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Sep 14, 2012 08:09 AM

Looking for Sweet & Sour Sauce for Stuffed Cabbage.....................

Does anyone have a great recipe for a sweet and sour sauce for stuffed cabbage.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I use pureed canned tomatoes, a little tomato paste, finely chopped onion, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar and /or honey and prunes or raisins , cooked together.

    8 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        Add in a peeled, chopped apple. It's delicious

        1. re: cheesecake17

          to the tomato sauce? interesting. I strongly dislike raisins and was going to try the prune.

          1. re: doberlady

            Add the apple to the top of the pot. Here's how I do it- cabbage leaves to line bottom of the pot, stuffed cabbage, then pour on top tomato sauce, white pepper, salt, chopped onion, chopped apple, water. Cover the pot and cook on a low fire till cabbage is soft, sauce is thickened, and met is cooked thru, add water as necessary. Maybe 1.5 hrs.

        2. re: magiesmom

          a friend that doesn't like raisins uses apple sauce or grated apple

          1. re: lcool

            grated apple would be fitting as this is for Rosh Hashana dinner. I saw some recipes online that used sourkraut for the sour. Anyone ever try that>

            1. re: doberlady

              yes, ofen. wash the sauerkraut first so it isn't quite so sour.

          2. re: magiesmom

            I add some grated carrot, to the above indredients cutting way back on brown sugar. Toss in some red wine vinegar for tartness. The carrots add a special kind of sweetness, not as cloying as heavy brown sugar. Try it

          3. For me, the important thing is to use sour salt (citric acid). Using lemon, apple etc. changes the flavor. I just cook the cabbage rolls with canned whole tomatoes, onion, raisins and season with salt, brown sugar, sour salt to taste. The cabbage and meat flavor the sauce. It's what I grew up with and everything else tastes wrong. (You can get sour salt at Jewish or Russian groceries).

            7 Replies
            1. re: Helene Goldberg

              too late to order now but King Arthur flour has it. Never heard of it.

              Do you cook the tomato mixture down first before using?

              1. re: doberlady

                I don't cook the tomatoes down, but I cook the whole thing together for quite a while until it cooks down. I do it either in the oven or on the stove top. The cabbage should basically be melting. This is not meant to be at all al dente. It's a peasant dish. It's probably my favorite all time food. Your question reminded me how great it is. I'm making it tonight!!! For me, the important thing is not to complicate the tastes with spices or other flavors. btw I mix the rice in with the meat raw (with egg and onions) so it all absorbs the tomatoes and cabbage. That's why it cooks so long and tastes so good. (one less pot too)

              2. re: Helene Goldberg

                Hey, that is just how my Nanny did it. She would keep balancing the sugar and sour salt as it went.

                1. re: chefj

                  It's the way my nana and my mom did too. The way it was done in Romania. I can't believe anyone would ruin it with ketchup, sauerkraut or v8, but I guess they haven't had the real thing.

                  1. re: Helene Goldberg

                    Actually My Bubby (Hungarian Parents) made it with Sauerkraut, I liked Nanny's better.

                    1. re: chefj

                      I've had the Polish and Hungarian versions with sauerkraut (I think most cultures have a version of this dish) and they can be good, but for me, of course, there is only one "real" version that tastes right. I kind of treasure the idea that it's kind of a living antique connection to a lost culture. I may be waiting for my newest iPhone 5, but I also have a taste memory of 19th century stetl.

                      1. re: Helene Goldberg

                        I mix rice in the cabbage rolls as well. One of the "secrets" I can share is that I rinse or wash the rice first, then drain well. It seems to cook more evenly and thoroughly inside the cabbage roll and ensure the rice will not be al dente when you bite into a roll, even if it simmers a long time.

                        Agree that cabbage rolls are a link to the shetl.

              3. My mom used to do it two ways. One like they are saying with the tomato sauce etc. the other way and which I do and for meatballs is to use a bottle of ketchup whole cranberry sauce melt together with some brown sugar lemon juice and sour salt to taste. Quick and easy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: paprkutr

                  I have only made stuffed cabbage 2x before (weird right) My parents are coming for the holiday and my dad will be soooooo happy. I hate to admit that I used some V8 recipe the other 2x.

                  I was torn over using cooked vs raw rice as I am seeing recipes for both ways.

                2. My dear aunt, now nearly 90 taught me to make stuffed cabbage in the authentic way she had learned from her grandmother back in the Ukraine. Then she took half a jar of grape jelly and a cup of ketchup, melted it up on the stove, added lemone juice and poured it over the dish! Everybody loved it...

                  1. You've gotten any number of great ideas, and mine wouldn't be much different except I'd suggest a good 1/2 tsp. minced ginger (or a few good shakes of powdered) added to your basic mix of tomato, sugar, and whatever sour component you choose. And if your sauce needs thickening, crushed gingersnaps, stirred in 'til melted, are likewise fantastic. If it needs any more depth, add a T. or 2 molasses.