Vegan Cabbage Rolls with Chinese Brown Garlic Sauce

Introduction: Indulge in the exquisite flavors of these Asian-inspired Vegan Cabbage Rolls, a culinary masterpiece that combines tender cabbage leaves with a delectable rice and veggie filling, perfectly complemented by a rich Chinese brown garlic sauce. This versatile and gluten-free dish is a celebration of plant-based goodness, making it an ideal addition to your culinary repertoire.

Course: Side

Cuisine: Asian, Chinese

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 20 rolls


Cabbage Rolls:

  • 2.08 cups (416.67 g) dry sushi rice or any short-grain rice
  • 1.67 large napa cabbage (10-12 leaves)
  • 1.67 tbsp oil (divided)
  • 1.67 medium onion (diced)
  • 1.25 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 5 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1.67 medium (200 g) carrot (diced)
  • 3.33 medium (116.67 g) peppers (diced)
  • 13.33 white button mushrooms (diced, canned)
  • 3.33 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 0.83 tsp sea salt, ground pepper, onion powder (each)
  • 0.42 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • Sesame seeds (to garnish)


  • 1.67 tsp oil (e.g., sesame oil)
  • 0.83 tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 3.33 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2.5 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1.67 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1.25 tbsp maple syrup
  • 0.83 cup (200 ml) water
  • 0.83 tbsp cornstarch
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika (to taste)


  1. Cook the Rice: Soak sushi rice for 45-60 minutes, drain, and cook with water and salt until tender (10-12 minutes).
  2. Cook the Veggies: Boil cabbage leaves for 2-3 minutes. Sauté onion, ginger, garlic, carrot, peppers, and mushrooms in oil. Add tamari and spices. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Assemble: Combine cooked rice with sautéed veggies. Place rice mixture in cabbage leaves, fold, and roll. Repeat with remaining leaves.
  4. Pan Sear the Rolls: Heat oil in a skillet. Pan sear five cabbage rolls until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Make the Sauce: Heat oil, add ginger, garlic, tamari, rice vinegar, and maple syrup. Mix water with cornstarch to make a slurry. Pour into the skillet, add spices, and cook until thickened.
  6. Serve: Pour sauce over cabbage rolls, garnish with sesame seeds, and savor the delightful flavors.


  • Cabbage: Experiment with different cabbage varieties such as Savoy, green, white, pointed, or Jaroma.
  • Veggies: Choose your favorite veggies, ensuring they have similar cooking times.
  • Serving: Enjoy the rolls as a standalone meal or pair them with pan-roasted potatoes, quinoa pilaf, or bread.

Additional Information: This delectable Vegan Cabbage Rolls recipe was inspired by the culinary creativity of my dear friend, WoonHeng. Each roll is not only a burst of flavors but also a nutritious delight, providing 122 calories per serving. Rich in fiber, protein, and essential nutrients, this dish is a testament to the culinary artistry of plant-based cuisine. Elevate your dining experience with these Vegan Cabbage Rolls and relish the goodness in every bite.

 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!


CuisineAsian, Chinese

Prep Time45minutes minutes

Cook Time30minutes minutes

Total Time1hour hour 15minutes minutes

Servings20 rolls


Cabbage Rolls:

  • 2.08 cups (416.67 g) dry sushi rice or any short-grain rice
  • 1.67 large napa cabbage (10-12 leaves)
  • 1.67 tbsp oil divided
  • 1.67 medium onion diced
  • 1.25 tbsp ginger minced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1.67 medium (200 g) carrot diced
  • 3.33 medium (116.67 g) peppers diced
  • 13.33 white button mushrooms diced (I used canned)
  • 3.33 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 0.83 tsp each of sea salt, ground pepper, onion powder
  • 0.42 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
  • Sesame seeds to garnish


  • 1.67 tsp oil e.g. sesame oil
  • 0.83 tbsp ginger minced
  • 3.33 garlic cloves minced
  • 2.5 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1.67 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1.25 tbsp maple syrup
  • 0.83 cup (200 ml) water
  • 0.83 tbsp cornstarch
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika to taste


Cook the rice

  • You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.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

Serving Size 1 roll Amount per Serving Calories 122 % Daily Value*Fat2g 3%Saturated Fat1g5%Carbohydrates23g8%Fiber2g8%Sugar3g3%Protein4g8%