How To Make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Japanese Style!-Japanese Taste

How To Make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Japanese Style!

by Megumi Moriya

Beef Cabbage Fall Freezer-friendly Kid-friendly Main Make Ahead Meal Prep Pork Party Food Winter Yoshoku

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls,” known as “Roll Cabbage” in Japanese, is a Yoshoku (Western-style) dish widely popular among Japanese people. The highlight is the combination of tender cabbage on the outside and flavorful meat filling on the inside. Typically, the filling resembles Hambagu, appealing to all ages and a household favorite. While different variations exist, we'll introduce the common recipe here.

Although many Japanese may not be aware of its roots, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls have traveled a long journey to become a staple dish. The origin is traced back to “Dolma,” a Turkish dish made with rice, vegetables, and meat wrapped in grape leaves, similar to Cabbage Rolls. Dating back to the 1st century in Anatolia, Dolma evolved across Europe, reaching Japan in 1895 through European influence.

In Japan, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are commonly simmered in tomato-based soup, but you can find variations like Dashi-based, cream-based, or even in Oden during the cold season. Japanese-made rolls often feature a tie in the middle called “Kanpyo,” acting as an edible string.

To make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, start with a whole cabbage. Cabbage texture varies by season; spring cabbage is softer and more suitable for salads, while other seasons' cabbage is better for simmering. Enjoy the variety and experiment with cabbage dishes, including Stuffed Cabbage Rolls!


Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 60 mins

Total servings: 3

Difficulty: Easy

  • 6 Cabbage Leaves
  • 250 g Ground Beef + Ground Pork
  • 100 g Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Consomme Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 10g Butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese (topping, optional)
  • Dried Parsley (topping, optional)

Expert's Tip

How To Make Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Japanese Style!

When serving stuffed cabbage rolls, you'll notice that simmered cabbage is delicate and challenging to handle without breaking the surface. These tongs will assist you in holding these delicate foods, such as eggs, pasta, and more. With these tongs, you can enjoy your dining experience with ease and without stress.


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together.

2) Preparing the Cabbage Leaves

Start by removing some of the tough outer leaves. Then place the whole cabbage bottom side up and make a cut at the bottom stem. Next, gently peel off the leaves one by one from the whole cabbage, being careful not to tear them. If a leaf tears or is too small to wrap the filling, you can patch it with another small cabbage leaf to create a complete leaf, as shown in the picture.

3) Cooking the Cabbage Leaves

Place the cabbage leaves in a large bowl and microwave them at 600W for 4-5 minutes until they are soft enough to wrap. Alternatively, you can also blanch them in a pot over the stove. Then shave the stems as shown in the picture below. Cut the removed stems into small pieces and set them aside to use as filling.

4) Preparing the Onion

Finely chop the onion and stir-fry in cooking oil with salt until the pieces turn translucent and are well cooked. Then set them aside.

5) Preparing the Filling for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prepare a bowl and place ground meat, egg, milk, bread crumbs, salt, and black pepper in it. Mix them well. Then add the stir-fried onion and chopped cabbage stem. Mix everything well again.

Divide the mixture into 6 portions.

6) Wrapping Up the Cabbage Rolls

Place a cabbage leaf and place one portion of the filling on it. Wrap it as shown in the pictures. Tuck the edge of the leaf into the folded pocket. Repeat the process to make 6 rolls in the same way.

7) Simmering the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prepare a pot or deep frying pan and place the cabbage rolls inside being careful not to overlap them. Then pour water, add consomme powder, ketchup, sugar, salt (to taste), and add in a bay leaf. Once boiling, simmer the stuffed cabbage rolls for about 30 minutes until fully cooked over low heat.

8) Serving the Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Dish out the stuffed cabbage rolls onto plates. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and dried parsley if you'd like. Enjoy!

Recommended products for this recipe


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published