Asian-Inspired Cervena Elk Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Thank you to our friends at Second City Prime Steak and Seafood for the New Zealand Cervena elk meat that inspired this recipe.

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  • 1 pound ground Second City Prime Cervena elk
  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • ½ tsp Japanese seven spice seasoning
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1½ cup cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced including some of the greens
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds



Big Green Egg Cast Iron Skillet
Big Green Egg Dutch Oven


Set the EGG up for indirect cooking with the convEGGor at 400°F/204°C with cast iron skillet in the EGG preheating.

Heat the toasted sesame seed oil in the skillet, add the garlic and ground elk. As elk begins to cook, add ginger and Japanese Seven Spice seasoning and soy sauce. Once cooked through, remove from the EGG and set aside.

Wash and remove outer leaves from cabbage. Make a cut through each individual leaf at the base where it attaches to the core. Trim out some of the woody stem area from the leaf. In the Dutch oven combine 2 cups water and the 1 tablespoon sea salt. Bring to a boil and add larger cabbage leaves (about 8-10) to blanch for about 1 minute or until leaves have wilted.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 8 cups cold water and ice cubes. Cool cabbage leaves in ice water for 1 minute. Remove the leaves and lay flat on cloth towel to dry for 20 – 30 minutes.

While the cabbage is drying, mix the filling. In a large bowl, combine the elk mixture with the rice, green onion (reserve a bit for the garnish) and crushed red pepper. Stir to blend all the ingredients. Squeeze ½ of the fresh lime juice over mixture and stir. Taste mixture and season to taste – some prefer a spicier blend.

Take a blanched cabbage leaf and lay it flat, with the base end toward you. In the center of the leaf, place 1/4 cup of the elk and rice filling on the center of leaf.

Roll the base end over the filling. Fold both left and right sides over so that it just covers the opening on the edges. Continue rolling toward the end, wrapping tightly with care not to tear the leaf. Place finished roll in the Big Green Egg cast iron skillet with the end tucked under the roll, seam side down. Repeat with remaining leaves.

Return the cast iron skillet to the EGG and add a splash of toasted sesame seed oil to sear. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and remove from the EGG. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, diced scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with soy lime sauce.

Soy Lime Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seed oil
  • ½ lime, juiced

Soy Lime Sauce Instructions

Mix all ingredients together and serve with the cabbage rolls.

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