Cooking Eorzea | Feature Image

Cooking Eorzea | Feature Image

To those who lived this world and knew friendly company therein:
This Reunion is for you.

~FINAL FANTASY VII: Advent Children Complete (2009)

I have a confession to make. Due to work, writing, Cooking Eorzea, basketball games, trying to see all the Best Picture nominee movies before the Oscars this Sunday, and trying to complete the full reward list for the ongoing Moogle Treasure Trove: The First Hunt for Genesis before it expires on March 11, 2024, in FINAL FANTASY XIV Online, I have yet to start FINAL FANTASY VII Rebirth.

I know, I know.

Considering that I even wrote a full-on article about five things I want to see in FINAL FANTASY VII Rebirth, that is surprising for me. Especially since I somehow found the time to see FINAL FANTASY VII: Advent Children Complete when it came to theaters just before the game’s release and it reminded me just how much I love FINAL FANTASY VII.

I originally played FINAL FANTASY VII all throughout my senior year in high school, starting from before the summer break and playing it until two weeks before graduation when I FINALLY finished the game, 100%, and I was able to turn to Parasite Eve to top off my high school education. The end of Disc One was completely unexpected for me, and I kept falling in love with the characters – and it felt like a mark of pride when I was finally able to cast Knights of the Round chained to a Quadra Materia in order to cast the Summon Materia four times in a row.

A few years later, FINAL FANTASY VII: Crisis Core came out, and I pushed through it to finish the game in the last two weeks before I graduated college. I fell in love with Zack and Aeris/Aerith and their relationship then.

When FINAL FANTASY VII Remake was first announced during Sony’s presser at E3 2015, that – along with the Shenmue III announcement – captured my mind and my heart like I was back in high school. I preordered the SOLDIER 1st Class Edition on my way to dinner with some other journalists during E3 2019, and I finally was able to sit down and play it at release. And when the DLC came out? I jumped on that too. And don’t even get me started on the FINAL FANTASY VII Remake: Traces of Two Pasts novelization.

All throughout the past two decades of my life, FINAL FANTASY VII has slipped in and out of it, and I find myself randomly watching clips of gameplay or reading about the game or looking at merchandise for the game. And not to mention that I have recited Aerith’s “I have 23 tiny wishes” quote more times than I want to admit.

Sometimes, it feels like things slip up and down in priority for me, and there never is enough time to do everything I want. This week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe I ended up having to squeeze into my Wednesday night after work and seeing Maestro (don’t spend the money on seeing it in theaters, watch it on Netflix instead). I am also still trying to take care of myself after my heart health issues from last year, and so I am forcing myself to slow down occasionally.

I know that I quoted the FINAL FANTASY VII: Advent Children Complete movie at the top of this week’s column, but I feel like that quote doesn’t just apply to the movie but to anyone who picks up any FINAL FANTASY VII title and wants to visit those characters they love therein. I cannot wait to dive back in and spend some more time with Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Yuffie, and everyone else once again…I just need to find the time to do it.

If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.

Recipe of the Week

This week’s recipe, with a rating of ‘Easy,’ comes from Gyr Abania and is called Stuffed Cabbage Roll! This is the 47th recipe in the cookbook, and it looked deceptively easy to make. Basically: I make tomato sauce, set it aside, make the blended lamb filling, set it aside, make a cup of rice, boil a cabbage, and then put it all other before putting it all into the oven.

Anyway, here is what Stuffed Cabbage Roll looks like in the hands of a professional!

Cooking Eorzea | Stuffed Cabbage Roll Professional Photo
Image courtesy of Insight Editions.

Featured Ingredient of the Week

Cooking Eorzea | Featured Ingredient- Cabbage
Photo by author.

Cabbage is a leafy plant that is grown for its very dense leafy heads. They are a very old crop, and are high in dietary fiber, Vitamins (A, C, K), calcium, iron, and other things. I also don’t really care for them because of how bland they are. Whenever I’ve had cabbage, I’ve always thought that it does not have much flavor to it. When I saw that this week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe was to have cabbage as a central ingredient, I had to give it a chance to see how good it can be in a recipe. Therefore, I had to make it this week’s featured ingredient of the week! (Spoiler, I didn’t really care for it.)

My Cooking Attempt

For my Stuffed Cabbage Roll attempt, here are the ingredients I used:

Cooking Eorzea | Stuffed Cabbage Roll Ingredients
Photo by author.

In a pan, I added together the can of crushed tomatoes and the tomato sauce.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in tomato sauce.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in crushed tomatoes.
I then added in sugar and white vinegar…

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in sugar
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in white vinegar.

…Salt and basil…

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in salt.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in basil.

…oregano and thyme…

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in oregano.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in thyme

…And finally pepper.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in pepper.
Photo by author.

I then whisked it all together and brought the tomato sauce to a boil. The sauce became really, really fragrant in an amazing way as it started to heat up.

Cooking Eorzea | Whisking together the tomato sauce.
Photos by author.

I lowered the temperature and I let the tomato sauce cook while I chopped up three-quarters of the onion and then peeled the garlic. Instead of immediately mincing the garlic like I usually do, I instead set the cloves aside temporarily.

Cooking Eorzea | Chopped onion.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Peeled garlic cloves.
After about twenty minutes, you can how the tomato sauce started to thicken up.

Cooking Eorzea | Thickened tomato sauce.
Photo by author.

Once the tomato sauce was done, I set it on a non-active burner to cool down while I also preheated the oven to 375.

Cooking Eorzea | Sauce set aside and preheated oven.
Photo by author.

I replaced the pan with a large pot and filled it with water and let it heat up.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding water to a pot.
Photo by author.

While the water was heating up, I started to make the cooked rice in my rice cooker.

Cooking Eorzea | Making rice in a rice cooker.
Photo by author.

I then turned my attention to the featured ingredient of the week, and I removed a leaf from the outside that was fairly dark.

Cooking Eorzea | Removing a darker leaf.
Photo by author.

I then chopped off the bottom half-inch or so of the stem.

Cooking Eorzea | Chopping off part of the cabbage bottom
Photo by author.

At this point, the pot was boiling and so I carefully dropped the cabbage into the pot, and I let it sit there for about 10 minutes to soften up. I won’t lie: boiling cabbage does NOT smell great, and I ended up lighting a candle in order to deal with the odor.

Cooking Eorzea | Boiling cabbage.
Photo by author.

When my timer went off, I removed it from the pot very carefully, put it into a strainer, and I washed it all over with cold water.

Cooking Eorzea | Washing the cabbage in cold water.
Photo by author.

Once the cabbage was mostly chilled down, I pulled what I thought were 10 leaves off of the cabbage. (Spoiler alert: it turns out that I cannot count reliably to 10, as I ended up only taking nine off the cabbage head.)

Cooking Eorzea | Pulling off cabbage leaves.
Photo by author.

I then chopped up the remaining cabbage head, and I placed them into the bottom of my deep baking pan.

Cooking Eorzea | Filling a pan with cabbage pieces.
Photo by author.

Setting the deep baking pan aside for the moment, I minced up the garlic, set that aside, and then got out a smaller pan and added olive oil to it.

Cooking Eorzea | Minced garlic.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding olive oil to a pan.

I added the chopped onion to the pan, let it cook for about five minutes, and then added the garlic in and I let it cook as well.

Cooking Eorzea | Cooking onion and garlic.
Photo by author.

Right as the garlic went in, the timer for my rice cooker went off, and I pulled a cup of rice out to use.

Cooking Eorzea | Pulling out a cup of rice.
Photo by author.

Once the garlic and onion blend was done, I added it to a bowl and I let it cool down.

Cooking Eorzea | Garlic and onion cooling in a bowl.
Photo by author.

Once I thought the garlic and onion was cooled enough, I added in the rice, ground lamb, the salt, the pepper, the oregano, and the basil.

Cooking Eorzea | Adding in the filling ingredients.
Photo by author.

I then mixed it all together by hand. Unfortunately, the rice, garlic, and onions hadn’t quite cooled down enough as I felt more than a bit uncomfortable with how warm it all was until it was all blended together.

Cooking Eorzea | Blending together the filling mixture.
Photo by author.

Once it was all blended together, I portioned out the blended lamb meat filling into 10 portions.

Cooking Eorzea | Portioned out lamb filling.
Photo by author.

Finally, time to put it all together! Moving back to the cutting board, I pulled out one of the previously separated leaves, and I made a one-inch cut into the stem.

Cooking Eorzea | Making a one-inch cut in a stem.
Photo by author.

I placed a portion of the mixed lamb filling onto the cabbage leaf, and I started to roll up from the bottom over the mixed lamb filling while also tucking in the sides.

Cooking Eorzea | Placing filling on top of the leaf.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Rolling up the cabbage leaf.

Here is what a completed cabbage roll looks like.

Cooking Eorzea | Finished rolled cabbage roll.
Photo by author.

I then placed it seam-side down into the deep baking dish. As I was working through my cabbage leaves, I realized that I did not have 10…but only nine. It turns out that I screwed up early on and that I did not pull enough cabbage leaves off. Thankfully, it only changed the overall portion size and not the heart of the recipe itself. The left-over mixed lamb ended up going in the refrigerator to be used for a burger the next day!

Cooking Eorzea | Cabbage rolls in the deep baking dish.
Photo by author.

I then retrieved the tomato sauce I made at the start, and ladled it over the cabbage leaf rolls.

Cooking Eorzea | Ladling the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.
Photos by author.

Cooking Eorzea | Completely covered pan.

I placed the entire dish into the preheated oven, and I let it bake for 45 minutes to finish this week’s Cooking Eorzea dish off!

Cooking Eorzea | Baking the stuffed cabbage rolls.
Photo by author.

And here is what the final dish looks like for this week’s Cooking Eorzea!

Cooking Eorzea | Final Dish
Photo by author.

Naturally, with the release of FINAL FANTASY VII Rebirth, I had to dress this week’s Cooking Eorzea dish up with the game’s merchandise as best as I could.

The Stuffed Cabbage Roll was really interesting to eat, actually. I tried the mixed lamb filling and the tomato sauce by themselves, and both of them had a really pleasant and seasoned taste that I thought would be great on a dish by itself. But together? Those two pieces really elevated each other and complemented each other perfectly! The seasoning really cut through the meat and the tomatoes, and I honestly adored it. The only part I didn’t care for, actually, was the cabbage leaf itself. The cabbage was fairly bland, and I had a hard time cutting through it. I ended up eating only a bit of the cabbage by the time I got to the third roll in the picture above, and instead I scarfed down the lamb filing and tomato sauce!


If I was to make the Stuffed Cabbage Roll again, I would first of all remove TEN, not nine, but TEN cabbage leaves. It is ridiculous that I couldn’t count to 10 properly. Other than that, there weren’t a lot of things that I would do differently as the dish came out pretty much as expected. This is also a dish I could make for several people to enjoy, as two or three stuffed cabbage rolls seemed to be the perfect potion size for a person!

Lets talk ‘thank yous’, like I do every week! For starters, I want to thank Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook, as my cooking journey wouldn’t exist without her. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes are actually supposed to look- I only hope that I can do these photos justice on occasion with my own attempts. Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on X, and I owe him a debt for his help.

Finally, I want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online throughout the game’s entire life. Dawntrail is coming, but it wouldn’t be possible without all the hard work that everyone had previously put into building this game. I am excited to see what will be announced at PAX East on March 23, 2024 at noon ET.

Next Week

Next week, we close out the Main Dish section of Cooking Eorzea with the Trapper’s Quiche recipe! I actually like quiche, so I am hoping this will be good. And I won’t lie, I am excited about moving onto Side Dishes and seeing what all is in store for the future with me!

Do you like cabbage as used in this week’s Cooking Eorzea entry? 

What do you think about FINAL FANTASY VII Rebirth?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.