Cabbage rolls are something that you would find in Germany as a typical dish, though usually filled with ground meat. I revisited this dish by filling the rolls with tempeh and portobellos instead.
I accompany the rolls with a creamy and rich saffron and onion sauce. As you may have noticed, I like using coconut milk. I like to use it especially when preparing sauces, because it naturally comes with a nice creamy and thick texture wanted in a sauce. That allows me to forego adding flour to sauces to make them thicker.
This dish might be meatless but is still hearty and satisfying, perfect for a nice winter meal. You can serve the cabbage rolls topped with sauce and with a side of long grain brown rice, for example. Alternatively, you could balance the richness of this dish with a generous side of cooked greens or a salad.
Cabbage Rolls with Tempeh Portobello filling, saffron and onion sauce
makes 9 Rolls
- 1 white cabbage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, medium dice
- 1 package or 8 oz tempeh, steamed and crumbled
- 3 medium portobello caps, medium dice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- pinch pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 can (14 fl oz or 410 ml) coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- generous pinch saffron
- Separate 9 leaves from the cabbage and wash them. Blanch and shock them in salted water for 1-2 minutes. On a cutting board, lay them flat and – with the knife’s blade turned and parallel to the board – gently trim the thickness of the stem; this will help with rolling later on.
- For the filling, heat up the olive oil, and sauté two thirds of the diced onions with a pinch of salt on medium heat until they start caramelizing. Set aside the rest of the onions for the sauce.
- Add the crumbled tempeh, the portobellos, salt, pepper and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the white wine vinegar and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, mix and turn off the fire. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
- Filling the rolls: Take one cabbage leaf and put approximately 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center (you might need to put a little less or a little more depending on the size of your leaf). Fold up the side the closest to you, then fold in the sides and finally roll it up tight while keeping a good grip on the sides. Fix it with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
- Making the sauce: In a small blender or spice grinder, purée the reserved onions from before. In a pan slowly heat up the rest of the coconut milk with half a teaspoon of salt, the saffron and the pureed onions. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Place the cabbage rolls into the pan with the sauce and allow them to heat up before serving.