How to Make Salmon-Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 29,377
    Simmering salmon in cabbage leaf rolls produces a tender and moist texture. This your wellness recipe is an excerpt from The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook by Amy Riolo.

    Hi I am Chef Amy Riolo with Harris Teeter and today we are making Salmon stuffed Cabbage leaves. The ingredients which we will need are one head cabbage about 2 and a half pounds; one pound Fishermans Market Alaskan Salmon, frozen, skin removed and cut in half; Salt, Freshly ground Black Pepper, one tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, one cup Fat Free, Low Sodium Vegetable Stock.

    To begin our recipe I have already started by preheating our oven to 350 degrees. And I also have a large stock pot full of water which is already boiling and that's going to help me to blanch my cabbage leaves. So here is our head of cabbage and this is about two and a quarter pounds, and all we are going to do is just trim away these outer layers. And this helps us to get to the better quality layers that are inside and that haven't been damaged in shipping.

    And then what I am going to do here is I am just going to very gently, kind of tear these leaves down. And you are going to get some breakage. Its okay, it's normal because they are nice and crisp that they will break a little bit on you. What we want to do is just kind of tear them off and we are going to use these as packages for our salmon. So there we have some of our cabbage leaves. And I am just going to drop these into our boiling water. And then we will make them soften up. In that way it will be easier for them to wrap around our salmon.

    And then I am going to take my tongs and just kind of push this down into the water. This will only cook about 2 minutes, just enough to get the cabbage a little bit soft and pliable. And then here I have an ice-bath which is getting ready for my cabbage as soon as it is ready and cooked. I am going to dump it in here, then we are going to drain it and we can go ahead and use t for our salmon.

    So now I would like to show you, how to prepare the salmon. Here is the salmon that we bought, already frozen and individually portioned. You can see these are perfect portion sizes. But what we're going to do is we're going to cut them in half because we want to wrap them inside of the cabbage. So just cut them right in half this way. It's very easy to do. You can do it when salmon is still frozen or after it's cooked. And this way is kind of fun also because then instead of just getting one piece, people get two pieces. So it looks more elegant, it makes you feel like you are getting a little bit extra and its really good for you.

    So now it looks like our cabbage is ready and you can see how this has started to get soft and wilt. Now look at the difference between this and what we are originally dealing with. You can tell the color has changed, it's gotten brighter and of course it's gotten softer. And that's what we want, we don't want it cooked all the way through but we just want it cooked enough to give us a little bit of softness here. So I am going to use my tongs as kind of an aid and help me to fish out all of my cabbage.

    So there I have all of my cabbage and I am just going to now take it and plunge it down into our ice bath, just going to help it to cool down really quickly. This is called shocking a vegetable and it's a great technique that you can do whenever you have something that you are cooking that you needed to get cold, either to work with it or to add it to a cold ingredient, you always want to practice this method of shocking.

    The vegetables themselves are then called blanched. So I'll go ahead and put this back over and just drain over the excess water. I can turn off my fire. So before I start rolling the salmon in the cabbage leaves, first thing I am going to do is put some olive oil down in the bottom of my pan. Just make sure that it is coated really well and that will prevent anything from sticking. And then we can use the pan actually as a little work surface to help us roll our salmon. And we want to make a nice just bed for the salmon.

    So I'll put it down this way and then I'll take this salmon, place it right down in and then just cover it with some of this cabbage, just this way. It kind of makes a little bundle like a little lettuce wrap and then just turn it over right on itself. Sometimes depending upon the size of salmon that you get and depending upon the size of cabbage you get, it can be completely covered. Sometimes only portions are covered. Really doesn't matter just as long as you have them together, they will taste really good.

    Now if you look at this salmon, you see this thick outer leaf here with the vain and then you see this is the inside. We want to be placing the salmon on the inside of the leaf. So here is another piece of salmon and we will put it this way, and then just wrap it right into our cabbage again and out it right there. And some of these little pieces as they break up, sometimes you can pair them together to come up with a large enough piece to coat the salmon and other times you can just layer them one on top of the other. Whatever you prefer, it really doesn't make a difference just as long as they are together and this makes a nice little wrapper.

    So now that we have our salmon stuffed inside of our cabbage leaves, we can go ahead and prepare it for baking. And all we'll need to do is take a little bit of chicken stock or vegetable stock or even water or citrus juice, if you'd like, and pour it right on top. And we just need a little bit, you don't need that much. This is going to give us a little bit of moisture and its going to help to kind of steam the fish as it cooks. So I'll just put that much in. And then we'll go ahead and season this with a little bit of salt and pepper. And now, we can bake this at 350 for about 15 or 20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.

    So now we have removed our salmon stuffed cabbage leaves from the oven and we can go ahead and plate them. So there we have our salmon stuffed cabbage leaves, enjoy!