Rice Cabbage Rolls

Photo Credit: Grandmothers Kitchen

Growing up in a Ukrainian household meant that special occasions were always celebrated with a large batch of cabbage rolls. Money was tight in the 1950s when my Mother was a little girl and her Mom was making cabbage rolls. This means that whether they wanted meat or not, it was generally not added to the cabbage rolls, which is possibly why that tradition got passed down to the present day (2015) where we often make our cabbage rolls with just basic rice, tomato sauce and cabbage. Okay so there are a few other yummy ingredients like butter and onions, but you get the idea.

Until recently, when making cabbage rolls I was taught to boil the whole head of cabbage, take it out to cool, and then carefully remove the leaf blankets to fill up with rice and roll into little sleeping bags. This method works fine, but when my Grandmother on my Father's side told me the latest trick that she uses with cabbage, we were excited to give it a try.

Freezing the Cabbage:

The basic technique is the night before to place the whole head of cabbage into the freezer. Leave it there for the entire night. The next day when you are ready to make your cabbage rolls, remove the cabbage from the freezer. Either using a large bowl or a clean sink, fill it up with hot water. Soak the cabbage in the hot water, and then using a small paring knife, cut the leave from the cabbage core. You will be surprised just how easy they are to peel off. Place the pulled leaves into a bowl or strainer so the water can drain off. Once they are all cut off, you can now begin to fill the rolls and finish the recipe.

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