I’ve now successfully made stuffed cabbage a couple times this summer. So successful that when my husband found out that there was cabbage in the Fresh Box this week, he asked for stuffed cabbage again. I thought about it and after a couple of discussions we decided to create a deconstructed stuffed cabbage. So — I ended up making an open-faced stuffed cabbage dish. Usually, I would make a stout gravy or cream-based sauce to go with the cabbage. Instead, at another suggestion of my husband, I made my favorite dim-sum dipping sauce. That sauce ended up being an awesome idea and added the right amount of acidity to this very savory dish. The dish is hearty and makes a great meal to celebrate the transition of the summer season into autumn. 

Open-Faced Stuffed Cabbage

Prep Time:  30 Minutes

Cook Time:  45-60 Minutes (All Components)

Yields: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients & Prep Instructions: (bold ingredients found in your Fresh Box or at Jacksonville Fresh Market/Shop this week): 

  • 1 Medium-Large Cabbage (remove outer leaves, cut off the bottom stem)
  • 2 Medium-Large Yellow Onion (medium dice)
  • ½ Small Purple Cabbage (medium dice)
  • 4-5 Medium-Large Red Potatoes (peel on – medium dice)
  • 1 LB Smoked Bacon (optional) – featuring bacon from Hodges Home Grown)
  • 10 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 3 stalks of Scallions (garnish – chopped small-medium circles)
  • 6 oz of Oyster Mushrooms (this is an estimated weight) (rough chop) (featuring mushrooms from Son & Skye Mushrooms)
  • ⅓ CUP of Red Wine Vinegar
  • ⅓ CUP and 1 TBSP Tamari / Soy Sauce
  • ½ TBSP Red Pepper Flakes (you may use more or less based on your personal spice tolerance – mine is medium-high)
  • 2-4 TBSP Salt
  • 3 TBSP Black Pepper
  • 6 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 8 Sprigs of Thyme (pulled and chopped)

The order of things: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Prep all veggies – wash/rinse, dry, cut
  • Put potatoes and cabbage in the oven first
  • Saute all other veggies
  • Incorporate all ingredients (sans cabbage)
  • Prep cabbage leaves to fill
  • Plate and Enjoy!

What you’ll need: 

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • 1 Large Saute Pan 
  • 2 Baking Sheet Pans
  • Small Mixing Bowl (for sauce)

Instructions for Roasted Potatoes:  

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Spread diced potato pieces in a single layer. 
  3. Drizzle 2 TBSP of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the potatoes and seasoning a bit, relayer into one single layer.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Check your potatoes, stir them around a bit, reassemble into a single layer and return to the oven. 
  7. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Check your potatoes, remove them from the oven. The potatoes should be browned with crispies. 
  8. Set aside until ready to combine. 

Instructions for Roasting Cabbage:                                                                                                                        

  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  2. Place cabbage cut stem side down. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in the oven, set a timer for 30-40 minutes. 
  4. Remove cabbage head from oven and set to the side to cool. 
  5. Once it’s cool enough (15 minutes), gently peel off one leaf at a time, trying to keep it intact.
  6. Place your cabbage leaves on your same aluminum foil lined baking sheet. They should be upright like a bowl (see pic).
  7. Return to the oven on a High Broil for 3-5 minutes until the top edges start to brown. 
  8. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to combine.

Instructions for (OPTIONAL) Bacon: 

  1. Cut bacon strips into small strips to make lardons (fancy word for slab bacon cut into small strips).
  2. Put into a saute pan on medium-high heat.
  3. Cook until the lardons are crispy (almost burnt). 
  4. Scoop lardon pieces from the pan with a spoon and place on a few paper towels to drain the grease. 
  5. Set to the side until ready to combine. 

Instructions for Filling (Onions):                                                                                                                        

  1. Heat saute pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 TBSP of olive oil. 
  2. Add onions and garlic, with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  3. Cook until onions are translucent and both the onions and garlic are browned.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to assemble.

Instructions for Filling (Mushrooms):                                                                                                               

  1. Heat saute pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 TBSP of olive oil or butter. 
  2. Add chopped mushrooms.
  3. Cook until the mushrooms are browned. (You should always try to use a pan big enough to allow the mushrooms space to cook – Julia Child was a big proponent of this…according to her, mushrooms require heat, fat and space)
  4. Add thyme and 1 TBSP of tamari / soy sauce. 
  5. Remove from the pan with a spoon and place on a few paper towels to drain excess grease.
  6. Set aside until ready to assemble.

Instructions for Filling (Purple Cabbage): 

  1. Heat saute pan you just removed the mushrooms from to medium-high heat. (there should be enough fat still left in the pan without having to add more)
  2. Saute the purple cabbage pieces with salt and pepper until tender. 

Time to COMBINE the FILLING: 

  1. In the pan you just finished the purple cabbage in, stir in the bacon, onions and garlic mix and mushrooms. 
  2. Let those ingredients cook together in the pan for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Turn the burner to low or warm and prepare the green cabbage to fill/stuff.

Instructions for the BEST Dim-Sum Sauce: 

  1. Combine the ⅓ cup of tamari / soy sauce, the ⅓ cup of red wine vinegar and the ½ TBSP of red pepper flakes (you can also use chili oil here). 

Finishing the Dish: 

  1. Fill the broiled cabbage leaves (see pic) with the filling mixture. 
  2. Top with scallions.
  3. Drizzle with sauce.
  4. Plate and enjoy! 

Notes: 

Your cabbage bowls should still be kinda crunchy and it’s okay if there’s what appears to be char – it’s delicious! If you like a softer cabbage leaf, I recommend boiling the head of cabbage instead of baking/roasting it. You can boil it until your preferred tenderness and then still broil it off to get the char on the edges of the leaves. 

The bacon is totally optional. In fact, I would probably choose to leave it out next time I make this filling. It ended up being a bit chewy and lost its crunch. You won’t need to alter any other steps in the recipe if you choose not to use the bacon. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. While it’s awesome some of us get a day off of work or now have a reason to buy that new grill or set up those fun yard games, it’s also so important to remember the roots of our holidays. Labor Day is rooted in the celebration of the contributions of workers/laborers to progress our society, our country, our world. They help provide the strength and advancements in our American society and economy.

“Without labor nothing prospers” – Sophocles

“Nothing will work unless you do” – Maya Angelou

Enjoy the day, eat all the food, soak up some sunshine, splash in the water, laugh with your families and friends…and rest well for a wonderful 4-day work week ahead!