Mom's Cabbage Rolls - Moldovan Recipe

Mom's Cabbage Rolls - Moldovan Recipe

In the summer cabbage season, I always get nostalgic about my mother's stuffed cabbage in the way it's cooked at home for holidays and not only. Of course, cabbage rolls can also be made with sauerkraut and autumn cabbage, but now they are much, much more delicious because the cabbage is tender and sweet.

They differ from the classic Romanian cabbage rolls in the fact that they have many vegetables, less meat and mostly rice - combined with cabbage, they are something super extra good. If you also have some bell peppers, you can fill one or two, just for the flavour.


White cabbage
2 pieces
choose smaller cabbage, it's easier to scald
Chicken breast
1 piece
any other meat or minced meat
4 pieces
the more carrots, the tastier cabbage rolls
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


Fill a large pot with water and salt and place over heat. Fill it halfway so there's enough room to put the cabbage in here. While the water is coming to boil, prepare the cabbage, wash, clean and remove the core.


When the water starts to boil, place the cabbage in the pot. Move it with a fork so that the water enters through the leaves. Remove the leaves, one by one. Notice they get easier to remove, thanks to the boiling water.


Place the scalded cabbage leaves in a bowl, one on top of the other as you remove them from the pot. I prefer to scald more cabbage to make sure I have enough. If there are leftovers, I keep in the fridge and use later to make Cabbage in the oven. Prepare the stuffing while the cabbage is cooling down.


Cut the meat into small cubes. Place in a pan with oil and cook for a few minutes.


Very important. Don't fry/brown the meat. Cook just a little until it turns white and it hardens.


Then add the grated carrots and diced onions to the meat. Mix well and let the vegetables soften.


When the vegetables are soft (careful, they mustn't be fried), add a few tablespoons of tomato paste or finely chopped tomatoes. Stir, cook for another five minutes and turn off the heat.


Add the rice, washed, to the vegetables. Mix well.


Add salt, pepper, paprika, freshly chopped dill. Stir well.


Now we start to make the rolls. Cut the cabbage leaves into 2-3 pieces. If you want bigger rolls, cut into two. Remove the thicker parts of the leaves and roll up.


Place a large cabbage leaf on the bottom of the pot in which you'll cook the stuffed cabbage. Arrange the cabbage rolls one next to the other, without leaving much space between them. I also had some frozen peppers which I filled and placed between the cabbage rolls, for extra flavor.


After a layer of cabbage rolls, sprinkle over with tomato juice and put 2-3 dill stalks.


Do the same with all the layers and, on the last one, you can put more dill stalks.


Place the remaining cabbage over the top to cover it completely. Pour water to cover the rolls. Place over heat and when they start to boil, turn the heat to very low and let simmer for two hours. Then, turn off the heat, and allow the stuffed cabbage and vegetables to infuse for another hour. This way it'll be much more delicious.


Cabbage rolls are very good served warm with a little yogurt or sour cream.


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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