Napa Cabbage Millefeuille with Pork Belly

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On impulse I bought some nice sliced pork belly. I searched for a recipe for what to do with it, and found this most surprising and delicious steamed casserole of pork and cabbage. The secret umami flavor in this dish is provided by umeboshi (pickled plums)! It’s adapted from Katsutoshi Saito of Blue Ribbon Sushi Brooklyn

Mille–feuille (pronunciation: \mēl-ˈfwē, mēl-ˈfœ-ē\) is an interesting word, coming from French, means a thousand leaves. It is usually a dish composed of puff pastry layered with a filling (as salmon or cream). In this case however, cabbage leaves are layered with the sliced pork, mashed umiboshi, and kombu. Then they are arranged edgewise in a heavy pot: the layers look like petals of ruffly flower. Like many casseroles, it is not so beautiful on the plate, but the rich and savory flavor is more than enough compensation…

Napa Cabbage Millefeuille with Pork Belly

1 pound
of pork belly,

thinly sliced
½ napa cabbage,
The number of leaves
equals the number
of pork slices
1 pack enoki mushrooms
roots trimmed off
5-6 umeboshi mashed
to a paste
• 2” x 6” long piece
dried kombu
soaked for ½ hour,
sliced into strips
equal to number
of slices
2 ounces
of sake

  1. Spread
    umeboshi paste
    onto thinly sliced pork.
  2. Remove the thick ribs of
    the napa cabbage leaves. Each
    leaf will then be cut in half.
  3. Make layers of cabbage, pork,
    enoki, kombu, cabbage.
  4. Place cabbage / pork layers
    edge-wise around a heavy bottomed
    pot. Begin on the outer
    circumference and work
    toward the center.
  5. Pour in sake. Steam for about
    15 minutes at low to
    medium heat.
  6. Serve with
    black pepper and a
    little sesame
    oil.
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6 thoughts on “Napa Cabbage Millefeuille with Pork Belly

  1. all these dishes are yummy in sight, wow, I admire what you have here but afraid that I am never capable of doing it myself.

    Keep going!

    • Hi Joseph,

      Yes, it is surprisingly delicious.

      Pork belly is not something we’d want to eat very often: so rich—well unctuous and fatty. I am thinking to try it with dried shiitake, chicken, or tofu. The umeboshi would compliment any of those. Not the same mouth texture, but I’m thinking it would be good.

      I also wonder if you could use pork shoulder. That cut sometimes has lots of fat layered in.

      In Asian/Korean/Japanese stores, I can find unsliced frozen pork belly. (Also in Southern/Black neighborhoods.) Something to keep in mind when you travel…

  2. Pingback: Thousand Leaves Stuffed Cabbage « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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