Stuffed Napa Cabbage Leaves with Peanut Sauce

We love the ease of feeding ourselves a rainbow of nutrition in high summer in Vermont!

You never know what you will find at the farm stands and farmers markets in July in Vermont, but it’s a sure bet there will be lots from which to choose and enjoy.

            This week, I found everything I was looking for, and then some. Beautiful purple Napa cabbage caught my eye, crunchy and flavorful looking. The leaves were so delightful, I knew I would stuff them with other delicious vegetables. New carrots, snow peas, and peppers would provide even more color and nutrition. You could also add cucumbers, green beans, radishes, kohlrabi, or many other treasures here, just pick something to blanch quickly so there’s still a lot of texture. This is a perfect place to chop up those neglected broccoli stems, and the new broccoli is so tender and flavorful right now.

Use an organic, natural peanut butter with no additives. The ingredients in my house peanut butter are peanuts and salt, no sugars or preservatives. If you don’t like crunchy, you can use smooth.

Eat your rainbow, delightfully!

            A rainbow of color and texture, this salad is quick to put together, the chopping will take the most time, but we’re only talking a few minutes here!

            Serve this individually as a starter for a dinner party, or eat your fill and call it supper! Just over a hundred calories per stuffed leaf, you’ll get almost all your Vitamin C, as well as substantial amounts of Vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and protein and fiber. It’s dairy and gluten free, and vegan as well.

The second act

            The next day, I chopped everything up, noodles and sauce and all, added a few more chopped cabbage leaves, another drizzle of sesame oil, and we called it lunch!

            Flavorful, crunchy, and beautifully textured, as well as easy to assemble and enjoy. Perfect for summer.

Stuffed Napa Cabbage Leaves with Peanut Sauce

  • 8 large leaves Napa cabbage
  • 3 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 small or ½ yellow bell pepper, fine dice
  • 1 small or ½ red bell pepper, fine dice
  • 1 carrot, fine dice
  • 4 oz. snow peas, sliced diagonal
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Peanut sauce, below

Arrange the cabbage leaves on a large platter and set aside.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the vermicelli noodles, cover, and remove from the heat. Let set for 10 minutes, then scoop out the noodles to a sieve, drain and rinse in cold water. Put the water back on to boil.

Chop the peppers, carrots, and snow peas. Add to the boiling water and cook for about a minute, just long enough to slightly soften and set the lovely colors. Remove to a sieve, chill with cold water, and drain.

Place vegetables in a large bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide and mound the noodles at the base of the cabbage leaves and divide and scoop out the vegetables on top.

Serve with the peanut sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions, reserved from the sauce below, a bit more salt and pepper. You can also top with chopped peanuts if you have them on hand.

Dorothy’s Peanut Sauce

      This sauce can be used in a dozen different ways. Top a protein, dip an egg roll, toss with noodles, etc. It is flavorful and well balanced.

  • ¼ cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. low sodium tamari
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Scant ¼ tsp. cayenne or hot sauce to taste
  • 2 scallions, sliced small on diagonal, divided
  • Water to thin

Reserve some of the dark greens from the scallions for garnish, then mix everything else together in a small saucepan. Warm to melt the peanut butter.

This is a really pretty way to start off a dinner party!

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57 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing. Sounds yummy, and very healthy too. :-)) xx Michael

  2. NativeNM says:

    Wow, so many colors! Looks delicious!

    1. Thank you so much! It does make one smile.

  3. picpholio says:

    A very original idea to surprise your guests 🙂

    1. Color always delights!

  4. terrie gura says:

    Dorothy, may I please become a permanent resident at your inn, and just sit with you beneath Alice the maple tree, enjoying healthy beautiful food? This looks and sounds SOOOO good!

    1. Yes, you may Terrie, Alice enjoys the company. But you have to help me figure out what to make with all the stuff in my freezer and pantry that need a little love…

      1. terrie gura says:

        Done! I’m on my way, and we would have a ball clearing out your larder!

  5. This sounds absolutely divine Dorothy and what a stunning presentation!! I’ve got to make this!

    1. Thank you Jenna! You will be happy you did!

    1. Thank you! I could put peanut sauce on just about anything!

  6. BERNADETTE says:

    This is an amazingly beautiful dish and in addition it sounds very tasty.

    1. Thank you Bern, it was really delicious, and even passed the husband test!

  7. Sowmya says:

    This looks and sounds perfect and healthy. Love the peanut sauce. Wonderful presentation

    1. Thank you so much! It was certainly conversation worthy.

  8. The perfect summer lunch! I’m a big fan of peanut sauce, so would love this combination.
    First time I’ve seen purple Napa cabbage. Now I’m curious! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! It made a lovely centerpiece. I found the cabbage at a local farm stand; they grow it every year along with pink celery!

      1. Pink celery? Another revelation! 🙂

      2. I’ll look for it next time I”m there!

  9. This is not something I’ve ever tried, but it certainly makes one spectacular presentation.

    1. It’s really eye catching!

  10. capost2k says:

    THIS is almost enough to make me forget about how much I love butterscotch!
    I may try this out (minus the garlic, hot sauce and scallions). 😉

    1. Thank you! This is a wonderful recipe to tailor to your own liking! I know you’ll enjoy your own version.

  11. Zakia Attia says:

    love the presentation and the recipe, will try soon

    1. Thank you Zamia! Let me know how it turns out!

  12. NancyC says:

    Love all the healthy, colorful ingredients in this–so pretty, too!

    1. Thanks Nancy! Pretty dishes are often the healthiest!

  13. Carolyn Page says:

    Loving all of it, Dorothy – the peanut butter sauce sounds devine.
    I copied and pasted the sauce recipe… After saving it I realised I’d called it:
    Dorothy’s Peanut Butter Sauce… hahahhhh Salivating!!!!

    1. Thank you Carolyn! I may have to edit the name!!!

      1. Carolyn Page says:

        Hahahhh 🙂
        Yes, perhaps you should…

  14. writinstuff says:

    Love these! That purple cabbage is gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! It really caught my eye!

  15. simplywendi says:

    oh my goodness, this looks fantastic!

    1. Thank you Wendy! It was fun to make and eat!

      1. simplywendi says:


  16. Gail says:

    There’s so many tempting flavors in this dish that I can’t decide if I should pick at it or just dive in. 😍🍃

    1. Dive in definitely, mouth first!

  17. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love my purples we have most veggies in purple but so far I have not seen purple Napa cabbage it looks stunning with the other colours all combined like jewels 🙂

    1. There’s something special about the purple, it just makes my eyes light up!

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Mine too, Dorothy x

      2. CarolCooks2 says:

        Me to, Dorothy it just makes the meal look so much more exciting 🙂

  18. What a spread! I love that you used chunky pb. So many recipes call for smooth but I love a little texture…I see you snuck a bit of vermont into the sauce too!!


    1. Thank you! Chunky for me all the way and I do try to add a Vermont flair whenever possible!!!

  19. Very colorful, looks delicious 😋

    1. Thank you so much Malcolm! It was certainly a keeper.

  20. petespringerauthor says:

    I’m definitely going to try the peanut butter sauce. Thank you, Dorothy!

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  21. This is very tasty! I’ve never seen purple napa cabbage before. This dish is very close to an Indonesian dish called gado gado. Your peanut sauce is slightly different and gado gado includes hard boiled eggs, but no noodles.

    1. Thank you! Our local farmers love to experiment with different varieties, and I can usually find this most weeks. I love gado gado (haven’t thought of it in ages, it was quite trendy in the 90s!), and yes, the sauce is similar.

  22. sarchakra says:

    So healthy and nutritious

  23. Judee says:

    Wow. This looks amazingly healthy and delicious and I love your presentation too. Such a great idea.

    1. Thank you so much Jude! The family loves it. So glad you stopped by!

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