Salmon Steamed with Savoy Cabbage

Steamed fish needn’t be boring: Here salmon fillets and blanched cabbage are rolled in cabbage leaves. The little packages are steamed, then served over mellow rice noodles with a tangy soy, sesame, and rice-wine vinegar sauce. Note: You will need a two-level bamboo steamer for this recipe.

  • Yield: Serves 6
Salmon Steamed with Savoy Cabbage

Photography: Sang An

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2001


  • 2 heads savoy cabbage (2 pounds each)
  • 1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger, with juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 eight-ounce package rice noodles
  • 6 three-ounce salmon fillets, about 1 1/2-by-3-inches each, skin removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 scallions, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Peel off 6 of the big outer leaves, without holes, from each cabbage; set aside. Core and thinly slice remaining cabbage. Fill medium bowl with ice water; set aside. Blanch the cabbage leaves until bright green and flexible, about 1 minute. Drain cabbage; immerse in ice bath. When cool, drain in colander; set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil; set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Cook noodles until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well; transfer to a bowl. Toss with 1/3 cup of the soy mixture; set aside.

  3. Bring a wok or large skillet of water to a simmer. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Carefully cut out the stiff stems of the reserved cabbage leaves. Place 2 leaves on a work surface, slightly overlapping. Place a fillet on each leaf. Top with about 1/2 cup sliced cabbage, and roll leaves "burrito" style. Divide the remaining sliced cabbage among the bottom of each level of the bamboo steamer. Place the salmon packages seam side down on the cabbage. Cover the steamer; place in the wok or skillet. Steam until the salmon is just cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. For the sauce, add the scallions to the remaining soy mixture. Serve the salmon packages and steamed cabbage over the noodles with the sauce.


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