Sarmale: A Taste of Romanian Tradition

Dish recipes: Sarmale

Sarmale, a beloved Romanian dish, is a delightful combination of minced pork and beef, fragrant rice, and spices, all wrapped in tender cabbage leaves. This dish embodies the rich culinary heritage of Romania, making it a must-try for those seeking an authentic and flavorful experience.


To prepare Sarmale, you will need the following ingredients:

1 large head of cabbage

500g ground pork

500g ground beef

1 cup rice

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups tomato juice

2 bay leaves

2 cups sour cream (for serving)


Follow these steps to create this Romanian delight

Prepare the Cabbage Leaves:

Boil the whole cabbage head until the leaves are tender and can be easily separated. Let them cool, then remove and trim the hard center veins.

Prepare the Filling:

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground beef, rice, chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Assemble the Sarmale:

Take a cabbage leaf and place a spoonful of the meat and rice mixture in the center. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and roll it up tightly.

Layer in a Pot:

Line the bottom of a large, heavy pot with cabbage leaves. Arrange the Sarmale on top, seam side down, in layers.


Pour tomato juice over the Sarmale and add bay leaves. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours until the Sarmale are cooked through.


Sarmale are traditionally served hot, accompanied by a generous dollop of sour cream. They make for a heartwarming and satisfying meal.

In conclusion, Sarmale is a cherished Romanian dish that reflects the country's culinary traditions. By preparing and savoring this flavorful delicacy, you can experience a taste of Romania's rich heritage.