Cabbage Rolls with Spiced Minced Lamb


Savoy cabbage


This is a traditional stuffed cabbage recipe adapted for an Asian palate.

You can use any kind of cabbage as long as the leaves are not too stiff! I used Savoy cabbages for this recipe – they are tender and sweet during this time of the year. 

It is vital to blanch the leaves in plenty of salted boiling water before rolling the spiced meat filling inside. This process makes the cabbage leaves easy to handle whilst rolling. Remove the hard stalk from the centre of leaf if it is tough to roll.

It takes a little while to get the dish assembled but the cooking part is simple and straightforward. Simply simmer the stuffed cabbage rolls in a tomato-based stock until the cabbage leaves are tender and cooked through.

What I like about this recipe is that it cleverly incorporates vegetables with meat in a single serving and pairs beautifully with rice or bread.


Stuffed cabbage with spiced lamb


  • Cabbage leaves – 8-10
  • Minced lamb or beef – 250 g
  • Onion (chopped and sautéed in oil) – ½ cup
  • Mixed spice powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Egg – 1
  • Breadcrumbs – ¼ cup
  • Vegetable or chicken stock – 1 cup
  • Tomato ketchup – 2 tablespoons
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Blanch the cabbage leaves in salted water for a minute or two until they just soften, refresh the leaves in cold water, keep them on a colander and pat dry with kitchen paper before rolling the meat filling in.
  • Mix the stock with ketchup and keep aside until needed.
  • Mix the minced meat in a separate bowl with the spice powder, egg, breadcrumbs and salt.
  • Divide the meat mixture into 8-10 portions and roll inside the cabbage leaves.
  • Arrange the rolled leaves on a shallow pan keeping the open end on the bottom. Pour the stock mixture in between the rolls, add salt, pepper and the bay leaf.
  • Cover and simmer gently for 20–30 minutes until the cabbage leaves are cooked through.
  • Serve warm or cold with rice or bread.