It’s a cabbage wrap, and then some!

Now here’s a entrée I didn’t anticipate would give me two menus in one…a wrap and a soup!  Other than the traditional Filipino dish called Nilaga (Beef cabbage stew) I normally cook, and sadly, the only dish I make with cabbage, I have been on a quest for other good recipes, as well.  By the same token, I didn’t want to overly complicate things, so stumbling upon this simple cabbage recipe made this mom’s cooking adventure an easy one, with an added bonus recipe to boot!

Serves 4 with leftovers


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
cups water

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, and water.

2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. If the sauce is thick, add a little more water.


1 head (3 to 3½ pounds) green cabbage
Salt and pepper, to taste
pounds lean ground beef
cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 eggs
½ cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Discard the 2 or 3 tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Rinse the cabbage, then core it, making the cut at least 2 inches deep. Bring a soup pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully immerse the cabbage and cook for 3 minutes. Using tongs, pull off 2 or 3 of the outer leaves and transfer to a bowl. Run the leaves under cold water and drain in a colander. Cook the cabbage head for another few minutes, turning it over occasionally, and continue to pull off leaves until you have 15 to 16.

Reserve the remaining cabbage for the soup (See my recipe below).

2. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, rice, eggs, all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper.

3. Set the oven at 350 degrees. In a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce.

4. Working with 1 cabbage leaf at a time, slice off the thick outer rib near the stem end. Place the leaf, rounded up like a bowl, stem end closest to you. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the meat mixture about 1 inch from the stem end; form it into a short log shape. Starting at the bottom of the leaf, fold up, then fold in the two sides, and roll a cylinder. Don’t make the packets too tight because the rice expands as it cooks. Transfer the roll, seams down, to the baking dish. Shape the remaining rolls in the same way. You should be able to fit 15 to 16 rolls in one layer. (I had a small cabbage which gave me approximately 12 rolls)

5. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce on top. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 1¼ hours or until the rice is fully cooked; cut into a roll to test it.  Serve the rolls with their cooking juices, sprinkled with parsley.

Part II

Cabbage Meatball Soup
Copyright © 2013 Grace Clerc

Cabbage Meatball Soup

1.  I had a few left over ground beef, and small bits of cabbages that were too small for wraps.  So I shaped the remainder of the ground beef with rice into meatballs and added them onto the water I used for boiling the cabbage (Be sure to empty out half of the water to make just the right amount of soup).

2.  Add a few herbs and seasonings, such as pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp whole peppercorn, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 clove of garlic, chopped, 1 tsp of shallots, scallions and leeks seasoning (or a combination of your favorite herbs and seasonings will do, as well).

3.  Cover the pan and boil for approximately 20 minutes/or until the rice is fully cooked.



  1. I love this! 🙂 When we had our pre-cana seminar (Discovery Weekend), they served us Filipino favorites and I loved the food. They served this on our first night and I ate a lot..hahaha..thanks for sharing this..I want to try it sooooon! 🙂

    1. So many ideas with cabbage…other than nilaga…hehe. I’m excited for the future of cabbages in my kitchen! ☺

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