Pork Cabbage Rolls in Broth

Cabbage rolls are popular all over the world, although the fillings vary, and might be made with meat, mushrooms, rice, vegetables, chicken, or a combination. Cabbage rolls can be simmered, steamed or baked, served in a sauce made with sour cream, yogurt, jam or tomatoes, or cooked in broth.

The meat-filled cabbage leaves are usually simmered in water until the rich tastes of the meat and cabbage are coaxed out into the cooking liquid. Although some people use water, homemade broth tends to yield a better result. For the following recipe, you should use minced pork with at least 20% fat, because then the cabbage rolls will be tastier.

How to Make Cabbage Rolls Soup

To make this dish, you will be cooking the cabbage whole, and then you can peel off some of the larger leaves. Keep the smaller ones for making soup or for another future recipe. The filling is made with shallots, although you can use red onion if you prefer, carrot, garlic, pork and coriander.

A little fish sauce and black pepper to taste finishes off the flavour perfectly. Some people like to swap the carrot for minced peeled prawns and you can do that if you wish. Pork and prawns are often paired in wonton recipes and the like.

How to Serve It

This makes a warming supper, or you can enjoy it for lunch. The recipe serves 4 to 6 people. This is a low-fat recipe because the only fat in the recipe is what is in the minced pork. You can use any kind of broth for making this, but chicken broth is always a good choice. You might prefer to use beef broth or another variety though.

To serve, divide the cabbage rolls between serving bowls, then pour the broth over the top. The onion leaves are nice for holding the cabbage rolls closed, but you can use chives or similar if you can’t get onion leaves.



  1. Discard the hard core from the cabbage, then drop the whole thing into a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Put a heavy heatproof plate on top to keep the cabbage submerged.
  3. Now boil it for 10 minutes or until softened.
  4. Drain the cabbage, then separate the leaves without tearing them.
  5. You will need 12 or 16 large whole leaves (keep the smaller leaves for another use, because you won’t be using them).
  6. Cut off the thick white part in the middle of each leaf.
  7. Blanch the onion leaves in water for 15 seconds, then rinse.
  8. Peel and finely chop the carrot and shallots or red onions.
  9. Combine the pork with the onions or shallots, carrot, garlic and coriander.
  10. Add some black pepper and fish sauce to season.
  11. Now lay a cabbage leaf flat and add a tablespoon or 2 of the filling in the middle.
  12. Fold the leaf over the filling, then fold the sides in too.
  13. Roll the leaf outward to close, then use an onion leaf to tie the roll.
  14. Repeat until you have made all the cabbage rolls.
  15. Now bring your broth to a boil, then drop in the cabbage rolls one by one.
  16. When the broth reaches a boil, turn down the heat.
  17. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then serve immediately.