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Traditional Romanian Dish, Sarmale / Cabbage Rolls

Traditional Romanian Dish, Sarmale / Cabbage Rolls

If you’ve ever tasted a delicious dish of sarmale, then you know that the flavors are simply unforgettable. These pickled cabbage rolls have been a traditional favorite in Romania for centuries, and their savory taste is one that's sure to bring your family together around the dinner table. But what exactly are sarmale? Let’s take a look at this classic Romanian dish. 

What Are Sarmale?
Sarmale is a traditional Romanian dish made from pickled cabbage leaves filled with minced pork or beef and cooked in a tomato sauce or vegetable broth. The filling can also be made with mushrooms or rice as well, depending on personal preferences. It is usually served as an appetizer or side dish but can also be enjoyed as a main course. The pickling process begins by soaking the cabbage leaves in brine overnight before stuffing them with meat, rice, or mushroom filling. The stuffed leaves are then boiled until they become tender and the flavors have blended together perfectly.

Cooking Sarmale
Cooking sarmale takes time and patience because each roll needs to be prepared individually with care. Once the pickling process is complete, it's time to start prepping your ingredients for the filling. Start by heating some oil in a pan and adding diced onions, garlic, and celery to create an aromatic base for your filling mixture. Once those veggies are softened, add ground meats such as pork or beef (or just mushrooms if you prefer vegetarian), along with some chopped carrots and fresh herbs such as parsley and dill weed for flavor. Allow this mixture to cook until all of the ingredients are combined nicely before transferring it to a large bowl where it can cool down while you prepare your cabbage leaves.
Next comes stuffing each individual cabbage leaf which requires patience and attention-to-detail—but don't worry! This part isn't difficult once you get into it; simply place about 2 tablespoons of your cooled filling onto each leaf before rolling it up tightly into small packages like burritos! Place these rolls into an oven-safe baking dish that has been lightly greased with oil or butter before pouring over some tomato sauce or vegetable broth so they don't dry out while cooking in the oven at 375°F (190°C). Bake uncovered for 45 minutes before serving warm with some freshly cooked white rice on the side!

Sarmale is an incredibly flavorful traditional Romanian dish that will make your mouth water from its sweet-and-savory aromas alone! Whether served as an appetizer or enjoyed as part of a larger meal, these pickled cabbage rolls are sure to please even the most discerning palettes of food lovers everywhere!

To make these delicious rolls yourself at home, follow our easy recipe below – enjoy!


• 2 heads of cabbage
• 0.5kg ground pork or beef (or mushrooms)
• 1 onion
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 celery stalk
• 2 carrots
• Fresh parsley & dill weed (chopped)
• Salt & pepper to taste
• Olive oil
• Tomato sauce OR vegetable broth

1) Soak cabbage leaves in brine overnight
2) Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
3) Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat; add onions, garlic & celery; cook until softened
4) Add ground meat/mushrooms along with chopped carrots & herbs; cook until fully combined
5) Transfer cooled mixture into large bowl
6) Stuff each individual leaf with about 2 tablespoons of cooled filling
7) Roll up tightly like burritos & place in lightly greased baking dish
8 ) Pour over tomato sauce OR vegetable broth
9) Bake uncovered for 45 minutes
10) Serve warm alongside freshly cooked white rice Enjoy!


You can get most of the ingredients from us. Buy on MyFooDen.


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