Preserving Vine and Sauerkraut Leaves for Sarma


Using sauerkraut and vine leaves to prepare stuffed sarma is typical of European and Asian cuisines.

If you have room in your freezer and are using sauerkraut, cut off the leaves from the stem one by one and remove the thickened part. Leave them to drain from the water, making it easy to stack them one on top of the other and placing them in a plastic bag. Frozen this way, they retain their flavor and remain whole until you decide to use them.

If instead you would like to store them in a jar, we recommend preparing them with the filling of your choice and boiling them for direct consumption. Thus prepared sarma can be frozen or arranged in a jar, or other suitable container which can withstand heat treatment, and sterilize them for 10 min.

If using vine leaves, the preparation is the same. What's important here is to pick out young and delicate vine leaves before they are treated with chemicals. Wash the leaves, dry and arrange them. Place them in a container or plastic bag, then freeze them. If you decide to prepare them with a stuffing, boil and sterilize in a jar for 10 min.

Cabbage rolls

Freezing is a much faster and easier method compared to putting them in jars. Plus, frozen vine leaves take minutes to thaw by themselves.

The traditional method for storing vine leaves is to tie 10 of them in a roll and place them in a jar. Put 1 nearly full teaspoon of salt in the jar, pour in water and boil for 10 more min.

You can boil the jars without pouring water inside of them - simply close them tightly and sterilize.

After washing and drying the vine leaves well, you have the option of stacking them one on top of the other, while sprinkling salt in between. Then arrange in a suitable container with a lid or cover with a towel and leave them in a cool and dark area. They can remain this way for several months.

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