Mom's Cabbage Rolls - Moldavian Recipe

This recipe was automatically translated from Romanian. View original here
Mom's Cabbage Rolls - Moldavian Recipe

Always in the new cabbage season I have a nostalgia for my mother's stuffed cabbage, as they are made at home at all holidays and more. Of course, they are made with sauerkraut and autumn cabbage, but now they are much, much more delicious - because cabbage is tender and sweet.

They differ from the classic Romanian sarmales by the fact that they have many vegetables, less meat and predominantly rice - in combination with cabbage they are something super extra good. If you also have some peppers to fill, you can put one at a time for flavor.


White cabbage
2 pieces
choose smaller cabbage, you can easily scald it
Chicken breast
1 piece
or any other favorite meat, even minced
4 pieces
more carrots, the tastier the sarmales
White onion
4 pieces
Tomato paste
100 g
or canned diced tomatoes, or tomato juice
3 pieces
Sunflower oil
100 ml
1 tsp
1 tsp
2 tbsp
1 cup

Step by step


Put boiling salted water in a larger saucepan, fill it halfway so you can put the cabbage there and no water will run out of the pan. Until the water boils, prepare the cabbage, wash it, clean it and remove the spine.


Then when the water starts to boil, put the cabbage in the pan, move it with a fork so that the water enters the leaves and start to remove the leaves, one by one. You will notice that they are easily removed as they are scalded from boiled water.


Put the scalded cabbage leaves in a bowl, one on top of the other as you take them out of the pan. I prefer to make more leaves, so that they don't reach me, and if they remain I put them in the fridge and then use them to make Cabbage in the oven . Prepare the filling until the leaves cool.


Cut the meat into small cubes and put it in the pan with oil to reduce a little.


Very importantly, the meat is not fried / browned, just a little until it turns white and hardens, then it is ready.


Then add the grated carrots and diced onions to the meat. Mix well and let the vegetables drop a little.


Then when the vegetables are left (be careful not to fry), add a few tablespoons of tomato paste, or finely chopped tomatoes. Stir, leave for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat.


Add the washed rice to the prepared vegetables and mix well.


Then add salt, pepper, paprika, a little freshly chopped dill and mix well.


Now we start to make the sarmales - the cabbage leaves are cut into 2-3 pieces (if you want the bigger sarmales you cut them in 2), the thicker pieces are cut and the sarmales are formed.


On the bottom of the pot / pan in which the sarmales will boil, put a larger cabbage leaf and start to put the sarmales formed, one next to the other, do not leave much space between them. I also had some frozen peppers to fill and I put between the cabbage rolls to be more flavorful.


After putting each layer of cabbage rolls, sprinkle them with a little tomato juice and put 2-3 dill leaves.


Do the same when you finish the last layer, you can just put more dill leaves.


And cover the top with the leftover cabbage that you didn't use for the sarmale, so that it covers their entire surface well. Pour the water to cover the sarmales well, put them to boil and when they boil, make the fire very low and leave it like this for 2 hours. Then turn off the heat, and let another hour to penetrate - so they will be much more delicious.


Sarmalele are very good warm with a little yogurt or sour cream.

Good appetite!

Quantity: 3 kg (1 large 3-4 liter pot)
Prep time: 120 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 60 min
Publish date:


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