Grilled cabbage rolls with rice 

 January 22, 2021

By  Tatiana

What a treat have I got store for you today! Finding dishes to make is getting easier, because I am discovering what delicious vegan snacks I can make!

I find cooking rice very tricky. It never quite works out the way I want and the rice just keeps getting sticky. My in-laws say ‘the more often you make it, the easier it will be’, but it turns out that’s not entirely true. And while making this recipe, I also got sticky rice, which is okay because it complemented the recipe and made sure everything stuck together.

In recent weeks, our supermarket has had some supply problems with vegetables. We are in a small village and there are no real greengrocers. With the rise in the number of covid cases, we have stopped going to the market every Friday, so there are few opportunities left to buy vegetables locally. That is why we grab every vegetable we see while shopping. I’ve been looking for cauliflower for a recipe for ages and they didn’t have this, so we bought a cabbage!

Behind the scenes I am busy making lists of recipes to cook. Seeing dishes and photos on social media gives me lots of ideas that I can use. This also keeps me busy and I can discover fun new cooking techniques or delve into unknown ingredients. Healthy January is a really great time for me to discover and try everything.

And so I often came across these kinds of recipes, stuffed cabbage rolls with rice and vegetables. It looked very tasty to me for a long time and I had been making rice and vegetable dishes for the past few weeks anyway, so I thought: now I’m finally going to make them! And today I proudly present you my vegan filled rolls of cabbage leaves! Or, as I like to call them, my outsiders.

But first I want to talk about sauces and how they are made, and with which ingredients. Of course if you eat completely vegan you would buy sauces without animal products. But animal products are in many things. Take a fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce, they both contain fish! Of course you won’t get a lot of fish if you only use one tablespoon. But somehow I still think this is very difficult!

Of course I don’t eat 100% vegan. Before we started this challenge, I already used very few dairy products in my daily diet. I also thought I ate little meat. And yet I am starting to see a difference in the past two weeks. I am less bloated, which is a really big deal for me. My facial skin begins to clear around my nose, which was always annoying and embarrassing to me. My digestive system works a lot better, and strangely enough I even sleep better.

And I am seriously considering continuing this Healthy January. I notice that the food I eat now just pleases my body and I like it too. So why shouldn’t I go through with it, right? The only problem, and that’s the reason I’m talking about those sauces, is that I just can’t live without fish sauce. I am just addicted to it! The taste and smell often complete dishes!

And yes, I know there are vegan alternatives, but I live in Spain and I can’t find all vegan/vegetarian versions in stores. And endless online shopping is also not something I want to start doing. Anyway, enough about this and let’s get started!


It is difficult to say how many rolls this recipe is for, it depends very much on your cabbage and your rolling skills. I used about the whole cabbage until the leaves became too small in the middle and that gave me about 20 rolls.

  • the leaves of one cabbage
  • 150 gr of rice, boiled
  • 300 gr mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 30 ml soy sauce
  • 10 ml of sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
  • tablespoon of mirin (or brown sugar mixed with a little water)
  • teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • sunflower oil
  • salt and pepper
  • chili flakes


First, cook your rice however you want it. Sticky rice can be used very well for this recipe, but a bit looser is also allowed. Drain the rice and let it cool slightly. Bring plenty of water to the boil in a large pan that will hold all the leaves of the cabbage.

Heat a large frying pan with enough olive oil. First, fry your onion and garlic together for a few minutes. Add the carrot and stir well and let it fry for a while with the onion and garlic.

In the meantime, clean the cabbage and cut off a few leaves. Add the leaves in batches of 4 to the boiling water and let them simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes. The leaves should become a bit transparent. Then take them out of the water and run cold water over them in a colander before setting aside the cabbage leaves.

Add the mushrooms and chili flakes to your pan with onion, garlic and carrot. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin (or brown sugar) and rice vinegar and mix with a fork. Then add the ginger to the sauce mix and the rice to the pan with vegetables. Stir the rice and vegetables well together for a few minutes, then add the sauce. Stir everything together again and let it bake together for a few minutes.

Put a grill pan on the fire with a little sunflower oil in it. Make room on your counter or cutting board to roll the cabbage leaves and put a large bowl of your rice with vegetables and sauce nearby. Cut a cabbage leaf in half so that you take out the hard part, the stem of the leaf. Use a tablespoon to scoop up a bit of the rice mix and place it at the beginning of the outside of the leaf. Gently press the sides inward as you roll up the leaf. Carefully place this roll in the pan. Repeat this process until you run out of rice or cabbage leaves.

Let the rolls grill for about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Turn them over carefully so they don’t fall apart. Serve them with soy sauce and voilà, delicious healthy rice rolls!

The result

While making the rolls I found out that the cabbage I bought was too hard in the middle, so I started improvising. I cut the leaves in half and made smaller rolls.

Because I didn’t want to use fish sauce to keep the dish completely vegan, I used extra soy sauce with a little rice vinegar. This way you get about the same effect but without the smell of fish. Do you want to use fish sauce? Then use 20 ml soy sauce and 20 ml fish sauce. But it all depends on your taste of course!

This is a delicious and healthy snack that is quite easy to make in less than one hour. If you have rolls that you haven’t fried, you can keep them in the fridge for a few days.

It was a fun experiment and definitely worth repeating. It’s actually really nice to find out what you can do with vegetables and rice, so I’m sure I can enjoy myself in the kitchen more often with these ingredients! And now it’s time to enjoy a free Friday evening! See you soon, friends!

Now, of course, here’s my question to you: Do you also like to experiment in the kitchen? And what kind of recipes or ingredients do you experiment with? Tell me, who knows, it might lead me to new insights as well! Do you have any tips or have you made this recipe? Let me know and I might show your creations on my Instagram!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. A very nice compliment of you, I hope you can share sometimes some of your dishes with us!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch