Steamed Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I don't own an oven, and I very much envy those who do. When I watch cooking shows, I'll fantasize and dream about owning one, for it makes cooking seems so much simpler. Just marinate a bird, pop it into the big space, turn on the timer and viola, you get the perfect roast chicken. Or roast duck with that legendary crackling skin. It is MAGIC.

But when one is living in a tropical country and has to battle with sweltering heat on a daily basis, sometimes, I bet even the most oven-reliant homecook will dread the thought of warming up their kitchen any further. That's when such recipes like the one I'm sharing today comes into play.

Recipe adapted from (Original recipe in black. Adaptations in red.)
Makes 12

8 whole napa cabbage leaves 1/2 head of napa cabbage, about 12 whole leaves
100g chopped prawns
150g minced pork
5 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
I cleverly forgotten all about this
4 5 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ carrot, thinly shredded Didn't have carrots
1 teaspoon grated ginger
No ginger at home

Marinade A:
½ tablespoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon Chinese cooking wine

¼ teaspoon white pepper
                                                     1  ½ tablespoon light soy sauce
                                                     ½ tablespoon corn flour
                                                     1 teaspoon fish sauce
                                                     ½ teaspoon sugar
                                                     a pinch of sea salt

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients (except cabbage) + marinade A. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least half hour.
2. Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 30 seconds to soften them for rolling. Be careful not to break or make holes in the cabbage leaves.
3. Lay one softened cabbage on a flat surface and roll the cabbage starting from the bottom.    4. Steam cabbage rolls at high heat for about 10 minutes. Serve.
Verdict: 3/5.

Will I make this again? Yes. Tastes ok, it's healthy, and elegant-looking to boot. Perfect dish to impress someone. Water chestnut added a nice crunch :)

Note to self: 
1) The pork tasted a bit flat. Me thinks it has got to do with the Chinese cooking wine that was left out.
2) Mushroom flavour came out too strong for me. To reduce to 3 mushrooms the next time.
3) Texture of the pork tasted somewhat "sausage-like". To salt the meat just before steaming them. ◦


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