A Common Vegetable Transformed
Nuoc Mam Meets Black Pepper
Soup with Cabbage Pork Rolls
Canh Thit Goi Su
15 large Green Cabbage outer leaves
3 cups of Water or Stock
10 Scallions, green part only
¼ pound Ground Pork
¼ pound Ground Beef
2 teaspoons Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Shallot or 1 Scallion, white part onbly, chopped
2 tablespoons more Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce
½ teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh Coriander and Scallion Greens
6 cups cooked Rice
Begin by cutting the Cabbage leaves in half and removing the touch center ribs. Bring the water to a boil and drop in the Cabbage Leaves. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove and set aside.
Drop the whole Scallion Greens into the boiling water or stock and remove instantly. Setting the liquid aside for later use, cut the Greens in half lengthwise to make long, thin strings.
Now combine the Pork, Beef, 2 teaspoons of Nuoc Man Fish Sauce, Garlic, ¼ teaspoon of Black Pepper and Shallot. Mix well with your hands. Then fill each Cabbage Leaf with 2 teaspoons of the meat mixture. Shape into a cylinder 2 inches across the wide part of each leaf. Fold the sides over to enclose the meat and roll it up, tucking in any loose edges. Tie one of the Scallion strings around each Cabbage Roll.
Next bring the reserved liquid to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons more Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce, Salt and then the Cabbage Rolls. Boil gently at medium heat for 15 minutes, partially covered.
Serve the Soup in a tureen, sprinkling Coriander and Scallion Green and some Black Pepper on top. Serve the soup as it is, or with small bowls each about two-thirds full of Rice, and pour Soup to the level of the Rice and finally top each bowl with a Cabbage Roll.