■ 1 head of cabbage, medium size

■ ice cubes and water

■ 300-350g|10-12oz minced pork

■ 30g|1oz chouriço sausage, minced

■ 1/2 small onion, finely chopped

■ 1/3 cup|15g of panko breadcrumbs

■ 2/3 cup|160ml of hot water

■ salt and black pepper

■ 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

■ 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

For the sauce:

■ 1 red onion, finely chopped or minced

■ 3 tablespoons of butter

■ 3 tablespoons of flour

■ 4 cups|960ml of reserved cabbage blanching liquid, or water

■ 1 large bay leaf

■ 1 clove

■ salt and white pepper

■ coriander, finely chopped for garnish


1. Cut around the stem of the cabbage with a sharp knife. Gently separate 15-16 leaves, gently prying away the leaves from the top and bottom. If the leaves tear they can still be used by overlapping the edges, or covering with another piece of cabbage leaf.

2. Soak 1/3 cup of panko breadcrumbs in 2/3 cup|160ml of water. Dice or mince the onion, and red onion for the sauce separately.

3. Remove the skin from the chouriço sausage and finely dice or mince. Put the chouriço in bowl with the minced pork and onion. Squeeze any excess water out of the soaked breadcrumbs and add to the bowl. Gently mix to distribute the ingredients evenly and then season with the light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper and mix. Cover and refrigerate.

4. Prepare a bowl of cold water with ice to cool the cabbage after blanching. Fill a large skillet with water, 4-5cm|2" deep and bring to a boil, add salt and then a few cabbage leaves stem side down, cook for 2-3 minutes or until the leaves easily flatten. Remove cabbage with tongs to the iced water, and then to a rack to drain. Continue cooking till all the leaves are blanched. Reserve the cabbage blanching liquid to make the sauce.

5. To stuff the cabbage leaves – pat the leaves dry with kitchen paper and lay a leaf flat on a work surface, place a 1/4 cup|4 tablespoons of the meat filling in a sausage shape at the stem end, fold the end up over the meat, the sides in and then roll to close. (Cover or close any tears in the leaves by lapping over gaps, or with another piece of cabbage). Place the roll seam side down on a plate and continue wrapping the remaining mixture. Refrigerate the rolls whilst the sauce is prepared.

6. Melt the butter over low heat in a large frying pan (large enough to accommodate all the cabbage rolls), add the red onions and cook until softened but not brown, sprinkle over the 3 tablespoons of flour and cook mixing with the onions for 3-4 minutes. Stirring, add the four cups of reserved cabbage cooking liquid, then add the bay leaf, clove, salt and white pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer. Gently lay the cabbage rolls in the sauce seam side down, when the sauce begins to simmer again cover and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. If the sauce thickens too quickly add a little more cooking liquid or water.

To serve: transfer the cabbage rolls with tongs to a serving plate and drizzle the sauce around or over the rolls - garnish with chopped coriander.

Macau Cabbage Rolls with Onion Sauce Recipe | Couve Recheada com Molho de Cebola

Couve Recheada com Molho de Cebola

Macau Cabbage Rolls with Onion Sauce Recipe

Prep: 30m | Cook: 1hr | Yield 12-15 pieces

Cabbage wrapped minced pork and chouriço rolls with onion sauce.  

Email Print

Translated and adapted from the recipe by Maria Celestina de Mello e Senna, Gastronomia Macaense - Receitas da Celestina 3, Projecto Memória Macaense