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Stuffed Cabbage -- How Do You Season Yours?

I'm making stuffed cabbage and want to braise it in a sweet & sour liquid. I've made it in the past using tomato sauce, sugar and lemon juice, but I haven't been thrilled with it. I've heard of using sour salt instead of lemon juice, but I have no idea how to use sour salt in a recipe. I'm looking for a recipe with an eastern European flavor, kind of like my Bubbie might have made. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Also, for how long should it braise in the oven? Thanks!

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  1. My Nana made the best stuffed cabbage ever. She used vinegar, and believe it or not, crushed up ginger snap cookies. I wondered if anyone else had heard of this, so I Googled and guess what..it is not that odd after all!

    1. "Sour salt", which is not actually a salt at all, it's citric acid. You'll find it listed as an ingredient in a lot of commercial products where a hint of acidity (sourness) is desired. I season my stuffed cabbage rolls primarily by seasoning the meat. The only seasoning I use for the remainder of the items in the recipe include tomatoes, tomato sauce, a little white vinegar, a VERY SMALL amount of sugar, and coarsely chopped onions that I lay on top of the cabbage rolls as they steam.

      1. I use diced onion and parsley in the meat mixture along with sea salt and a small can of tomato sauce.

        My grandmother simmered them in sauerkraut with diced tomatoes mixed in. They are heavenly.

        I've also had them with a paprika sauce over them. It was wonderful, but I don't have a recipe unfortunately.

        1. The sweet and sour taste that I like is either with white vinegar and brown sugar, or white vinegar and ginger snaps. The latter I prefer with sauerbraten. The former I think would be nice with stuffed cabbage.

          1. Lots of sauerkraut and some good fresh Hungarian paprika and sometimes garlic slivers in the tomato sauce and season the meat/rice mixture with finely chopped onion, salt, pepper and paprika. I bring it to a simmer on the stovetop and then braise in a 375 oven for at least 45 minutes then check the internal temp of the rolls with a meat thermometer -- you want to get it to about 150 or higher. Always better the second night, reheated.

            Here are some links to previous highly informative stuffed cabbage threads:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/281310

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/282215

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/316234

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/336303

            1 Reply
            1. re: GretchenS

              Thanks so much for your ideas and for the helpful links. I'm inclined to try something new (to me) that I saw on one of the links. I'm going to combine tomato sauce and whole canned cranberry sauce for the sweet/sour flavor. I'll let you know how it turns out.