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Cabbage rolls placed in a white rectangular plate and topped with a thick sauce, sesame seeds and green onions.

Vegan Cabbage Rolls with Tofu Cashew Stuffing

  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Chinese Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan


These high protein vegan cabbage rolls are stuffed with a savory sweet tofu cashew filling then served with a flavorful sticky sauce.


  • 16 Napa cabbage leaves
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup baby Bella mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1, 16 oz block of super firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 cup cooked short grain brown rice or Jasmine rice
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tamari or sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cube of vegan “beef” bouillon or 1/2 tsp of vegetable bouillon paste
  • 1/4 tsp Five Spice

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp tamari or sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Place a steam basket in a pot and fill the bottom of the pot with water and bring to a boil. Rinse the napa cabbage well then carefully remove the leaves away from the stem and place inside the steam basket. Cover and steam for about 4-5 minutes or until the leaves have softened (not soggy!).
  2. Remove the leaves and run them under cold water. Place the cooled leaves on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry to remove as much excess water as possible.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the oil to warm through. Add in the scallions and garlic and sauté for about a minute until the scallions have softened.
  4. Next, add in the bell pepper and mushrooms along with a pinch of salt and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes until most of the liquid is reduced.
  5. Add the crumbled tofu to the pan along with the cashews and rice then season with tamari, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, the crumbled bouillon cube and Five Spice. Fold the ingredients until everything is well incorporated, adjust seasoning to taste, then set aside.
  6. Place a cabbage leaf on a flat working surface and trim off the harder portion of the stem. Add 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons of filling to the end of the leaf. Roll the stem over the filling and continue to roll until you get to the wider part of the leaf. Tuck in both sides of the leaf towards the center and continue to roll until you get to the top of the leaf. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling.
  7. Clear off the pan with the tofu, place over medium heat and add the remaining portion of oil to the pan to warm through. Once hot, place the cabbage rolls in the pan and sear on both sides undisturbed for 2-3 minutes or until sear marks appear. Remove from heat and plate.
  8. To make the sauce, combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until no lumps of cornstarch remain. Heat up a small saucepan over medium low heat and pour in the mixture. Stir the mixture frequently for 2-3 minutes until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Then remove from heat and use to serve with the cabbage rolls and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.


Make it lower in sodium. Swap your soy sauce or tamari for low sodium soy sauce. I would also recommend using a low sodium bouillon cube.

Dry the napa cabbage leaves well. After soaking the leaves in cold water, make sure to dry the leaves off using a clean kitchen towel. This will ensure that the cabbage leaves roll up well and prevent the filling from seeping through.

Swap your protein. If you want to change up the tofu filling try this with mashed chickpeas or crumbled tempeh.

Boil the cabbage leaves if you don’t have a steam basket. To do this, just bring a pot of water to a boil and place the individual leaves in the water to cook for about 1 minute or until softened. Remove from the water and immediately run the leaves under cold water or place in a bowl with ice water.

Keywords: napa cabbage rolls, vegan cabbage rolls