Stuffed Cabbage rolls or more popularly known as Sarma is a local Serbian dish in Serbia. There is a wide variety of recipes for sarma out there with different ingredients for the filling, different way of cooking, etc… It can also be made with fresh cabbage or sauerkraut leaves.
Today, I made the vegan version of cabbage rolls with a stuffing of rice, mushrooms, lots of minced onions and scallions. Grated or minced carrots are also good and basically whatever you have in your pantry which you think will not ruin the recipe. Yup, I’m no follower of recipes to the letter especially for meals. I usually change recipes to my liking or to whatever ingredients are available at the moment. If you’re using sauerkraut, then salt is not needed. Just add a sprinkle of paprika, pepper, bay leaf, a bit of olive oil, water and you’re good to go. Prepare the rolls a bit similar to how you will put together a spring roll and simmer it at a very low heat for hours. Some prefer to bake it but I do prefer to just leave it on the stove for hours.
The original and non-vegan version calls for ground meat. Just sautee the onions until translucent, add the meat and let it fry for a while, add the rice, add grated carrots (optional; I try my best to veggies when I can) and a pinch of salt and pepper. After a few minutes, turn off the fire and fill your cabbage. It is best to lay some smoked meat or bacon at the bottom of the pot and a splash of oil. Add your rolls in one layer or two depending on how much you made, then add a bit of bacon on top again, sprinkle of paprika, bay leaf and water enough to cover the rolls. Then you can leave it for a few hours in a very low heat.
Here’s an up close photo of my yummy cabbage rolls:
A side dish of grilled paprika soaked in salt, olive oil and vinegar overnight is a perfect combo to this authentic serbian sarma.