I got this idea after eating a lovely New Year’s day meal cooked by my friend Caroline Lomax. I had always heard that you are supposed to eat black eyed peas for luck but didn’t know you were also supposed to eat cabbage for health and pork for wealth. Even if it’s a little late for New Year’s this meal is still delicious and healthy. And maybe a little inspirational? If you haven’t really gotten started on those New Resolutions, there’s still time!
Center cut pork loin (these 4 cuts were just over a pound total, each about 4-5oz, perfect serving size!)
Worchestire Sauce and garlic for marinating
Peel 4 small cloves of garlic.
Ok, now we are going to crush these. If you ever watch cooking shows, you’ve seen the chefs pop those knives down on the garlic and smash it. I was a little more timid because I really didn’t want to lose a thumb. So, place the knife over the garlic cloves and press down hard.
Bam! Crushed garlic!
Poke the meat a little with a fork. Tenderizing.
Now, in a Tupperware or bowl, layer garlic and pork.
Pour Worchestire sauce over everything. And a little in between each piece of pork.
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Next, we are onto the cabbage and yogurt part. You’ll need:
1 cup Greek yogurt
2-3 fresh cloves of garlic
4 slices of cabbage
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Peel off the little paper lining on the yogurt.
Place yogurt in a Tupperware or bowl because this needs to marinate too.
Dice up the cilantro and cucumber and add to the yogurt. I used equal parts cucumber cilantro and cucumber. This is to taste and I like both so I added about a 1/3 cup of each.
Mince up 3 small cloves of garlic.
Add the garlic to the yogurt mixture.
Mix everything up. Cover and place in fridge and let marinate for about an hour.
Cabbage time! Key here is to keep the head intact while still properly washing all the dirt off. So, if you see any dirt remaining after washing, cut that part off and throw away. Cut of the butt of the cabbage.
Slice 4 large pieces. So pretty.
Place these on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over.
Be generous with the kosher salt.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Fresh cracked pepper to taste.
I broiled these in a convection oven for about 8 minutes. If you don’t have a convection oven, broil until the edges are a little crispy. Since these cook quickly, wait until you are ready to start grilling to pop these in the oven.
I didn’t get any pictures of these on the grill because it was pretty dark outside and they just didnt turn out. Warm the grill up and cook these about 5-6 minutes on each side.
Also, take your yogurt out of the fridge at this time and let it come to room temperature.
Crispy edged cabbage!
Alright, we are ready to plate! Place the cabbage on a plate and the pork over it.
I, like everyone else it seems, could use a little detox after the holiday gorge fest. I get a little bored with regular old “healthy” type food and prefer to keep it real. As in real food, minimally processed that packs lots of nutrition and flavor. This the spring roll. Easy, healthy, and switches it up a little.
The specialty items you’ll need:
I found these in the Asian section at HEB but you can also get them at places like Thai Fresh and other Asian markets.
Siracha and Soy Sauce for dipping if you like.
As for your fresh ingredients:
Peel the cucumber.
Then slice the ends off and cut it in half.
Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh.
Thinly slice the cucumber.
Now cut the thin slices into thirds. Set aside.
Peel off some cabbage leaves. Wash and pat them dry.
Slice them into thin strips about the same size as the cucumber.
In a boiling pot of water, place a handful of rice noodles. You don’t need much and these cook pretty quickly! Some only require about a minute in the boiling water, depends on the width and thickness of the noodle.
They kinda stay stuck together while they cook unless you separate them. In this case, it’s ok for them to stick together.
After removing from water, I let mine rest and dry out just a tad.
Ok, now for the challenging part: Rice paper. Look! It’s already starting to curl just holding it over the pot. It’s a delicate ingredient.
And my first attempt was an utter fail, haha.
Discard that one and move on.
Ok, it’s not perfect but definitely something I can work with. To do this, I dipped the rice paper in the water very quickly and had the plate right next to the stove. I laid it out as quickly as possible. Boom.
Now for the fun part! Place the shrimp flat on the cooked rice paper.
Layer the cabbage and cucumber slices over the shrimp.
Now add carrot slices and cilantro.
Top with a thin layer of cooked rice noodles and your ready to roll it up! The rice paper will be a little sticky and should roll up nicely.
Ready to eat!
I dipped mine in some siracha and soy sauce, yummy! Enjoy!