Makes 12 to 15 cabbage rolls
3 1/2 cups rich home-made chicken stock, strained, cooled, and fat removed
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced, cut into very thin strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 bone-in chicken thighs
2 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 stalk celery, trimmed, minced finely
1 cup jasmine rice (brown or white)
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced very thin
4 to 6 shiitake mushroom caps, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 napa, green or savoy cabbage
1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a skillet with straight sides. Add ½ of the ginger, ½ of the minced garlic. Add the chicken thighs, carrots, and celery, and simmer gently for 35 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through.
2. Remove the chicken from the broth to a bowl. Use tongs or two forks to remove the bones and add them back to the broth. Continue to simmer the broth with the bones while you complete the next several steps.
3. When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the skin and any cartilage and discard.
Shred or mince the remaining chicken and reserve in the refrigerator while the rice is cooking.
4. Add the rice to a small saucepan and cover with 11/2 cups of the chicken stock, if using white rice, and 2 cups if using brown. The remaining stock can continue to simmer gently. Cover the rice, bring the rice to a boil, turn the heat to low, and cook until the stock is just absorbed and the rice is still al dente, 10 to 15 minutes for white rice and 25 to 30 minutes for brown. Turn off the burner and let sit in the pan with the lid until needed.
5. In a small saute pan heat the sesame oil, add the scallions and shiitake mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes, until both the shiitakes and scallions are softened and just cooked.
6. Combine the shredded chicken with the cooked rice and shiitake-scallion mixture along with the chopped cilantro. Season well with salt and pepper.
7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If using napa cabbage, trim off the stem end to release the leaves until you have 12 to 15 nice leaves. With savoy or green cabbage peel any cabbage leaves off of the head that will come off easily without tearing. Blanch the remaining head for 3 to 4 minutes and remove to a colander. Blanch the individual napa or green leaves for 1 to 2 minutes, until just pliable, and remove from the water to a colander. You need a total of about 12 to 15 leaves. Place one cabbage leaf on the counter, stem end toward you. Trim the tough center rib at the stem end as far up as it seems tough.
8. Put about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling in the bottom of each leaf, fold ½ inch from each side over the center, and roll up (like a burrito), and place the packet seam side down in a baking dish. Continue until all of the filling is used up. Add the remaining ginger and garlic to the stock along with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bones, and carefully place the cabbage rolls into the stock pan in one layer, snug. The broth should come at least halfway up the cabbage rolls, so add a bit of stock or water as needed.
9. Cover with a lid or foil and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve in a bowl with a bit of broth and a few of the carrots.
Note: Substitute raw ground pork, chicken, or turkey for the shredded chicken and cook for 35 to 40 minutes until pork is cooked through.
Per cabbage roll (based on 15): 191 calories, 19 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar, 6 grams fat, 54 milligrams cholesterol, 297 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.
| Appetizer; Hors d'oeuvre; Main dish; Side dish