time: about 50 minutes total

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Asian Pork and Veggies (Slow Cooker)

I have sort of been on an Asian food kick these days, and when I was looking for something new to make for my Sunday Slow Cooker meal a while back, this recipe caught my attention.  I did modify the original recipe a bit - not all intentionally, but we loved the results.  In fact, my husband said "This is the best slow cooker meal you have made in a long time!  It is really, really good."  Not one to hold back what he thinks, I will take that as a true compliment. It has made its way into the permanent rotation.


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 11-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces soba noodles (alternatives: somen noodles, rice)
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2/3 of a bag of frozen sugar snap peas (or use fresh, or use snow peas)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch


  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Add the pork and toss to combine. Cover and cook until the pork is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).  (If using frozen sugar snap peas, put in fridge to thaw at this time.)
  2. With 15 minutes to 1 hour left in the cooking, add red peppers and peas to the slow cooker.  (My family likes our veggies soft, so I added them 1 hour prior to the meal being done when cooking on low.  If you like your veggies more crisp, see the alternative in step 3.)
  3. Fifteen minutes before serving, cook the soba noodles (or alternative) according to the package directions.  (If you prefer crisp veggies and haven't added them to the slow cooker, add the bell peppers and snow peas to the water during the last minute of cooking the noodles.)
  4. Mix together 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tsp water in a small bowl.  Stir mixture into slow cooker and cook on high for 5 minutes to thicken sauce slightly.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 10 minutes prep, 4-8 hours cooking (slow cooker)
Source:  Based on a recipe found at