Aggie's Kitchen

Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls

A fun twist on cabbage rolls, these Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls are a great addition to your family dinner rotation.

Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls | Aggie's Kitchen

I love it when I make a recipe that my whole family can enjoy. You would think my kids would turn their noses up at the sound of stuffed cabbage rolls (they would) but when I gave them a dish of these for the first time, I didn’t say too much about it and made sure to cut it up real well so that cabbage just blended in with the meat and rice mixture. They didn’t ask any questions and I kept my mouth shut as they ate away. Recipes like this one get noted for regular rotation in my house.

Napa cabbage is starting to become a favorite veggie of mine. It’s so versatile. You can add it to soups, use it as filling for potstickers, make a slaw or salad like this Asian Chopped Salad or of course use it to make stuffed cabbage rolls like shown here today. It’s a mild and delicate cabbage, which is why I think my kids didn’t make too much of a fuss. I find myself purchasing it more often these days, and was happy when my friend Bev shared this recipe with me from Whole Living last year which I changed up slightly with what I had in my own kitchen to create these Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls.

Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls | Aggie's Kitchen

As you already know I love splashing Nakano rice vinegar into any Asian inspired dish I’m making for my family. It’s such a great flavor booster, and really is a perfect way to brighten up your meals without any additional calories. You’ll always find a bottle of it in my kitchen. I added into the meat and rice filling, in addition to ginger, chili sauce and toasted sesame oil to get that fresh and distinct Asian flavor we all know and love.

Nakano Rice Vinegar

These Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls are great to prepare ahead. Mix together your filling, make your rolls and place in your baking dish (without water) to make it easier on yourself when it’s time to get dinner going. When you’re ready to cook them up, just add water and place into your oven.

Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls | Aggie's Kitchen

Print Recipe

Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Nakano rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili or chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • leaves from 1 large head of Napa cabbage


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare your filling by gently combining uncooked beef (or turkey), shredded carrots, cooked rice (or quinoa), garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili sauce and a pinch of salt and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. To make your leaves easy to roll, use a rolling pin to flatten to make leaves more pliable. If you find that your leaves are on the smaller side, use two to roll, overlapping both ends to make one big leaf.
  4. Spoon your filling to each leaf. Carefully roll each leaf tightly and place side by side in a large baking dish. Pour 1 cup of water over stuffed cabbage rolls and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until completely cooked through.
  5. Serve with juices from baking dish and additional chili sauce.

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(Disclosure: I have a working relationship with and received products and compensation from Nakano, but my opinions are always my own. I developed this recipe using their product, but Nakano is a product you would already find in my home.)

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54 Responses to “Asian Stuffed Napa Cabbage Rolls”

  1. Alyssa (Everyday Maven) posted February 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Love cabbage rolls Aggie but never thought to do them with an asian spin!

  2. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted February 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    This recipe sounds incredible- what a great idea Aggie!! We love napa and of course I buy a gigantic bottle of rice vinegar from our Asian market we use it to so much!!

  3. Erica posted February 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I wish Josh liked cabbage! Gahhh! These look amazing. You have the best recipes. Rice vinegar is super tasty. I love the way it smells (is that weird? ;))

  4. EA-The Spicy RD posted February 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Love this recipe! My mom made Cabbage Rolls when I was a kid and I always loved them. My kids have never tried them, but it’s high time they did 🙂 Definitely giving this a try soon!

  5. Jersey Girl Cooks posted February 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I love stuffed cabbage but always forget about making it. I am bookmarking this to try soon.

  6. Heather (Heather's Dish) posted February 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I am loving all of the Asian dishes – the flavors sound perfect!

  7. JulieD posted February 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I love this and I love that they include rice too, Aggie!

  8. Amy (Savory Moments) posted February 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    I love this Asian version of stuffed cabbage rolls. They look really good!

  9. Kristen posted February 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I love Asian twists on things – and this recipe looks like a definite keeper!

  10. Kerstin posted February 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Yum, these sounds so tasty and healthy! I almost bought napa cabbage on a whim at Hmart the other day – must do so next time so I can make these 🙂

  11. Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife posted February 25, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    This looks like my kind of comfort food!

  12. Sandy @ RE posted February 25, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Oh, Aggie. I LOVE cabbage rolls. They are so yummy. 🙂

  13. wholesome kids posted February 26, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Cabbage is a favorite in our house, but I’ve never tried to make cabbage rolls- they seem hard to make, but after reading your directions I think I can manage this!

  14. leslie posted February 26, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Lucky you.You kids are much more adventurous than mine. Sigh. I suppose that means there would be more for me!!

  15. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama posted February 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I love this Aggie! I love cabbage rolls but making them with napa cabbage sounds even better.

  16. claire @ the realistic nutritionist posted February 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Oh i make cabbage rolls EVERRRRY st. patty’s! and I just love them.

  17. Kiran @ posted February 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Love napa cabbage! And this is a perfect appetizer!

  18. Lillian @ My Recipe Journey posted March 2, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love the looks of this one! I’ve always wanted to try stuffed cabbage but never did because the ones I’ve eaten from others are always very bland to me! This sounds very flavorful! Great post! =)

  19. gina @ skinnytaste posted March 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    This looks awesome! I love the idea of an Asian stuffed cabbage!

  20. Kim posted July 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I just made this, and it was delicious. FYI, your ingredient list includes the rice vinegar, but the actual instructions below the ingredients don’t say when to actually use it. I thought you might like to add that to your post.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Thank you and thank you for letting me know about missing the rice vinegar in the instructions – fixing it now! 🙂

  21. Lisa posted September 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I am currently avoiding as many carbs as possible so I made this without the rice and added in some extra veggies (diced bell pepper and shredded zucchini) and it was wonderful. Reheats well too! Love this recipe and so do my kiddos.

  22. Amanda posted October 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Just made these – they were super good! Thanks!
    I used quinoa and think I might add a bit more next time. I think I also might mince up some of the remaining napa cabbage and add it to the mix!

  23. Michelle posted November 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Do the cabbage leaves have to be boiled first?

    • Aggies Kitchen posted November 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Michelle – they actually don’t! The Napa cabbage leaves are so tender and thin on their own they cook up during the baking process.

  24. Jenn posted August 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Hi! These look great! Can you please tell me how many servings this recipe makes and if you can freeze them?? Thank you!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted August 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Hi Jenn, thank you! These should make 4-6 servings (depending on appetite!). I don’t have any experience freezing these specific cabbage rolls, but my grandfather has given me cooked frozen cabbage rolls before that I defrosted and cooked with no problems!

  25. Michele posted December 23, 2014 at 9:29 am

    I wonder if I can use a regular cabbage instead of napa cabbage for this?

    • Aggies Kitchen posted December 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      I haven’t tried it but I think it would be fine to use, you will probably have to cook a bit longer though because the napa cabbage is thinner.

  26. Kolleen posted January 5, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    AMAZING!!! You can eat them just after wrapping (think PF Chang’s lettuce wraps) or after baking. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!!

  27. Laura posted February 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    What is chile sauce? Not sure what this is or where to find it. Thanks

    • Aggies Kitchen posted February 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Laura, it is the chili sauce found in the Asian section of the grocery store. I usually use a chili garlic sauce or sriracha (which is more spicy). I will update the recipe in case anyone else has the same question! Thanks for asking!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted February 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Here’s a link to what I usually buy so you know what to look for:

  28. MPaula posted December 3, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    When I woke up today I remembered that I had Nappa cabbage in the fridge and wondering how to use it. Now I know! I`m glad you added the tip for smaller leaves.

  29. Tracey posted August 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    This recipe is outstanding. In fact, my husband who NEVER eats leftovers asked for these the next night.  With all the wonderful fresh produce at our Farmers Markets right now, I was looking for a recipe in which I could use many of these ingredients. I did substitute a vegetarian protein (I had frozen crumbles on hand, which look like ground beef) that absorbed all these great flavors nicely.  

    • Aggies Kitchen posted August 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      wow, thanks so much for the wonderful feedback! I’m happy it was a success! love that you adapted the recipe to your tastes!!

  30. Becky posted January 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Hi!! Love this idea and want to make a pretty presentation. Any ideas on what to serve with this? Thanks!!!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted January 18, 2017 at 6:41 am

      What about some thinly sliced stir fried peppers, carrots and mushrooms with garlic and ginger?

  31. Farrel posted February 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    I made these tonight and we liked them, a lot.  I used to make old fashioned cabbage rolls 20 years ago, but hadn’t made them in years.  I like Asian cooking, so these looked intriguing.  Our grocery store had two very sad looking heads of napa cabbage, so I used savoy cabbage, and found out that savoy cabbage needs to be blanched to make it pliable enough to make the rolls.  I also felt that, at least for us, the recipe needed more soy sauce, as we ended up putting more on top of the cabbage rolls.  I used quinoa as I really dislike brown rice.  I also doubled the ginger, because I really like ginger.  But the recipe is definitely a keeper.  Very healthy but filling.  Lots of good flavors.  This is a very nice twist on cabbage rolls!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted February 9, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      that’s great to hear! I really like the napa cabbage because it cooks up so easily. Thanks for the feedback!

  32. Cindy posted July 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Kolleen left the comment that you can eat them right after wrapping. The ground beef is RAW before it’s the cabbage rolls are placed in the oven though. Correct? I want to try this tonight with the Napa cabbage we received in our latest CSA delivery. 🙂

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      I don’t see Kolleen’s comment but the way the recipe is written is definitely raw before the cabbage rolls are place in oven. The beef cooks up in the oven in the rolled cabbage. I’m excited for you to try them! I miss my CSA delivery box. Let me know how they turn out for you!!

  33. Cindy R. posted July 13, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Unfortunately, my husband did not like them at ALL! He wouldn’t even eat anymore after a bite or two. 🙁 They were bland, and I followed the directions exactly, except that I’m not certain my sesame oil was “toasted”, AND I used sweet chili sauce instead of the other. That was probably the reason. I imagine kids would have liked them just fine. Oh, well. at least I used up the Napa cabbage in our CSA delivery. We just got another box of produce today – and guess what’s in it? Yet another head of Napa cabbage! 🙂

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 24, 2017 at 6:42 am

      I’m so sorry to hear it didn’t work out for your family 🙁
      That’s funny you got more cabbage in your box, have you tried making an Asian slaw with it?

  34. Brooke High posted January 31, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Hi there! I have some sesame oil in my pantry, but it doesn’t appear to be “toasted” . Do you think it’ll be okay to use? Thanks!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted February 1, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Yes, totally ok!


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