Instant Pot Napa Cabbage with Sweet Rice Meat Ball Stew

Instant Pot Napa Cabbage with Sweet Rice Meat Ball Stew

By Caroline Wang

Napa Cabbage with Sweet Rice Meat Ball Stew


  • 1 Medium size Napa Cabbage
  • 1-pound ground meat (any mixture of Beef, Pork, Chicken or Turkey to your taste)
  • 1 Table Spoon corn starch
  • 2 Table Spoons Vegetable oil or Olive Oil
  • 2 Table Spoons Honey (any kind)
  • 3 to four thin slices Ginger roots
  • Few mushroom (3 to 5 any type fresh or dry mushroom)
  • 1 Table spoon salt (or to your taste)
  • 2 Table Spoons Sweet Rice (Sticky rice)
  • 2 Table Spoons Honey
  • ¼ cub water or chicken broth


  1. Mix the ground meat, corn starch and sweet rice (Sweet Rice is sticky after cooked, but it is not sweet. Do not know why it is called sweet rice) and make meat ball (1 and ½ inch Diameter, more or less)
  2. Clean the Napa Cabbage (also called Chinese Cabbage, some of them are white, some of them with little green leaves)
  3. Cut the Napa Cabbage leaves to any shape you wish
  4. Break the dry mushrooms or cut the fresh mushrooms. Dry mushrooms can be stored for a long time. Therefore, many people like to keep dry mushrooms at home for future use
  5. Slice ginger roots, and cut it in thin strips
  6. Add Oil on the bottom of the Instant Pot
  7. Place one layer of Napa Cabbage on the bottom layer of the pan. Add one layer of meat ball, and repeat the process until done
  8. Add the remaining ingredients (Ginger roots, Mushroom, Honey, and water)
  9. Close and seal the lid
  10. Set Instant Pot to Meat/Stew function (Use the auto function)
  11. Wait until instant pot complete the cycle with natural release (approximately one hour)
  12. You can serve on top of rice.


This Napa Cabbage Stew with Meat balls is Chinese comfort food. My mother made for us a lot when I was growing up. There are many ways to prepare this dish. Most of people deep fry the meat ball first to ensure the meat ball will bind well together. But my mother used corn starch to cover the outside of the meatball before cooking. This worked really well. But I discovered to use small amount of sweet rice to bind the meat.

I use this method a lot on my cooking. Not only safe my time, reduce deep fry oil, and the result of the meat balls were more tender.

Napa Cabbage Meat Ball Stew is a very tasty and comfortable dish. Especially for winter.

About the Author

Caroline WangCaroline Wang is an award-winning watercolor artist; a NASA retired Engineer and researcher. She believes all innovations are created from inspiration and passion. Caroline says that writers use writing to express their feelings; but Artists use painting to express their feelings. 

But what got her into cooking? Read full story here.

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