Hmong Cabbage Rolls are a signature Hmong Dish. They're referred to frequently in Hmong referenced recipe sites and the use of the cabbage makes a lot of sense as the cabbage is just grown so extensively by the Hmong in Laos and Vietnam.
In Thailand some thirty to forty years ago Thailand actively replaced opium crops with vegetable crops and endeavoured to create markets for these growers. The Hmong in Thailand were some of the "hilltribe" peoples this was aimed for. Cabbage was one of the first crops tried. It didn't work at first as there was no road infrastructure servicing many of the places and mountain villages that were growing this crop and it looked like a failure. Infrastructure was developed and morning picked cabbages could be in city markets within a few hours of picking. It was one of the hallmark crops of opium eradication in Thailand.

  • 1 large cabbage
  • 500 gm (~1/2 lb) ground pork
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 grams of Cellophane noodles (Vermicelli)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 5-7 cilantro strands, minced
  • Optional: 1/2 Tbsp of Knorr Chicken flavour powder or equivalent.
  1. Boil water on medium-high heat. Once boiling, add the noodles. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes over medium-high heat then drain noodles and set in a mixing bowl. Cut the noodles several times to get hand length noodle strands
  2. Add the rest of ingredients in and mix in the bowl.
  3. Prepare another pot to boil water on medium-high heat to use to soften cabbage leaves. While waiting, rinse the cabbage, then cut just a bit higher above the stem of the cabbage. This way, you can easily peel every cabbage leaf at a time starting from this origin of the stem. When the water is boiling, set the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes then transfer to a platter.
  4. Start your steamer. During this time you can roll the cabbage leaves. Add 1-3 spoonful of filling, based on the size of the leaves. You will roll the same way you roll an eggroll. Use half a toothpick to pin down the leaf to keep it from unravelling. Place them on top of each other and steam for ~10-15 minutes.
Dipping Sauce:
  • Chillies
  • 6 Tbsp of fish sauce
  • 6 Tbsp of Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  1. In a mortar, pound chillies first, then add the rest and mix and serve.