Lebanese Cabbage Rolls are delicious. If you’ve never had them you are really missing out! The flavor of the cabbage is really subdued in the cooking process, leaving you with a bundle of rice flavored with beef, tomatoes, garlic and mint.
I have an overflow of vegetables in my refrigerator. Along with my weekly Goma Greens box, I ordered a Fruit and Veggie Juice Box from Kate and Kimi which has left my refrigerator and kitchen counters very, very full. I made 3 different flavors of juice this weekend, but I really needed to use up a few items that were taking way to much space.
Taking up a bit of space was a couple of Goma Greens cabbages. Give a Lebanese person a cabbage and they’re going to make you Lebanese Cabbage Rolls (Malfoof).
When the average person sees Lebanese Cabbage Rolls, they’re going to immediately assume that they are very difficult to make. Not the case at all. Really! Boil the leaves until soft. Line each leaf with the rice mixture and roll up. You don’t need to roll in the sides and get a tight roll. Personally I like my Lebanese Cabbage Rolls to be rolled a little loosely so that the rice has room to cook and all the yummy juice gets into it. Look if you still can’t figure it out and you live nearby let me know and I’ll come help you! After you roll the first cabbage, you’re going to be shocked how easy it is!
As for the tomato sauce on top? Yep… that’s my Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce. The roasted tomatoes really add an extra bit of flavor to the Cabbage Rolls!!
Now look there are many different ways to make Lebanese Cabbage Rolls. Some people roll the sides in. Some people add lemon juice. It’s kind of made differently in the various villages and even between families. This recipe is how my mother-in-law makes them and they are my favorite! She adds lots of mint and garlic to the Cabbage Rolls halfway through the cooking process- yummy!!
Lebanese Cabbage Rolls are often eaten with Pita Bread.
Lebanese Cabbage Rolls are delicious. If you've never had them you are really missing out! The flavor of the cabbage is really subdued in the cooking process, leaving you with a bundle of rice flavored with beef, tomatoes, garlic and mint.
30 minPrep Time
1 hrCook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- 3 small or 1 large (American large) Cabbages
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 2 Cups Uncooked Rice, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tomato, sliced
- 4 cups Water
- 2 cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 Head of Garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup Dried Mint
- Use a sharp knife to remove the core of the cabbage. A small spoon can help further remove the core. The more of the core you remove, the easier it will be for the cabbage leaves to loosen. As each leaf breaks loose from the whole cabbage, allow to boil in the water for a few minutes before removing it. Repeat for all of the cabbage.
- Slice of the thick rind of the cabbage leaves. Set aside.
- Cut large leaves in half.
- Mix together the rice, RAW meat, salt, pepper and cinnamon.
- Place the cabbage leaf, cut side closest to you. Line each leaf with about a half tablespoon of the rice mixture. Spread it out- don't leave it in a lump.
- Roll the cabbage leaf. Squeeze it to securely close the leaf.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to the botoom of the pan. Lay down small or torn cabbage leaves and the rinds of the cabbage.
- Arrange the tomato over the cabbage leaves.
- Arrange the rolled cabbages in the pan- each row laid the opposite way of the row before. This will allow for the water to easily move around the pot.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the leaves.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Slowly pour the water over the cabbage..
- Place a plate over the leaves and set a jar on the plate. This will prevent the leaves from floating around while cooking.
- Bring to boil on high heat, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- At this point some of the water should have been absorbed. If there is still too much liquid, continue boiling for a few more minutes.
- Remove the plate.
- Spread the dried mint and garlic over the cabbage rolls and continue simmering for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has completely absorbed.
- At this point you can flip the pot onto a rimmed plate or carefully remove the rolls from the pot.