Sour Cabbage Rolls (Sarma)

Sour cabbage rolls (Sarma)
Sour cabbage rolls (Sarma)


  • 2 medium sized heads of sour cabbage (about 20 good leaves),
  • 750 g mixed minced meat (more beef, less pork),
  • a smaller peace of smoked bacon,
  • some smoked pork ribs,
  • 6 onions,
  • 1 cup rice,
  • 3 dried red peppers,
  • 1 tablespoon of fluor,
  • 1 cup of oil,
  • salt,
  • pepper,
  • dried vegetables seasoning,
  • Laurel Leaf,
  • ground red pepper.


  1. Taste sourness of sour cabbage, separate leaves and if it is necessary pour water over it to reduce acidity and saltness.
  2. While cabbage is in the water, fry finely chopped onions in the half of oil, add meat, and fry it too, add salt, add pepper, sprinkle with ground red pepper, dried vegetables seasoning and add rice. All mix and remove from stove.
  3. Clean cabbage leaves from thickenings by laminating them, but carefully not tearing the cabbage leaves. On each leaf put of the filling of fried meat and onions, roll cabbage rolls (sarme), first from yourself, then from sides, then again from from yourself and place them in suitable cooking pot. It is best to cabbage rolls fit in one layer, but not too tight with one another. Between cabbage rolls put on few places, smoked bacon cut peaces and smoked pork ribs. Crumb laurel leaf and dried red peppers and sprinkle over cabbage rolls.
  4. Pour water over all, so the cabbage rolls sinks. At the beginning cook on a high temperature (until water boils), and then at medium temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. In the other half of oil fry the flour, add a little ground pepper, whisk and all pour over cabbage rolls which are cooking.  Shake the pan so browned flour can fine to smear everywhere, and with spoon just a little separate cabbage rolls so the water and browned flour can coalesce with each other into a complete sauce.
  6. Place dish in pre-heated oven and bake on medium temperature for about 2 hours. Temperature should not exceed 200 °C. If cabbage rolls starts to becoming brown on the surface, cover them with foil, but do not seal them, so it could be able to evaporate. If during the time of cooking all water evaporates, add a little hot water. Cabbage needs to be well and long cooked.
  7. Finished cabbage rolls remove from the oven and serve with pieces of smoked bacon and pork ribs.


This cabbage rolls are winter meal and they can be refrigerated in frige, or preserved outside of fridge, for a few days.

See how to roll your “sarma”:

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Rating: 3.8/5 (38 votes cast)
Sour Cabbage Rolls (Sarma), 3.8 out of 5 based on 38 ratings

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3 Responses to "Sour Cabbage Rolls (Sarma)"

  1. THIS is how you make Serbian sarma. Other recipes found online have veered away from tradition. I like this recipe the best.

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    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  2. I make this like my great grandma made it ….not sour (wish I could figure out if cabbage was bought this way so I can try it), and layered with sour kraut and cabbage and finished off with tomato juice to cover.
    If anyone has an explanation on how to get the sour cabbage to try it this way please get in touch with me.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

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