Red Chinese cabbage rolls with pearl barley, mushrooms and smoked plums served with gingerbread sauce


Red Chinese cabbage rolls with pearl barley, mushrooms and smoked plums served with gingerbread sauce

When I saw this red beauty I already knew that it will be perferct for rolls. Traditional meaty version seemed to be a little bit boring (although I like it a lot)- I just wanted to prepare something more fancy.

As the Christmas is comming I choose traditional Christmas flavours: pearl barley, mushrooms and plums. And they worked together very well. To highlight this very special occasion I added one more Christmas ingredient- gingerbread. Here you will find it as a sauce and it doesn't taste sweet at all.

Since the Chinese cabbage is quite delicate you can steamed your rolls (as I did with mine) or bake them in the oven.

Makes approximately 12 rolls

  • 2 cups pearl barley, cooked accordingly to the instructions
  • 12-14 leaves red Chinese cabbage, the biggest and the nicest
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 200 grams mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 20 grams dry porcini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp green parsley, chopped
  • 5-6 smoked plums, soft and without stones
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt, pepper to taste
  1. Soak the dry porcini mushrooms the day before in a small amount of water.

    The next day cook them on a low heat until tender. Drain but keep the cooking water, as it is full of flavour. Chop the porcini mushrooms quite finely.

    In a big pot boil water.

    Remove leaves from the cabbage and save the biggest and nices ones. Put them in a boiling water for 2-3 minutes until soften. Drain and pat dry. Set aside.

    Heat oil and butter on a pan. Add onion and fry until translucent. Add garlic, chopped mushrooms and mushrooms are dry.

    Add chopped porcini mushrooms, chopped smoked plums and stir.

    Remove the pan from a heat. Season the filling with salt and pepper, and let it cool down. Add parsley and stir everything.

    When the filling is cool add eggs and mix them in. If the filling is too dry you can add some porcini cooking water.

    Place approximately 2 tbsp of filling on each cabbage leaf. Roll it tightly starting from the top.

    Place all rolls quite tightly in a steem cooking dish (I used Chinese bamboo steamer)

    Steam for about 15 minutes.*

    Serve hot with gingerbread sauce.


    * Instead of steaming you can bake these rolls in an oven. To do this put a leaves layer on a bottom of a baking dish. Place rolls on the leaves. Pour some veggie stock around and bake the rolls for about 20-15 minutes in 180 degrees.

Recipe Notes

You can serve these rolls with traditional tomato sauce but I highly recommend to go more fancy with this easy gingerbread sauce:


1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 and 1/2 cup veggie stock

1 tsp regular flour

30 grams gingerbread cake, crumbled

1/2 tsp gingerbread spice mix

1/2 tsp dry ginger

1/2 tbsp butter

salt to taste


Melt butter on a pan.

Add onion and fry until translucent.

Add flour and fry it for a while.

Pour the stock and cook for a while until it starts to thicken.

Add gingerbread crumbs, spice mix and dry ginger.

Cook a few minutes until the gingerbrad dissolves completely and sauce is nice and velvety.

Check the flavour and season with salt if neccessary.

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