Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage (Golubsti)


Prep time: 
10 minutes
Cooking time: 
55 minutes


This is one of the most popular cabbage recipes in Ukraine. Add some dried barberries, if you can find them, to lift the flavour a little. It's a delightful dish even if you don't include them


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 head sturdy cabbage, Savoy or Tundra work well, 12 leaves separated
  • 500g beef mince
  • 500g pork mince
  • 160g rice, parboiled and drained
  • 40g barberries (optional)

To serve:

  • 100ml sour cream
  • ½ small bunch dill, finely chopped


  1. Make the sauce first. Heat the rapeseed oil in a heavy-based casserole. Fry half of the onion and the grated carrot over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until they just start to caramelise. Add the sugar and the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes and 400ml water.
  2. Blanch the whole cabbage leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water. Then refresh them in cold water and drain well on kitchen paper.
  3. Mix the minces, parboiled rice, barberries, seasoning and the remaining diced onion. Place 50g of the filling on to each cabbage leaf and fold into parcels.
  4. Place the parcels on top of the sauce in the casserole dish, folded side down, tucking them next to each other snugly so they do not unravel.
  5. Cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with lots of chopped dill, sourdough bread and a dollop of sour cream on the side.


Makes 12 parcels

Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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