Sarmi with Minced Meat and Sauerkraut are stuffed fermented cabbage leaves with filling made of minced meat and rice. This stuffed dish originated from the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and spread throughout the Middle East to Southeastern Europe. The dish is also popular in other Balkan countries and you’ll find many versions for its preparation.

Sarmi with Minced Meat and Sauerkraut

Sarmi with Minced Meat and Sauerkraut are hearty and filling stuffed fermented cabbage leaves with filling made of minced meat and rice.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bulgaria
Keyword: cabbage leaves, Pork, rice
Servings: 5


  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp heaped paprika
  • 300 g minced veal
  • 300 g minced pork
  • 200 g rice
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 32 cabbage/vine leaves
  • 240 ml plain yogurt
  • 25 g melted butter
  • extra paprika


  • Place a large saucepan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir for 5 minutes until softened and translucent.
  • Ina large bowl mix together the meat, rice, paprika, mint, parsley and salt then add it to the saucepan and pour water to just cover the mixture. Then bring it to boiling.
  • When it starts boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl and add the cabbage leaves you'll be using and cover with boiling water.
  • Keep the saucepan boiling until any remaining liquid disappear the mixture. Then roll out each cabbage leaf over cutting board and place one tsp of the meat rice mixture.
  • Roll the leaves with the mixture and transfer them into a wide saucepan.
  • Pour in about 360ml/12fl.oz. of hot water over then cover and cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Mix some savory, paprika with melted butter, just few minutes before you turn of the heat.
  • Place in plate and then pour the melted butter mixture and yogurt over the top.
  • Serve immediately.

Inspiration and adaptation:,,

Explore other recipes from the traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

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