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5 from 3 votes

Napa Cabbage Sticky Rice Rolls

These Napa Cabbage Sticky Rice Rolls were seared and then served with a sweet and spicy sauce for a delicious and quick meal. The recipe is easy to follow and can be prepped ahead of time for a quick meal the next day.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rice soaking time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 55 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: cabbage, dumplings, Easyrecipes, Stickyrice
Servings: 3 people
Author: woonheng


  • 10 - 12 large Napa Cabbage leaves or other veggie of choice
  • oil for cooking

Cabbage Roll Sauce

  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 3-4 medium-sized mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • tablespoons soy sauce/tamari
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup optional
  • 1 chopped Thai chilis optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup water
  • cornstarch slurry mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water


  • 1 ½ cups sticky or glutinous rice or other sticky grain such as sushi rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup of chopped veggies used a mixture of long beans, kale stems
  • 1 small carrot chopped
  • ½ tablespoon minced ginger
  • ½ cup mushrooms, sliced used Bella
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the rice (Sticky, Glutinous or sweet rice)

  • Clean and rinse sticky rice with water until water turns clear. Soak for 4 hours or overnight. Some brands may not need long soak time, please check package's directions.
  • Drain and place rice it in a glass bowl or bowl that can withstand heat.
  • Prepare a steamer with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Place the rice bowl in inner steamer rack, add a cup of water, then stir to combine.
  • Steam rice over high heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Once the grain turns translucent, then it's ready. If not, add splashes of water and steam again. Remove and let it cool.


  • To make the filling, heat a non-stick pan with 1 teaspoon oil, sauté minced ginger until fragrant, then continue to sauté the rest of the filling ingredients. Season with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer mixture to the cooled rice's bowl and mix to combine. Taste test and season if needed.

How to assemble the Cabbage Roll

  • Bring a pot of water to boil, blanch Napa cabbage leaves for about 1 to 2 minutes . Remove and quickly plunge them in icy water to stop the cooking (optional step).
  • Place one cabbage leaf on a cleaned surface. Add a heaping spoon of filling in the middle, fold in and wrap to seal. (Note: more filling for a larger leaf). Repeat with the remaining ingredients.⁣

Put all ingredients together

  • In a heated non-stick pan with 2 teaspoons oil, place as many cabbage wraps as it will fit on one layer of the pan. Cook until both sides are nicely brown, flipping halfway. Remove and set aside.
  • Using the same pan, add a little more oil and sauté ginger until golden brown.
  • Then add the mushrooms, green onions, and chopped Thai chilies and give it a quick stir.
  • Add the water and bring the heat up then lower to a simmer and stir in the cornstarch slurry.
  • Place cabbage rolls in the sauce and cook for 30 seconds on each side to allow the cabbage to absorb the sauce.
  • Transfer cabbage rolls to a serving dish and serve warm with more sauce.



  • What if I don't have Napa Cabbage? - Other cabbage leaves such as Savoy, purple cabbage, and cabbage go really well with sticky rice. Large leafy green like collard and lettuce is another option.
  • Gluten-free option - Sub sauces with gluten-free sauces to make this dish completely no gluten.