Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
A Japanese version of stuffed cabbage rolls. Just simply elegant and poetic, as are the Japanese. Based on a recipe from Sonoko Kondo's cookbook, The Poetical Pursuit of Food, sub-titled, Japanese Recipes for American Cooks. Sonoko says in the recipe's intro: "The hand-shaped Chinese cabbage leaves, when stuffed with ground pork, are traditionally said to resemble the graceful hands of Buddha. This dish is steamed, light and healthful."
- 8 large napa cabbage leaves
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons gingerroot, peeled and grated
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
- 1⁄4 cup fresh peas
- Separate the cabbage leaves removing the soft, leafy portion; only the firm, white part is used.
- Slit each leaf lengthwise at 1/4-ince intervals to within 3/4-inch of the top and bottom.
- In a large pot of boiling water, add the leave and boil for 1 minute. Drain.
- In a bowl combine ground pork with ginger, salt, sake, and egg.
- Sprinkle cornstarch on cooked cabbage leaves. Spread pork mixture across each leaf and fold the leaf over to enclose the filling. The folded stuffed cabbage should remind you of hands.
- In a steamer, heat water. Arrange stuffed cabbage leaves on a plate, seam side down, and place them in the hot steamer for 15 minutes. Reserve the broth in the steamer for the sauce.
- Combine reserved broth with water to measure 1 cup and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Add soy sauce and cornstarch paste and return to a boil; remove from heat.
- Cook the peas briefly in boiling water, just until tender.
- Arrange steamed Buddha's hands on individual plates. Sprinkle with cooked peas and pour the hot sauce over the cabbage.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.