Stuffed Chinese cabbage for Jo

( This is part of a new project – virtual cooking for friends during #COVID19

This current coronavirus pandemic means that for many of us, disabled people with social isolation, are restricted to virtual meetings.

As it means no eating together – here’s a new project in that we would cook a dish with the friend in mind and share it here. The recipes here are not expert cooking but shared with love.)

I’ve known Jo Verrent for a long time before she took up her present role. We were discussing, among other things, the role of cuisine in culture I think. However, Jo said she had a chinese cabbage and some dried mushrooms (porcini) in her copboard to cook. So I came up with this recipe. I didn’t have any porcini mushrooms so I substituted with shitake mushrooms.


Chinese cabbage leaves
minced beef or pork
shitake mushrooms / any mushrooms
finely sliced ginger
chopped garlic
spring onions
bamboo shoots
2 eggs
1 tbs soya sauce

Cooking method

There are quite a few steps to follow even though this dish is not complicated. The tricky part is to get your PA or assistant to help prepare all the ingredients.

Take off the Chinese /Savoy cabbage leaves by slicing them off the base. Blanched the cabbage leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds or until soft. Take them out amd leave to cool.

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water and slice them finely. Snip the spring onions (or slice them) into the minced meat. Add all the ingredients, cut up mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger and garlic with 2 eggs and mix them well together. This is where you might need a hand in stirring them together with soya sauce.

Lay a cabbage leaf on a flat surface like a clean chopping board and spoon some of the stuffing onto the leaf and fold the ends together, taking care not to break the leaf. You can use cocktail sticks to stick the ends together.

Prepare a pot of water to boil with a steamer and a dish that fits and when the water is boiling, put a lid on and steam for 8 /10 minutes. Depending on how many cabbage rolls you prepared, you will have repeat the steaming a few times.

This is where I need help because it can be dangerous handling hot pots of boiling water and steaming vapours.

Serve on plates accompanied with rice if you wish unless you need to avoid carbohydrates, in which case, its quite satisfying on its own!

sliced cabbage roll showing mince meat
steamed cabbage stuffed with meat mixture

Hope you will enjoy this Jo!

By Eleanor, assisted by James.

photo of East Asian woman on wheelchair holding a spatula awkwardly frying lardons in a wok. Behind her is a loaded sink and a microwave.
Eleanor Lisney

Eleanor ‘s love for all types of cuisine comes from being Malaysian born and bred. She started to cook at university at Canterbury and learn about French cuisine when she was a stay at home mum for more than 10 years in Strasbourg, France.

She finds cooking on her own more problematic now and gets her PAs / friends to help her do the heavy work so she can do some cooking from her wheelchair.


photo of cooked spinach leaves on a white plate and a fork with the word cuisine