Napa Cabbage Rolls with Enoki Mushrooms Chicken and Mango

I made these rolls as an appetizer for dinner last night, again using leftovers in my fridge and they were yum-o!  Definitely a recipe that I will use for future dinner parties -- they are not only simple to do but very healthy as well.  I think the perfect appetizer is light, not too heavy and contains flavors that will excite the palate, preparing it for the main course.  I used nori to wrap all of my ingredients and then finishing by rolling the rolls with steamed napa cabbage leaves.  The bright flavors of the mango packs a surprise in each bite, pairing well with the ginger soy dipping sauce.

If eating healthy always tasted this good, I think people would definitely do it more often.  The whole concept of "healthy" eating immediately places scary images into people's heads - greenish brown smoothies, cardboard tasting rice cakes, strange healthy food trends...I get it.  I really do, but there are other ways, BETTER WAYS, where you actually enjoy eating healthy.

I think the key to eating good tasting healthy foods is good quality produce, the right combinations and a variety of cooking methods.  I mean honestly, would I eat healthy if it tasted bad?  No way Jose.

Ingredients for Napa Cabbage Rolls:

(serves 4)

  • 8 napa cabbage leaves, steamed or boiled
  • 1 package of enoki mushrooms, blanched
  • 1 mango, thinly sliced
  • 2 radish, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 3 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Japanese mayo

After steaming the napa cabbage leaves, lay them on a napkin and dry them so they do not make your rolls soggy.

To roll your napa cabbage rolls, it is best that you have a sushi rolling mat.  If you do not own one, you may use your hands to do so.  Place the nori sheet down (you may toast them if you'd like) and then put two slices of mango, widthwise, next to each other.  Next place the shredded chicken ontop and the enoki mushrooms above it.  Take your radish and assemble them across the ingredients as pictured above.  Add your sriracha, mayo and sesame seeds and place the green onion towards the end of the roll, with the green onion sticking an inch past the nori sheet on each side.

Rolling is the trickiest part, it's very similar to that of wrapping a burrito but you won't be folding in the ends.  Wrap your ingredients snugly (not too tight or the nori will tear but just tight enough to where all the ingredients will stay in tact when cut)  and once you reach the end, dab a little bit of water to help the end of the nori stick to the roll.  Once you have rolled your ingredients, take your napa leaves and wrap the outside of the nori rolls.  Depending on the size of the leaves you can wrap them either widthwise or lengthwise, as long as the leaves cover most of the roll. You can then cut the rolls either at a diagonal or in circular pieces, whichever you prefer.

You can choose to dip these in a simple soysauce sesame oil mixture, or eat them plain.  These rolls make the perfect appetizer -- light and refreshing and very easy to make.  They are also very visually appealing don't you think?

I used a nice honey ginger soy dipping sauce which you can use as well!

Ingredients for Honey Ginger Soy dipping sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup water

Place all ingredients in medium sized bowl and whisk together.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

I also wanted to share with you a few pictures of some projects I've been working on for work...

These are some fresh raspberry tarts with vanilla pastry cream -- very very yummy, the tart raspberries pear with with the rich creamy pastry cream.

Chef called this dessert "The Road to Heaven" and I must agree with him on this one -- I made a brandy chocolate sauce, which you see is brushed at the base of the plate.  Then from the smallest bite to the biggest -- a miniature smore (the marshmallow is toasted of course!), an espresso creme brulee and ending with a fresh raspberry tart.  Boy oh boy it can't get any better than that does it?

MMMMhmmm!  If any of you guys would like these recipes, send me an e mail and I can send it to you :) In the meantime, have a good weekend and HAPPY FRIDAY FOLKS!