Cabbage Rice

First posted in Feb 2008, updated in Apr 2015

This recipe is handed down from my mum, whom I think makes the best cabbage rice in the world. Of course, I am totally biased, but I seriously think that’s quite true :) Though this dish is popularly known locally as cabbage rice, it has other ingredients such as pork belly and mushrooms.

See Also:

The secret to making superb cabbage rice is to use the water for soaking the dried mushrooms, dried scallops and dried shrimps. If you can imagine the smell from these dried goods, that is sheer umami bliss. You also have to stir fry the ingredients in the wok briefly before transferring them to cook in the rice cooker for better flavour.

Cabbage for Cabbage Rice Recipe

When I look back at my past cabbage rice,  I realised that I have shredded the cabbage too finely. The cabbage shrinks considerably after cooking. So nowadays, I slice the cabbage rather coarsely (as above), which is not just a time-saver, but results in the cabbage being just the right bite-sized when cooked in the rice cooker.

Cabbage Rice Recipe

Cabbage Rice Recipe

Reserve the water from soaking the dried ingredients for cooking the rice. Measure the water required as stated in the recipe. If you have insufficient soaking liquid, top up with plain water. If you have excess soaking water, you do not need to use all of it.


  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 15 grams dried shrimps
  • 3 small dried scallops
  • hot water for soaking dried ingredients
  • 200 grams pork belly with some fat on sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice washed and drained
  • 200 gram cabbage leaves sliced to 2 cm width
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt to taste
  • 150 ml + 1 cup (same cup to measure rice) filtered soaking water


  1. Soak mushrooms in a bowl of hot water until softened. Discard the stem, squeeze out excess water from the caps and slice thinly. Filter soaking water through a fine sieve and set aside.
  2. Soak dried shrimps and dried scallops in small bowls of water until softened. Pat dried shrimps dry on paper towels and chop finely. Pat dried scallops dry on paper towels and tear to fine shreds. Filter soaking water through a fine sieve and set aside.
  3. In a wok, add pork belly and spread them out with the ladle. Let the fats render some oil and stir fry until cooked on surface. Push pork belly to one side of wok using a spatula.
  4. Add oil in wok and stir fry garlic until light golden. Add dried shrimps, dried scallops and shiitake mushrooms. Stir fry in garlic until they are fragrant.
  5. Add cabbage and stir fry until they start to soften.
  6. Add washed rice, soy sauce, salt and 150 ml soaking water. Stir fry to mix everything evenly, cover with lid and simmer for 3 minutes.
  7. Transfer contents of wok to the rice cooker. Add 1 cup soaking water to rice cooker and set to cook.