Savoy Cabbage Mu Shu Rolls

This Fall’s featured ingredient is cabbage.

Cabbage is a member of the Brassicaceae family.  Cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi are believed to all have evolved over thousands of years from the same wild field cabbage.  Selection resulted in varieties having different accentuated characteristics, such as heads for cabbage, leaves for kale and flower buds for broccoli.

Cabbage was most likely domesticated in Europe before 1000BC, and became an affordable staple in European cuisine.  Cabbage spread from Europe into Mesopotamia and Egypt, and later followed trade routes throughout Asia and the Americas.  Sauerkraut, fermented or pickled cabbage, was used by Dutch sailors to prevent scurvy during long ship voyages.  During the 16th century, German gardeners are said to have developed the savoy cabbage, featured in our Fall recipe below.  1

Savoy Cabbage

Cabbages usually range from 1 to 8 pounds, and can be green, purple or white. Some have smooth leaves, while others have a lacy texture, like savoy cabbage.  In 2012, the world record was broken for heaviest cabbage in Palmer, Alaska at 138 pounds.  2

Red Cabbage

China is reported to be the world’s largest producer of cabbage, followed by India.  Russians are estimated to eat the largest amount of cabbage in Europe, on average 44 pounds a year, while Americans eat an average of 9 pounds.

Cabbage is enjoyed in many ways.  Pickling is the said to be the most popular, creating dishes such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchee.  It is also eaten raw, steamed, sauteed, braised, and stewed.

Cabbage is a good source of vitamins A, C, and fiber.  As a cruciferous vegetable, it also contains glucosinolates, which research indicates reduce the risk of developing cancer, boosting DNA repair in cells and blocking the the growth of cancer cells.  3

Watch Maymo the Dog enjoy some Cabbage

This Fall’s recipe is for Savoy Cabbage Mu Shu Rolls.

This dish holds a great amount of nostalgia for me, as it was my favorite Chinese dish as a child.  I would eat roll after roll with extra hoisin sauce.  Reflecting now, it was the only time I ate cabbage in significant quantities growing up.

Time Saver:  Substitute bagged pre-sliced cabbage based stir fry mix for vegetables below.

Savoy Cabbage Mu Shu Rolls

Preparation Time:  45 minutes

Yield: 8-10 Rolls


1/2 head of savoy cabbage, julienned into strips

1/4 head of purple cabbage, julienned

1 basket of mushrooms, julienned

2 carrots, julienned

1 can water chestnuts, rinsed and julienned

1 tub medium to firm tofu, cut into cubes, or 1 drained can shredded green jackfruit

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 green onions, thinly sliced

3 Tablespoons rice wine or seasoned rice vinegar

soy sauce to taste

hoisen sauce or favorite Asian sauce

8-10 mu shu wrappers, tortillas, crepes, butter lettuce leaves, or cabbage leaves

optional: garnish of peanuts, cashews, or toasted sesame seeds


cutting board



fork or whisk

measuring spoons

small pan

wok or large pan



1.  Julienne vegetables.  Mince garlic.  Grate ginger.

Julienned vegetables

2.  Cut tofu into bite-sized cubes.

3.  Heat small non-stick pan on medium heat.  Brown tofu, flipping only after each side is browned, to prevent tofu breaking apart.  If using shredded green jackfruit, dry saute until caramelized, deglazing pan as needed with a few drops of water.

4.  Heat wok or large pan on medium heat.  Dry saute vegetables until almost tender.  Add browned tofu.  Stir in rice wine/vinegar and soy sauce.  Continue to cook until vegetables tender.

Sauteing Vegetables

6.  If using wrappers/tortillas/crepes, heat in pan.  Place warm wrapper/leaf onto plate.  Spoon 1-2 Tablespoons sauce onto wrapper/leaf.  Spoon ~1 cup filling onto wrapper/leaf.  Garnish with optional nuts if desired.  If using wrappers, fold into open-ended “burritos.”  Enjoy immediately.



1.  Texas A&M University Archive – Cabbage

2.  Guinness Book of World Records – Cabbage

3.  USDA Nutrient Database


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s