Go Back
+ servings
vegan cabbage rolls with brown stir-fry sauce in bowl

Vegan Cabbage Rolls

These Asian-inspired vegan cabbage rolls are made up of tender cabbage leaves, stuffed with a rice and veggie filling, and served alongside a Chinese brown garlic sauce. Plus, this recipe is super versatile, gluten-free, and naturally vegetarian and vegan!
Course Side
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 rolls


Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) dry sushi rice or any short-grain rice
  • 1 large napa cabbage (10-12 leaves)
  • 1 tbsp oil divided
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3/4 tbsp ginger minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium (120 g) carrot diced
  • 2 medium (70 g) peppers diced
  • 8 white button mushrooms diced (I used canned)
  • 2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp each of sea salt, ground pepper, onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
  • Sesame seeds to garnish


  • 1 tsp oil e.g. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika to taste


Cook the rice

  • Soak the sushi rice in a bowl with plenty of water for about 45-60 minutes, then drain. Cook it with the mentioned amount of water and some salt in a saucepan until tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Cook the veggies

  • Meanwhile, chop the veggies and prep the cabbage leaves. Bring a large pot with water to a boil, then add in 3-4 of the cabbage leaves and cook them for 2-3 minutes until softened. Place the cooked leaves into a bowl with cold water, then set aside. Do this with the remaining leaves.
  • Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a skillet, add the onion, ginger, garlic, carrot, peppers, and mushrooms. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add tamari, and all spices. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes.


  • Once the rice is cooked, add it to the skillet and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and taste the mixture. Add more seasonings if needed.
  • Place a cabbage leaf on a plate and put about 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons of the rice mixture in the middle. Fold in the sides and the top over the filling and roll it up. Place it on a plate. Do this with the remaining leaves.

Pan sear the rolls

  • Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a skillet, and once hot add 5 of the cabbage rolls. Pan sear for a few minutes from both sides. The rolls should be golden brown.

Make the sauce

  • Heat oil in a saucepan, then add ginger, garlic, tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes. Mix the water with cornstarch to make a slurry and pour it into the skillet. Add the spices and cook the sauce for a few more minutes until thickened.


  • Pour the sauce of the cabbage rolls and garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy!


  • Cabbage: You can use a different cabbage of choice for this recipe, like Savoy, green, white, pointed, Jaroma, etc.
  • Certain varieties of cabbage have a very thick center 'rib' on each leaf. After boiling the leaves, you'll need to trim this rib to make it easier to roll.
  • Veggies: Choose your favorite veggies. Just make sure they have a similar cooking time.
  • Serve: You can serve it as a meal alone or with pan-roasted potatoes, quinoa pilaf, or just bread.
  • This recipe was inspired by my friend WoonHeng.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cabbage Rolls
Serving Size
1 roll
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.