Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls that are Plant-Based and Gluten-Free


This recipe for Chinese stuffed cabbage rolls originally appeared on Rachel Rappaport’s blog, Coconut & Lime. She shared it with us when she was writing for a blog called Fit Fare. We’ve since made some modifications, but stayed true to her original recipe.

Plant-Based Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe (optionally gluten-free and vegan)

Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls that are Plant-Based and Gluten-Free

Rachel included the following back story on this recipe.

Frequently at any dinner party there are people with various food needs. Some common issues are diabetes, veganism, vegetarianism, and celiac disease. Some are a little easier to deal with such as diabetics who have to avoid sugar but mostly just need to stick to a basic, well balanced diet with lean meats and whole grains.

Celiac disease suffers need to avoid foods with gluten such as wheat, rye, and barley. Vegetarians don’t eat meat, but vegans take it one step further, they do not eat any animal products including dairy, eggs, and honey. Cooking a special meal for each person is time consuming and costly. A better solution is to pick something everyone can eat. I normally go to the person who has the most limited diet and design a menu from there.

In this case, I served plant-based Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. They’re gluten free (bean thread noodles), meat-free, well balanced, and easily doubled for more servings.

Plant-Based Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls Recipe (optionally gluten-free and vegan)

Special Diet Notes: Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and plant-based.

Plant-Based Chinese Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was originally shared with us by Rachel during her time with Fit Fare in 2007. It has since been updated.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 8 cabbage rolls
  • 12 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 ounces dried bean thread noodles
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons non-GMO cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 2 stalks celery, julienned
  • ½ cup fresh hon-shimeji mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 8 large cabbage leaves
  1. Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms in the 1 cup warm water for about 15 minutes. Reserve the liquid and chop the mushrooms.
  2. While the mushrooms rehydrate, soak the bean thread noodles in water for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and chop the noodles into 3 to 4-inch long pieces.
  3. While the mushrooms and noodles are soaking, whisk together the oyster sauce, ginger, soy sauce, starch, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms, bean thread noodles, carrot, onion, celery, hon-shimeji mushrooms, and green onions and stir fry for about 1 minute. Give the sauce a quick whisk (to re-incorporate the starch) and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is heated through and the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Steam the cabbage leaves for about 3 minutes or until just pliable. Drain and rinse the leaves with cool water. Stuff each leaf with about ⅛ of the mixture.
  6. Hold a cabbage leaf in your hand, open side up. Place ⅛ of the filling mixture towards the stem end, fold in the sides over the mixture, and roll towards the other end. Place the cabbage roll, end roll down, in a bamboo steamer or other steamer. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
  7. Bring the reserved shiitake mushroom liquid to a boil in the wok. Arrange the steamer on top and steam for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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