Cabbage and Pork With Oriental Borscht

Total Time
3hrs 35mins
Prep 35 mins
Cook 3 hrs

This takes a lot of time, and a fair amount of effort, but the result is one of the best cooked cabbage dishes imaginable: tender, pleasantly salty, and quite filling. It's based on a recipe from a 1914 Asian-American cookbook. The borscht is our own twist; it uses up the excess stuffing that won't fit in the cabbage.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Boil the pork 1 hour, then cut off the rind and chop the edible meat into small pieces.
  2. Thoroughly wash the cabbage. (The original recipe suggests soaking it in brine, but it's probably safe to skip that step.).
  3. Use a knife to hollow out the cabbage. Make the cavity as large as possible, without piercing the outer leaves. Save what you cut out.
  4. Set a large pot of water to boil. While it is heating up, mix the chopped pork with the onion and sesame seeds.
  5. Stuff the cabbage with as much of the pork mixture as will fit, and cover the hole with one or two cabbage leaves.
  6. Tie the cabbage tightly in cheesecloth and lower into the boiling water. Set a timer for two hours; keep the cabbage at a low boil the entire time, turning it occasionally.
  7. Combine the remaining stuffing and excess cabbage in another pot, and add enough water to cover twice over. Add one extra-large bouillon cube (or two regular ones), two tablespoons soy sauce, and one tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet (browning sauce), bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Continue to simmer.
  8. When about half an hour is left on the timer, add the canned beets (including their liquid) to the soup.
  9. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of soy sauce. Just before the timer goes off, increase heat to bring the soy sauce to a boil.
  10. To serve the cabbage, remove it from its pot and drain it a bit in a colander, then put it in a large bowl and cut away the cheesecloth. Pour the boiled soy sauce over it.
  11. Top the borscht with sour cream just before serving, or have some on the table so each person can add his own.