Cabbage Rolls with Tomato Coconut Sauce

Excerpted from The China Study Cookbook: Revised and Expanded Edition by LeAnne Campbell, PhD

From LeAnne: This is my friend Rosa’s favorite recipe. She makes cabbage rolls in the oven and on the stovetop. When preparing them on the stovetop, she pours ½ cup of water into a large pot, layers the bottom with cooked cabbage, then places the stuffed cabbage on top of the cooked cabbage. She covers the pot and cooks over medium heat for 30–35 minutes.

Makes 6 Cabbage Rolls

For the Cabbage Rolls:
1 head cabbage, cored
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup diced onions
½ cup chopped red bell peppers
2 tablespoons diced celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup soy curls, soaked in hot water for 15–20 minutes
Salt and black pepper, to taste
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the Tomato Coconut Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup diced onions
½ cup chopped red bell peppers
3 cups chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cups canned lite coconut milk
½ teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place cabbage in a large pot. Add 1–2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5–8 minutes, until the leaves begin to pull away from the head. Remove the cabbage from the pot and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine vegetable broth, garlic, onions, bell peppers, celery, carrots, and curry powder in a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat until vegetables begin to brown. Remove from heat.
  4. Combine vegetables, rice, and soy curls in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Place 2–3 heaping tablespoons of rice mixture inside each cabbage leaf, perpendicular to the stem. Fold in the ends, then roll up the cabbage roll. Place the cabbage roll, seam-side down, in a large casserole dish. Repeat until all the filling is used.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together water, tomato paste, lemon juice, and sea salt. Pour on top of cabbage rolls. Cover and bake for 20–25 minutes.
  7. Serve cabbage rolls topped with tomato coconut sauce.

Tomato Coconut Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine vegetable broth, garlic, onions, and bell peppers. Cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft.
  2. Add tomatoes and ginger. Cover and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 8 minutes
  3. Add coconut milk, lemon juice, cilantro, basil, and salt. Simmer for 2–3 minutes.

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