Yes, you surely know them as wrapped childrenor at least that is the name they are known by most of the world. Until we found out that they are originally called Sarmale and it is a traditional romanian food.

So, welcome to the Romanian gastronomya place known for its stories but also for its good food. With several traditional dishes under its belt, the stuffed It is one of the most typical dishes. In fact, they have transcended the borders of Romania and have become an element that keeps the connection with the homeland alive. The recipe requires special care when handling the ingredients but believe me, it is very easy and delicious.

About Sarmales. A traditional Romanian food

Los “stuffed” They are a traditional romanian dish that has endured through generations, becoming a culinary symbol rooted in the country’s identity. These cabbage rolls stuffed are a delicacy that reflects the rich history and cultural diversity of Romania.

  • Although there are many regional variations of this dish, the essence remains the same: stuffed cabbage leaves a tasty blend that celebrates local ingredients and culinary traditions.

The Sarmale recipe varies by region and personal preference, but some key elements are universal. technique of wrapping food in leaveshow this dish is made, is found in many cultures around the world. This convergence highlights the universality of the idea of ​​creating delicious dishes using leaves as wrapping.

Origin of Sarmale and its name

The word “stuffed” is derived from the Turkish “sarma”, meaning “wrapped”This dish represents the ability to transform simple ingredients into a complex and delicious culinary experience.

The Preparing Sarmale is a laborious task which is often carried out in families or communities, making it a significant social activity. They have their roots in the ancient culture and traditions of the peoples of Eastern Europe. Their evolution over time reveals the influence of various cultures in the region.

Although stuffed share common characteristics, there are regional variations in the preparation and ingredients used. Each region of Romania may have its own unique interpretation of this dish.

The meticulous preparation of Sarmale

Preparing this traditional Romanian dish involves carefully combining ingredients to achieve a perfect balance of flavors.

  • Las cabbage leavespreviously blanched to make them malleable, serve as wrappers for a unique mixture of pork, rice and spices.

Culinary creativity is expressed by incorporating ingredients such as tomato, onion and various local spices to intensify the flavour. The rolls are slowly cooked in a tasty tomato sauce, allowing the flavours to meld and create an authentic culinary experience.

The preparation of the the Sarmale recipe It is not only a culinary act, but also a ritual that reflects the connection of families with their roots and traditions, preserving the culinary identity of Romania.

Typical Romanian dishes led by Sarmale

The typical food from Romania reflects the rich diversity of its culture and is characterized by delicious dishes rooted in local tradition. Among the most emblematic delicacies are the “Sarmale”, stuffed cabbage rolls that encapsulate the essence of Romanian cuisine.

Besides, the “polenta”, a versatile polenta, and the “small”small grilled meat rolls, are iconic in the country’s gastronomy. The “soup”a sour soup, and cheese “cheese” They are also essential elements on the Romanian table.

These dishes, with intense flavours and unique combinations, highlight Romania’s connection to its history and culinary traditions, creating a gastronomic experience that reflects the country’s identity and distinctive taste.

What to accompany Sarmale with

  • PolentaRomanian polenta, known as “mamaliga,” is a traditional side dish. Its firm texture and mild flavor provide a pleasant contrast to the richness of the cabbage rolls.
  • Sour cream: Many people serve Sarmale with sour cream, which adds a creamy, tangy touch that enhances the flavours of the main dish.
  • Salads: Fresh vegetable salads, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, can be refreshing options that balance the intensity of the Sarmale.
  • Chili peppers or hot peppers: Some people enjoy combining Sarmale with chillies or hot peppers to add a hint of spiciness to the dish.
  • Pan:Fresh bread, whether corn bread, milk bread or another type, is a classic addition that complements the dining experience.
  • Mustard: Mustard, especially the Romanian-style variety, can offer a spicy flavor that blends well with the meat of the Sarmale.
  • Pickles caseros (Pickles): Pickles or gherkins can provide a nice contrast and a touch of acidity that balances the greasiness of the cabbage rolls.
  • Ketchup: Some people prefer to accompany them with an additional tomato sauce, either cooked with the rolls or as a dipping sauce.

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Sarmale recipe

Yields: 8 servings

Preparation time: 3 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 500 gr of ground pork
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 400 gr crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make the perfect Sarmales

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the cabbage leaves without tearing them. Immerse them in boiling water until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until golden. Add the ground beef and when it browns, add the rice and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, paprika, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Allow the meat mixture to cool for a few minutes before proceeding to stuff the cabbage leaves. Place a portion of the stuffing in the centre of each cabbage leaf, fold the ends inwards and roll up tightly.
  6. Place the rice in layers in a saucepan and pour in hot water or broth to cover. Cover and bake for 2 hours or until the rice is cooked. Serve hot.
how to make sarmale


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