The hero of today’s dish, Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage, is not the pork patties. It is the Chinese cabbages. The cabbages are sautéed, then simmered with the pork patties in a lightly flavoured sauce until they melt in your mouth.
Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage is a Japanese home-cooking dish that you will probably never see in restaurants. It looks very simple but is so delicious.
The original recipe for Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage came from one of my oldest Japanese cookbooks. It is so old that the photo of the dish is even black and white.
So, it is possible that the colour of the sauce and patties might be slightly different from the one in my cookbook. But when I converted my photo into black & white, it looked similar!
I said the hero of today’s dish is Chinese cabbages but it can also be classified as a simple pork mince recipe.
Today’s dish is considered to be a winter dish because Chinese cabbage is a winter vegetable, as mentioned in my post Chinese Cabbage and Apple Salad. The thickened sauce is also often served in winter as it keeps the dish warm for a long time.
But if the shops are selling Chinese cabbages, I can’t see why you shouldn’t make this dish even in summer.
What’s in my Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage
Other than a few ingredients to sauté the Chinese cabbage, there are ingredients to make pork patties and ingredients for the thickened sauce.
- Pork mince/ground pork
- Tofu – silken/kinugoshi or firm/momen tofu
- Shiitake mushrooms – finely diced
- grated ginger
- Cornflour/corn starch
- Soy sauce
The pork patties are made with pork and tofu to make the patties slightly lighter. But if you prefer, you can make the patties without tofu.
- Chinese cabbage – halved vertically, then diagonally sliced (sogi-giri, そぎ切り)
- Shallot (Aussie)/scallion
- Sesame oil
By using the sogi-giri method, the large areas of the flesh of the cabbage pieces are exposed. This will allow the flavour of the sauce penetrate into the cabbage better. The photo below shows how to do sogi-giri with Chinese cabbage.
- Dashi stock
- Soy sauce
- Cooking sake
- Cornflour/corn starch diluted in water – to thicken the sauce
How to Make Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage
There are two major steps – making the pork patties and putting it all together, and simmering.
- Press the tofu to remove some water out of it.
- Break the tofu into small pieces and mix well with all the Pork Patties ingredients.
- Make flat round patties of 5cm /2” in diameter.
- Cook the patties in a frying pan.
- Transfer the patties to a plate
- Using the same frying pan, sauté the stem part of the Chinese cabbage pieces first, then the cabbage leaves and shallots/scallions.
- Add the simmering Sauce ingredients, excluding cornflour/corn starch, and the patties to the pan.
- Cook until the cabbage pieces become soft, then add the cornflour/corn starch to thicken the sauce.
Since the patties are cooked in the sauce for a short while, you don’t need to worry if the patties are not completely cooked through before simmering.
You can make pork patties in advance and even freeze them. It is best to cook the patties before freezing. Defrost in the fridge or a microwave. Then you can make today’s dish in no time at all.
The hero of today's dish, Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage is not the pork patties but the Chinese cabbages. The cabbages are sautéed, then simmered with the pork patties in a lightly flavoured sauce until they melt in your month. Simmered Pork Patties and Chinese Cabbage is a Japanese home-cooking dish that you will probably never see in restaurants. It looks very simple but is so delicious.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
- 350g / 0.8lb Chinese cabbage
- 1 stem shallot (Aussie)/scallions
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp oil
- 250g / 0.6lb pork mince/ground pork
- 100g / 3.5oz tofu (note 1)
- 30g / 1.1oz shiitake mushrooms finely diced
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp cornflour/corn starch
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 egg yolk or ½ egg
Halve the Chinese cabbage leaves vertically, then slice diagonally using sogi-giri method, perpendicular to the first cut, into large bite-size pieces (see the photo in the post).
Cut the shallot/scallions diagonally into 5cm long.
Place a clean kitchen towel or kitchen paper on a cutting board and place the tofu pieces on it. Cover the tofu pieces with another kitchen towel/paper, then place a tray with a small weight, or a flat large plate upside down on top of it.
Tilt the cutting board, with the lower end to the sink so that the excess water drains into the sink. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
Place the tofu in a bowl and break it into small crumbs by hand. Add all the remaining Pork Patties ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
Wet your hands and take 1/15 or 1/16 of the pork mixture, and make a flat round patty of 5cm / 2” in diameter. Repeat and make 15-16 patties. (note 2)
Add sesame oil and oil to a large frying pan and heat over medium heat.
Place the patties in the frying pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes until the bottom of the patties become golden brown.
Turn them over and cook further 1 minute or so until the bottom of the patties become golden brown. It's OK even if the patties are not cooked through. Transfer the patties to a plate.
Add the stem part of the Chinese cabbage pieces to the pan and sauté over medium high heat for 30 seconds, then add the rest of the Chinese cabbage pieces and shallots to the pan. Cook another 30 seconds.
Add the Simmering ingredients, excluding cornstarch, and the patties to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook with a lid on for about 10 minutes until the Chinese cabbage pieces become soft.
Add the cornstarch to the pan and mix well. When the sauce thickens, turn the heat off.
Serve while hot - individually or on a large plate to share.
1. Tofu can be either firm tofu (momen tofu) or silken tofu (kinugosh-dōfu). The very hard tofu/extra firm tofu is not suited for this.
If you prefer not to use tofu in the patties, you can replace it with 50g / 1.8oz of mince.
2. Depending on the number of servings, you may want to change the total number of patties you make.
3. You can make the pork patties ahead of time and even freeze them. To defrost, either naturally defrost in the fridge or use a microwave. Then you only need to do the Simmering steps in the instructions on the day of serving. You will need to add some oil to sauté the vegetables.
4. Nutrition per serving assuming 4 servings.
serving: 263g calories: 301kcal fat: 23g (35%) saturated fat: 6.4g (32%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 4.2g monounsaturated fat: 11g cholesterol: 92mg (31%) sodium: 757mg (32%) potassium: 567mg (16%) carbohydrates: 6.1g (2%) dietary fibre: 1.5g (6%) sugar: 1.5g protein: 17g vitamin a: 80% vitamin c: 68% calcium: 14% iron: 11%