Hello, my little hungry-mungries!

Today, I want to take you to the most sparsely populated country in the European Union (with an average of 17 people per square kilometer!). It has only been an independent country since 1918; when it became independent from Russia after the Russian revolution.  This country is made up of a staggering 179,000 islands, and 188,000 lakes!  We’re eating in Finland.

I present to you, Traditional Finnish Kaalikaaryleet (cabbage rolls)


  • One large head of cabbage
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (lamb is traditional, you can use any ground meat, I used ground beef.)
  • 1 Tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • bouillon (lamb or beef, I used beef)
  • 2 eggs
  • maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Carve out the stalk of the cabbage and boil the head in salted water until the leaves soften enough to separate, rinse with cold water and lay out to dry. (It took about 45 minutes for mine) Set aside the small inner leaves to chop into the meat mixture.                                                                                              finland2
  2. Cook the rice in lamb or beef stock, then fry the onions and garlic in oil until nicely caramelized. Add to the rice with the marjoram, salt, pepper, one egg and chopped small cabbage leaves                                                                  .  finland3
  3. Brown the meat in the same pan you cooked the onions in, and set aside. (We’re doing this for our vegetarian… if you’re not feeding one, you can just add the meat now)
  4. Place a dollop of the filling in the middle of each cabbage leaf, and roll. Set the rolls in a baking dish.                                   finland4
  5. Now, I add the meat and the second egg.


  6. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until they start to color a bit, add a bit of stock, and brush with maple syrup. Bake for another 20 minutes and enjoy!

Now, my great grandmother came to America from Poland, and my grandma Fisher, her daughter, made traditional Polish cabbage rolls frequently! My mother kept up the tradition, and fed them to us… they’re amazing, by the way.  Before you have the traditional Finnish cabbage rolls, you must understand that they are NOT the same.

These are pretty good, but a little dry and bland.  I think that if I were to make them again, I would use a lot more salt, and add tomato sauce… but then they wouldn’t be Finnish… they would be more Polish.

The kids ate it all, but there wasn’t really anything that stood out for them. It won’t be on our regular menu, but it was a fun adventure anyways!


Thanks guys! See you next time with a traditional dish from… Nepal.

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