See the Photo Gallery
for pictorial details.
- Things you will need.
- A Large Pot deep enough so your largest cabbage can be held down
- A strong sharp Prep Knife of pointed shape.
- A Wooden Spoon for holding the cabbage down and sloshing it
- A strong metal skimmer (see photo) for lowering the the cabbage
into the pot and lifting it out. If your pot is fitted with a mesh
basket with a bale handle, that will work even better.
- A large stainless mixing bowl or similar device for transporting
cabbages and leaves from the stove to the sink counter.
- A good pair of tongs for removing leaves from the pot and/or pulling
them from a hot cabbage.
- The Cabbage: Many recipes call for one large cabbage head.
I prefer two medium heads (about 2-1/2 pounds each) for several reasons:
- Smaller heads are much safer to handle.
- Leaves will be more uniform in size.
- Large cabbage leaves make rather bulky rolls.
- Remove damaged outer leaves from cabbages and cut out the stem
core. Cut the core out out very thoroughly for two reasons:
- So hot water can get at the stem ends of the leaves for more even
- Most of the larger leaves will come loose just by sloshing the
cabbage around with a wooden spoon in the core cavity. You can then
simply lift them out with tongs - much safer than having to
lift out the whole cabbage to pull the leaves loose.
- Put your largest cored cabbage in the pot and fill with water. This
is to make sure there isn't too much boiling water in the pot which
would overflow disastrously when you put a head of cabbage in.
- Remove the cabbage and put in 1 T Salt. Bring the water to a rolling
boil on your hottest burner.
- Carefully lower a cabbage into the boiling water. If you don't
have the mesh basket mentioned above, set the cabbage top down on the
skimmer. Insert the wooden spoon into the core cavity to stabilize it
and slowly lower it into the water.
- With the spoon inserted into the core cavity push the cabbage below
the water and start gently rocking it about. In about two minutes the
outer leaves should start to separate. As they do, pull them out with
the tongs and place them in the bowl. Inner leaves are too convoluted
to come loose like this, but they're probably too small by then anyway.
- If you find you need to lift the cabbage out, use the same method
as for lowering it in (but it will be a lot heavier) and lower it into
the bowl. Dump the leaves out into the sink before doing this.
- Check your leaves for flexibility. If any are stiff or have opaque
areas, just put them back into the pot of boiling water for a minute.
- Shave the thick center rib with a sharp knife so it's thinner and
flexible like the rest of the leaf.
- Set a leaf on the cutting board and spoon on 2 to 3 T of the stuffing
mix about an inch in from the stem end (see photo). Roll the stem end
over the stuffing, then fold in the left and right sides. Finish
rolling and set aside, seam side down. Repeat until you run out of
stuffing or leaves.