This really depends on how many times you’ve made cabbage rolls before- it can take from 20 min to 40 min to get them in the pot. It really depends on what leaves you are using (fresh or sour) and the level of expertise on rolling.
The amount of salt you may use depends very much on whether you use fresh cabbage or sour one. For fresh cabbage you will use more salt but if you are using sour one you will need to be careful as this is already quite salty unless you left it in a pool of water for 1-3 hours. I’m not in control with the salt. Also remember that bacon also contains salt. You can certainly add more salt when serving if needed.
Boiling or cooking time
It all depends on how you choose to cook them, if you choose to cook them in the oven cooking time will have to be 2-3 hours, if you cook them in an instant pot or pressure cooker (like I do) the time will be less than 1 hour and if you cook them on the stove the cooking time will also be around 2-3 hours- get them to boiling point and then reduce the fire to medium or even low.
The cabbage rolls or sarmale only need to be cooked till they become fork-tender and that means they are done! - there is absolutely no point in overcooking them. It is sufficient for you to cook them once a twice and understand exactly how long they need cooking depending on how you choose to cook. You will then become an expert!
Cabbage type and preparation
The cabbage has to be a savoy or the Turkish (flatter looking) ones and not the supermarket dense and heavy super round one - it is important to choose the right type if you want to have a nice looking and to successfully manage to roll those and not having to pin them with toothpicks or wooden skewers. I’m mentioning this as I have seen this done a few times in my life ?. Totally unnecessary if you choose the right cabbage.
If you choose to use fresh cabbage there will be a little preparation required by having to blanch the cabbage. To do this one large cabbage should be sufficient for this recipe. The cabbage needs to be cored first, and then added into a large pot with salty boiling water for about 5-6 min -remove and place into cold water.
The pickled or sour cabbage is a lot easier (tastier too if you like) and can now be widely found in any Eastern European or Turkish grocery stores here in the UK.
Freezing the cabbage ...
Another alternative to softening the cabbage leaves is to freeze it for a day or two, remove it from the freezer and thaw it at room temperature. Once this has thawed completely the leaves should be nice and soft.
The rice does not have to be pre-cooked but just shallowly or briefly cooked with the veggies for no longer than 5 min. That is all, the rest will be looked after later.
Thank you so much for stopping by.