Steamed Asian pork parcels

Based on this recipe. These are pretty tasty, although as I note in the recipe I’d suggest cooking the cabbage more thoroughly. I ended up setting aside some of the cabbage and just eating the filling.

1 medium savoy or Chinese cabbage

tender parts of 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped (don’t skip chopping it – I put it in the food processor in fairly large chunks and it didn’t blend very well with everything else so I picked out pieces of it as I was eating the dish)
2 cloves garlic, peeled (mine were frozen since I happen to have a bag of peeled garlic cloves in the freezer)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
6 scallions, white and light green parts, roughly chopped (I only used 1 because that’s what I had on hand)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (omitted, but recommended)
1 to 2 fresh small red chili peppers (I used a couple tablespoons of chopped, pickled jalapenos)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 pound ground pork
about a 4″ piece of daikon, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Your choice of dipping sauce, such as prepared sweet chili sauce, or hoisin thinned with soy sauce (I used leftover salad dressing from this salad, which I thought tasted quite nice)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Remove and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, then slice off the root end and separate the leaves. Plunge them into the boiling salted water to blanch for 2 minutes, then remove to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. (I think that you should cook the cabbage for longer as it doesn’t cook much when it’s cooking with the meat – I thought it would have been nicer with more tender cabbage.) Drain and set aside.

Pour out all but a couple inches of water in the bottom of the pot and place a steamer inside the pot (or place a bamboo steamer on top of the pot).

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, scallions, cilantro, red chilis, fish sauce, and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt until everything is minced. Add the daikon and sesame oil. Process until completey pureed. Stir the ground pork.

Lay out the leaves of cabbage on a cutting board and place a small amount (2-3 tablespoons) of the pork mixture onto the root end of a cabbage leaf. Fold the leaf over once to enclose the pork, fold both sides in, then roll it once again so that the seam side is down. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and pork.

Bring the water in the bottom of the steaming pot to a boil, then place the parcels seam side down into the basket. Cover and steam until the pork is cooked through, 6-8 minutes depending on their size.
Serve with the dipping sauce and the toasted sesame seeds scatted on top.


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