The Crazy Cabbage Hack That Will Make Prep 1000x Easier

April 24, 2018

Are you a cabbage roll fan? Stumped as to how to make your own without tearing the individual leaves off of the head into uneven pieces? Anya Kassoff shares an easy trick to making them easy-breezy pliable from her latest cookbook, Simply Vibrant: All-Day Vegetarian Recipes for Colorful Plant-Based Cooking. Read on for her easy tip, and put it into action with her spring-perfect, meat-free version afterward.

Learn how to roll your way to golubtsi perfection. Photo by Ty Mecham

I created this recipe with a very particular Russian dish in mind, called golubtsi. They are cabbage rolls, traditionally stuffed with a very savory filling of meat and some veggies. I wanted to come up with a dish with very similar, comforting flavors, but made entirely with plant-based ingredients.

I've always been a bit intimidated by the idea of cabbage rolls because I know how hard it can be to separate leaves from a head of cabbage without ripping them. I read somewhere that freezing a head of cabbage can help make its leaves more flexible, and I was delighted to find that to be true when I finally got around to testing out that tip.

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Once a head of cabbage has been completely frozen and defrosted, separating and rolling up the leaves is a breeze. These wholesome cabbage rolls can be made all year round, but I especially like preparing them in the spring―using young, fluffy cabbage with green outer leaves that are more tender, flavorful, and easier to roll.

Never battle with a head of cabbage again! Photo by Ty Mecham

As delicious as these rolls are right away, their flavor greatly benefits from a couple of days in the refrigerator. They also freeze well, and seem to be even more savory after defrosting and reheating.

Note: For this recipe, make sure to plan in advance and leave at least 24 hours for the cabbage to freeze thoroughly and about as much time for thawing.

What are your tips for cabbage roll success? Let us know in the comments!

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1 Comment

Candy April 24, 2018
Now this is a delightful tip- sounds like it would work wonderfully well, avoiding dirtying another pot, the "wait-to-cool-or-burn-yourself" conundrum of blanching immediately prior to assembly, and the smell of even briefly-boiled cabbage. I find I'm often underwhelmed by stuffed cabbage, but I'm willing to give the dish another shot!