I wanted to make something different for dinner tonight, and I had seen a recipe for Thai cabbage roll soup in one of my Weight Watchers cookbooks. I always like to put my own spin on recipes (I usually go for a LOT more spice than any recipe calls for) and after seeing what I had in the fridge to work with I came up with the following.
8 small savoy cabbage leaves, large ribs removed
9 ounces of ground skinless turkey breast
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
6 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
3 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh lemongrass
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 oz rice noodles
To make the cabbage rolls, fill a large saucepan two-thrids full of water and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage leaves and boil until the leaves are wilted, about 20 seconds. Drain; set aside and cool.
Working with1 cabbage leaf at a time, place 2 rounded tablespoons of the turkey mixture in the center of the bottom third of the leaf. Fold over the sides, then roll up from the bottom of the leaf to form a package. Secure the bottom of the package with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining leaves and turkey filling to make 8 cabbage rolls; set aside.
To make the broth, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the scallions, garlic, ginger, jalapeno and lemongrass. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth, lime juice, brown sugar and soy sauce; bring to a boil.
Add the cabbage rolls to the broth. Cover and simmer until the flavors are blended and the rolls are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cilantro leaves.
While the soup is simmering, cover the rice noodles with hot water and let stand until the soup is ready. I love these little bundles of rice noodles. One package is exactly 2 ounces and they are fat free and delicious. I buy mine at the Asian grocery store.
Right before serving the soup, put some of the drained noodles in the bottom of a bowl, add 2-3 cabbage rolls and about a cup of broth. I found that 2 rolls were plenty. Here's what the inside looks like:
I will definitely make this again. Fun to make, fun to eat and it's just something different. The flavors are pretty bold, so unless you like bold and spicy, you might want to cut back some on the garlic, ginger and jalapeno :-)