Asian cabbage dumplings with sesame dipping sauce

Whenever I see a new food magazine in the supermarket I pick it up. They tend to be free… Let’s face it they should be free with the amount of money they get from us! I use them for inspiration for new recipes, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint.

I’ve been trying to get a wider variety of veg in to our diet, cabbage being one of them. Memories of boiled white rubbery cabbage from childhood had scarred me a little, but I knew there must be tasty and different ways to bring it back in. My coleslaw is one way, and it’s raw, bonus! I’ve also made a couple of red cabbage sides, which I’ll share soon. But I was so excited about this one that I had to share, with my own paleo-fying modifications and some additions.  You don’t have to add the extra vegetables. I just like to find ways to get more in to my meals. You do need a steamer for this dish. Either a bamboo one or an electric one.  I have an electric one and it’s the least used gadget in my kitchen so double bonus that I’ve found a use for it again!

Ingredients for dumplings (serves 2):

1/2 lb of pork or beef mince

1/2 large white onion

2 cloves garlic crushed

Inch sized piece of ginger crushed or very finely chopped

4 sliced mushrooms

About 8 green beans chopped

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you’re not paleo)

1 egg yolk

8 savoy cabbage leaves (mine were fairly small) and up to 16 cocktail sticks

Ingredients for dipping sauce (generously serves 2):

2 tbsp coconut aminos

1 tspn cider vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tspn fish sauce

Large pinch (or to your heat taste) dried chilli flakes

1 clove garlic crushed

1/2 inch piece of ginger crushed

How to:

Put a pan on at a medium heat, as well as a large pot on with water to boil. I dropped a dab of good quality lard/dripping in to the pan but you don’t have to. Add the mince and chopped onion and cook until the mince is brown. Alternatively you can use browned meat from the freezer like I did! Saves time of an evening 🙂


Add the garlic, ginger, sliced mushrooms and chopped green beans, along with the coconut aminos. Stir through and cook for a few minutes then take it off the heat.


Your other pot of water should be boiling. Add your cabbage leaves and blanch them for about a minute.


Have another bowl with cold water ready on the side, and when they’re done scoop them out and drop them in to the cold water. When they’re cooled take them out and pat the leaves dry.

Now the slightly fiddly but fun bit… Scoop a small amount in to each cabbage leave then wrap it up and keep it together using cocktail sticks. Mine looked like this when they went in to the steamer…


Pop them in the steamer for 5-10 minutes, depending on how soft you want the leaves. You don’t want them to fall apart so don’t leave them in too long.

While they’re cooking mix all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce together in a bowl. That’s it! Taste it and add a bit more of anything you think is missing.

Your dumplings should be about ready. Take them out of the steamer and hopefully they look a bit like this


It’s a sloppy, eat-with-your-hands-and-get-messy dish. Don’t be shy, get involved! Next time I’m going to separate the dipping sauce in to two, because we were fighting over it 🙂 Be warned, you may need more than one napkin. And you may want to take a pour-it-on-with-a-teaspoon approach to make sure that sauce gets in to the lovely wee parcels! Slurp away!


2 thoughts on “Asian cabbage dumplings with sesame dipping sauce

  1. What a great idea! I need to pick up some savoy cabbage and try these. And I too have an electric steamer that has a layer of dust from not being used! Perfect time to use it!

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