Sarmale (Stuffed Cabbage or Vine Leaves) Recipe -
Sarmale (Stuffed Cabbage or Vine Leaves) Recipe
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Sarmale (Stuffed Cabbage or Vine Leaves)

Recipe by  

"This recipe is a very traditional Moldovan recipe. My mother and my grandmother used to cook it at almost every Moldovan holy day and sometimes on a casual day. I love it! If you cannot find parsley root, you may substitute parsnip or turnip."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 5 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    45 mins

    1 hr 45 mins


  1. Place rice in a medium bowl, and pour boiling water over it. Let soak for 15 minutes, then drain.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, parsley roots, onions and tomato paste. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the rice.
  3. Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, and cook for about 2 minutes, just until browned on the outside. Transfer to the bowl with the rice and vegetables; season with dill and black pepper. Stir until everything is well blended. Set the mixture aside to cool.
  4. Carefully remove the leaves from the head of cabbage, and place them in a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and flexible.
  5. Remove the cabbage leaves from the pot, but leave enough in the bottom to cover. On each of the remaining leaves, place about 2 tablespoons of the pork and rice mixture in the center, and wrap the leaf around to cover. Place the stuffed cabbage leaves into the pot.
  6. When the pot is full, place a few boiled cabbage leaves over the top. Pour boiling water into the pot to cover the cabbage rolls, and place over medium-low heat. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the rice is tender.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 21, 2005

Great recipe! This recipe goes great served with sour cream. As a variation and for added flavor, when cooking it, use half water and half borsch (Romanian and maybe Russian stores offer it..., a sour delicate-flavored liquid). If not available, you can add a Tbsp of lemon juice. I grew up making and eating "sarmale".

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 22, 2008

I love the idea of this and followed the recipe exactly. To me, I wanted more taste to it--I loved the texture and next time I make it I'll spice it up.


9 Ratings

Jun 23, 2006

Great Romanian recipie. Top it with sour cream while on your plate.

Jun 24, 2005

Good Sarmale recipe, I use vegeta when parlsey root is unavailable.

Nov 03, 2010

3 of 5 because 3 1/4 cups of rice cooks up to an enormous amount. Also, it was a bit bland for my likes. I have had this made by a Bosnian friend before and hers was much more flavorful. I would not use this particular recipe again. I still have an enormous bowl full of the stuffing mix after going through a head of cabbage. I could easily feed 20 people off this amount of food.

Aug 18, 2011

Place the head of cabbage in a large pot over high heat and add water to cover. Boil cabbage for 15 minutes, or until it is pliable and soft. Drain and allow to cool completely. Remove the hard outer vein from the leaves. This helps a lot!

Aug 09, 2010

I was advised to use parsley instead of parsley root. DONT DO THIS. the taste is to strong. it is very hard to get the rice/meat to stay in the cabbage.


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  • Calories
  • 917 kcal
  • 46%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 126.5 g
  • 41%
  • Cholesterol
  • 104 mg
  • 35%
  • Fat
  • 21.3 g
  • 33%
  • Fiber
  • 11 g
  • 44%
  • Protein
  • 54 g
  • 108%
  • Sodium
  • 353 mg
  • 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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