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Spicy Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Spicy Cabbage Rolls Recipe

This delightfully delicious recipe came from my Aunt Helen. I serve it alongside ham or turkey for the holidays or on its own with a salad and rolls.—Darlene King, Estevan, Saskatchewan
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 1 hour 20 min. YIELD:8-10 servings


  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1. Cook cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Set aside 10 large leaves for rolls. (Refrigerate remaining cabbage for another use.) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the barley, garlic, onion, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, ginger, salt and pepper. Crumble pork over mixture and mix well.
  • 2. Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/2 cup pork mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat. Place rolls, seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  • 3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sauce ingredients; cook and stir until smooth. Pour over rolls. Cover and bake at 350° for 80-90 minutes or a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 306 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 819mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 5g fiber), 21g protein.

Reviews for Spicy Cabbage Rolls

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tt2b123 User ID: 1638440 249531
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2016

"excellent flavor profile"

danielleylee User ID: 4484886 12297
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2014

"Nice change to a traditional stuffed cabbage. The chili sauce, soy and ginger added a good asian flavor to the dish. We did use fresh ginger instead of ground. I love that the barely added some whole grain goodness as well."

rinshin User ID: 1384577 37388
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2014

"I saw soy sauce in the sauce and in the filling which made me choose this recipe. Not only soy sauce but also barley instead of rice. I halved the filling recipe and doubled the sauce. Instead of ground ginger, I used about 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger. For sauce I added about 1/4 C white wine and I did not heat the sauce since there was no point in that. I also placed 2 slices of bacon on top before baking. Loved the filling. I love how it was loose compared to rice and I thought the use of pork was very good. Next time I plan on mixing pork and beef. This recipe is worthy of repeats. Perfect with buttered noodle and green salad."

dzm388 User ID: 724894 28739
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2013

"There is supposed to be 1/4 cup packed brown sugar in the sauce (I still have the original magazine!). We love this! My husband does not like the sweet type of sauce so this is perfect. I leave out the ginger, personal pref. I have used rice in place of the barley. When the direction says "large" cabbage, no kidding. 10 leaves from a regular sized cabbage will use about 1/2 the filling! I chop the leftover cabbage and put it in bottom of the baking dish, putting the rolls on top."

Lexi0145 User ID: 5572553 12296
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2010

"It is missing the amount of sugar needed in the sauce or the kind. I made this from the book but no longer have it so just guessed and tasted as I went. Lexi0145"

Simone65 User ID: 5194784 12295
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2010

"Too much ginger. Didn't much care for the barley in it even though we love barley. Sauce was good I used hot salsa instead of the chili sauce. I will make my regular rolls with rice but will use the sauce recipe."

XOBasia User ID: 3504396 28184
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2009

"I didn't put any sugar in the sauce and thought it was delicious....just heated it through and poured over. Great change on the filling using the barley instead of the usual rice. Loved it!"

hokenson User ID: 2582900 37470
Reviewed Aug. 5, 2009

"Did you get an answer to your sauce question.  I was planning on making them and had the same question.  Thanks, Joan"

ProblemChild User ID: 3731049 21280
Reviewed May. 21, 2009

"This recipe looks great! For those who've tried making it already I have a question about the sauce. It says in the directions to heat the sauce until the sugar melts but I don't see any sugar in the ingredients (except for the tablespoon of dark sugar in the meat mixture). Could you tell me how much & what type of sugar you added to the sauce. Thanks!!"

dzm388 User ID: 724894 12294
Reviewed Mar. 14, 2009

"Terrific recipe! My husband does not like sweet tomato sauces, he loved this!"

Kelli F. User ID: 1506371 13562
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2008

"These cabbage rolls are so good! I love the barley. I use 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork. I spoon about 1/3 cup meat mixture onto cabbage leaf, making about 15-20 servings. I also double the sauce because I use 2 dishes. Yum!"

dabble67 User ID: 2933608 5440
Reviewed Mar. 18, 2008

"I am soooo happy to have found this recipe online. I used to be a subscriber many years ago around 1996 and this is the best cabbage roll recipe I have ever had! I love anything sweet and spicy and I love barley. Its one recipe that I had misplaced so thanks for having it on here!!!"

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