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Jan 29, 2003 04:37 PM

Jewish style sweet and sour stuffed cabbage

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I am looking for a recipe for Jewish style sweet and sour stuffed cabbage. Epicurious cites one called sweet and sour stuffed mustard cabbage. Does anyone have a sense if this recipe would do the trick? It looks good, but I am unsure. If not, does anyone have a not too sweet recipe for stuffed cabbage in a light tomato sauce? Thanks so much.

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  1. My grandmother used ginger snaps and raisins AND sugar......and lemon.....she used rice but I sometimes use barley instead.....I think you might call the recipe sweet but if you want I will post it, although some of it is a bit vague and you just have to feel your way. I think Raymond Sokolov has a good recipe in his book on Jewish cooking. If you cannot find the book, try Joan Nathan.

    17 Replies
    1. re: erica

      Thanks for your suggestions. I forgot to ask what people might serve with stuffed cabbage. Gourmet says mashed potatoes, but that does not sound right. I am likely to use rice in the meat filling, so I am not sure more rice is a good idea. How about a barley side dish? Anyother ideas are most welcome.

      1. re: Alexandra

        Mom always served mashed potatoes, so Gourmet may be right.

        1. re: LBQT

          Agree with Gourmet & LBQT's Mom. Mashed potatoes.

          Think about it. Stuffed Cabbage is a lot like Stuffed Green Peppers - which typically is stuffed with ground beef and rice.

          And what's best with that?

          Mashed potatoes.


          1. re: ChrissieH

            no.. rice is a starch how many starches do you want in one meal? maybe some zuccini or summer squash, sauteed in butter would do as a nice compliment.

            1. re: ChrissieH

              I love the combination. If I don't make mashed, I do a German Potato Salad - it just goes so well with it. (I use very little rice in my rolls).

              1. re: bayoucook

                this is the best stuffed cabbage ever and I like to make a potato kugel (pudding) to go along with it.—

                From "The Art of Jewish Cooking" by Jennie Grossinger, Bantam).


                Large head cabbage

                2 tablespoons fat (schmaltz or vegetable oil)

                2 onions, sliced

                3 cups canned tomatoes

                1/2 cup ketchup (optional)

                3 teaspoons salt

                1/2 teaspoon pepper

                Beef bones

                1 pound ground beef

                3 tablespoons uncooked rice

                4 tablespoons grated onion

                1 egg

                3 tablespoons cold water

                3 tablespoons honey

                1/4 cup lemon juice

                1/4 cup seedless raisins


                Pour boiling water over cabbage to cover and let soak for 15 minutes. Remove 12 leaves carefully so they remain intact. If leaves are small, use 18 instead.

                Heat fat in a deep, heavy saucepan. Add onions and cook until lightly brown. Add tomatoes, ketchup, half of the salt and pepper and all the bones. Cook over low heat 30 minutes.

                Mix together beef, rice, grated onion, egg and water.

                Place about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture on each cabbage leaf. Tuck in the sides and roll up carefully. Add to the sauce. Cover and cook over low heat 11/2 hours. Add honey, lemon juice and raisins. Cook 30 minutes longer.

                Makes 6 servings as a main course.

                1. re: lucyis

                  Will definately try that one - looks delicious!

                  1. re: bayoucook

                    I've been making it for years and it never fails. Enjoy!

          2. re: Alexandra

            My grandmother did not serve with a side dish but a starch is good to "sop up" the sauce. Barley or, maybe, mashed potatoes although that is not traditional in Jewish cooking, or at least the type I know.

            1. re: Alexandra

              Kasha Varnishkas!!! (bow tie pasta w/ buckwheat groats)


              1. re: Alexandra

                How about farfel(the barley,not matzah kind)? I love that stuff. Especially if you saute yellow onions first with reconstituted dried Polish mushrooms. Use the strained mushroom liquid for simmering the farfel - delicious Jewish soul food.

                1. re: Heidi Claire

                  Do you mean kasha (which are buckwheat groats, I think)? That could be an interesting pairing.

                  1. re: LBQT
                    Heidi Claire

                    Nope. I mean farfel. The (egg)"barley" kind is actually a form of egg pasta. Small, irregular, pebbly pieces. Do try them sometime.You can usually find it in the Kosher section of your grocery packaged in tubular plastic, like the Manischewitz soup mixes. There is also a matzah type for passover which, to me, is just about as toothsome (not) as most other designated-for-passover foods. But I do adore kasha and I think that would be excellent as well. I've seen recipes for vegetarian stuffed cabbage substituting kasha for meat in the filling - must be a natural.

                  2. re: Heidi Claire

                    Now there's a food item I haven't had or thought about in a lot of years, I think as a kid I ate it because I liked the way the name rolled off the tongue, far-full...

                    1. re: Chino Wayne

                      ooh farfel in chicken soup - my dad's favourite (and mine). Never seen it in America is it available?

                  3. re: Alexandra

                    you dont have to serve any side dish with stuffed cabbage as it has meat and rice already in it.

                  4. re: erica
                    Michele Cindy

                    Yes! My grandmother also used ginger snaps. If you are going to make stuffed cabbage they add a great flavor to the dish.

                  5. Here's a link to lots of Jewish-style stuffed cabbage recipes from a Jewish e-mail list. You should find something you like here.


                    1 Reply
                    1. Russian Stuffed Cabbage

                      12 large cabbage leaves
                      1 lb lean ground beef
                      1 onion, grated
                      1/2 C cooked rice
                      1/2 t salt
                      pepper to taste
                      2 C canned tomatoes, broken up
                      1/2 C raisins
                      1 onion, finely chopped
                      2 T vinegar
                      2 T sugar
                      1/2 C corn syrup
                      sour cream to garnish

                      Soak cabbage leaves in boiling salted water till limp; drain and dry with paper towels. Combime beef, grated onion, rice, salt and pepper. Place a small portion of mixture in each cabbage leaf. Roll up and secure with wooden toothpick. Place in Dutch oven. Repeat til all cabbage leaves are full. Combine tomatoes, raisins, chopped onion, vinegar, sugar and corn syrup. Pour over cabbage rolls. Add enough water to barely cover rolls. Cover and cook at slow boil for one hour. Place layer of gingersnaps over rolls, cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour longer. Serve hot with sour cream garnish.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ChrissieH

                        This sounds like a delicious recipe, and very similar to one my mother makes, but a Jewish recipe would definitely NOT include sour cream to garnish a meat dish. IMHO, no garnish is necessary - they're good on their own!

                        1. re: LBQT

                          Well, I guess you could serve the sour cream on the side for your Goyim friends!

                          Also, in that recipe, I neglected to say that you should trim any particularly heavy and thick ribs from the cabbage leaves before you wrap them.

                          1. re: ChrissieH

                            A Russian non-kosher jew would most definitely serve sour cream on stuffed cabbage - and borscht, and just about anything!

                            1. re: Heidi Claire

                              True. Flying in the face of tradition I have an acquaintance who surrounds her stuffed cabbage with a medium white sauce instead of the usual tomato sauce. It's wonderful, too.

                              1. re: Deb Van D

                                Hmmm....that sounds very interesting, too.

                      2. OK, I can help with a classic recipe. This is truly delicious and has been made in my family for generations. It is sweet. But it's delicious.

                        1 large head cabbage
                        2 lbs chopped meat
                        1 egg
                        1/2 cup water (stock would be better)
                        1/4 cup rice
                        1 large onion
                        2 lemons (juice)
                        1/2 cup white sugar
                        1/2 cup brown sugar
                        1 tin of tomatoes
                        salt and pepper

                        Part i: Cut heart out of cabbage and place cabbage in boiling water to cover, boil 5 minutes, separate leavs and drain well

                        Part ii: Mix chopped meat w/ beaten egg, rice and water, grated onion and seasoning. Place heaping tablespoon of mixture on cabbage and form into roll. Place rolls in pot, cover w/ tomoatoes, sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 2 hours on top of stove in tightly coverd pot (we use a heavy porcelain enamel) then remove cover and bake at 350 for 2 hours longer.

                        1. Alexandra - here's a helpful hint that i find works wonderfully - the night before you plan to make stuffed cabbage (and provided you've got a decent sized freezer) put the entire head of cabbage in the freezer, next day place the entire head of cabbage into a pot of boiling water, the leaves will slip off easily.