After indulging in the rich delicacies of the Chinese New Year feast, it’s time to lighten up for spring with a healthful and refreshing plate. These mustard Chinese cabbage rolls, a traditional Beijing dish, are just what the doctor ordered — made with pickled Chinese cabbage, they are easy to put together and are packed with health benefits for skin and digestion. The combination of tart and sweet flavours and crisp texture makes for a zesty appetizer, or a light palate-cleansing course between meat or fish dishes.
700g usable part of a Chinese cabbage
100g yellow mustard
Sauces can be adjusted according to your taste.
1. Cut off the base part of the Chinese cabbage and discard.
2. Remove two or three leaves from the Chinese cabbage, blanch them in boiling water for a minute and set aside.
3. Cut off the top section of the cabbage leaves (green part) and discard. Slice the remaining part crosswise into three sections, about 5 to 6cm wide.
4. Roll up the slices, forming small rolls of about 7 to 8cm in diameter. Tie each roll with a cotton string in the middle to prevent it from spreading. Pour boiling water over the cabbage rolls three times to keep them crisp. (Or put the rolls in a strainer and lower into boiling water for 15 seconds.)
5. Place the rolls in a clean container with a lid. Cover with a layer of yellow mustard, sprinkle with a layer of sugar, season with salt, and pour over the vinegar.
6. Cover all the cabbage rolls with the cabbage leaves blanched in step 2. Cover the container and let stand at room temperature for about 24 hours before serving.