Home » Vegan Malfouf (Arabic Cabbage Rolls)

Vegan Malfouf (Arabic Cabbage Rolls)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our Affiliate Disclaimer.


Malfouf is hands-down a crowd pleaser. Rolled in a garlicky meaty rice filling. This vegan take on the Arabic Cabbage Rolls are made with simple ingredients. Packed with a fusion of flavours!


Here’s a video for how to make Malfouf (Cabbage Rolls):


About The Recipe:

This Malfouf (Cabbage Rolls) recipe is:

  • Tender and juicy
  • Garlicky
  • ‘Meaty’
  • Vegan | Meatless
  • Great for party food

Let’s talk cooking!

Malfouf Ingredients

These Arabic cabbage rolls are made with a few simple ingredients. White cabbage, rice, vegan ground meat, a lot of garlic, and some spices. It’s a bit of a long yet simple recipe to make. The end results are SO worth it!


For The Vegan Meat

I used precooked vegan meat (Yves Veggie Cuisine), for ease of cooking. It’s packed with smokey flavours, and it’s ready to eat after heating it up. You can use raw vegan meat with spices instead. Use the same amount as mentioned in this recipe, along with 2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of seven spice, 1 tsp of salt and pepper (each). Adjust the spices to your preferred flavours.


How To Make Malfouf (Cabbage Rolls)

  1. Soak and rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Make sure it’s short-grain rice.
  2. Cut around the stem of the cabbage. Drop it into a pot of boiling water to soften the leaves.
  3. Pull them out using a tong. Blanch for a minute or two. Remove and set aside to cool down.
  4. Mix the filling ingredients in a large bowl to combine.
  5. Cut out the stems on the leaves. Split the larger ones in half. Save the stems for later!
  6. Place the filling in the centre of each cabbage leaf to roll.
  7. Prepare the pot for layering. Begin with potato and tomato slices. Followed by the cabbage rolls.
  8. Cover with water. Bring it to a boil. Place a heavy plate on top and push down. Cook until evaporated.
  9. Carefully remove the plate after 30 minutes. Continue cooking for 1 to 1.5 hours. 
  10. Add in the lemon juice and let it sit to soak it up. Place a serving plate on top of the pot and flip it over.

Here’s a video for how to roll cabbage (Malfouf):


Frequently Asked Questions

What are cabbage rolls made of?
There are many different variations to making Malfouf. The filling typically consists of ground meat, rice, garlic, and spices. This vegan take on the Arabic Cabbage Rolls is made with a few ingredients that bring up a fusion of flavours.

What is the best type of cabbage to use for cabbage rolls?
While you can simply use any type of cabbage to roll, white cabbage fits best for this recipe. Since it’s not as leafy, they contain subtle sweet flavours rather than bitter.

What is the best way to soften cabbage for cabbage rolls?
Core out the stem (cut it out), and place the entire cabbage head in a pot of boiling water. Move it around for a few minutes to soften the leaves. Pull them out one at a time using a tong. Blanch for a minute or two.

Which rice should I use for cabbage rolls?
Short grain rice. It works best for stuffing/rolling vegetables/leaves.

How long does it take to cook cabbage rolls?
Depending on individual oven settings, it can take anywhere from one to two hours, cooking over medium-low heat.

How do you reheat Malfouf?
Store any leftover cabbage rolls in a freezer bag (after cooling down completely). Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat over stovetop or microwave for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Hope you give this recipe a try. I’m sure you will enjoy it! If you do, I would love to see your recreation and learn how it went. Leave me a comment here and tag me on Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest/TikTok @demeals.ca #demeals


Vegan Malfouf (Arabic Cabbage Rolls)

Recipe by Waseem HijaziCourse: DinnerCuisine: Middle Eastern, Arabic, Vegan, Plant BasedDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

50

rolls
Prep time

1

hour 
Cooking time

2

hours 
Total time

3

hours 

Malfouf is hands-down a crowd pleaser. Rolled in a garlicky meaty rice filling. This vegan take on the Arabic Cabbage Rolls is made with simple ingredients. Packed with a fusion of flavours!

Ingredients

  • For The Filling
  • 2 cup short grain rice, soaked & rinsed

  • 1/2 kg precooked vegan ground meat – See Notes (1)

  • 1 head garlic, minced/paste-like

  • 2 tbsp cumin

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 2 tsp neutral oil

  • The Rest
  • 1 small cabbage

  • 4 to 6 small potatoes, 1/4 inch slices

  • 3 to 4 tomatoes, 1/4 inch slices

  • 1/2 head garlic, whole cloves

  • 1 lemon, squeezed at the end

  • Water for the pot

Directions

  • Soak the rice in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. Rinse until it runs clear.
  • Prepare the cabbage. Cut around the stem at the end to remove it. Drop the cabbage into a pot of boiling water over medium heat. Move it around for a few minutes to soften the leaves. Pull them out one at a time using a tong. Blanch for a minute or two. They should be somewhat firm, yet soft enough to roll. Remove from the pot and set aside to cool down.
  • Prepare the filling. Add the ingredients to a large bowl. Mix to combine. 
  • Once the leaves are cool enough to work with, cut out the stems at the end, and save them to add to the bottom of the pot later. 
  • Split the larger leaves in half. Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling to the centre of each cabbage leaf. Gently push it back to the end, and roll it carefully. Make sure not to pack it too tightly
  • Prepare the pot for layering. Begin with the potato and tomato slices. Followed by the cabbage rolls, tightly packed in the pot to stay in place. Add the garlic cloves in between for extra flavour. Continue layering until finished.
  • Add in the water to cover the edge of the cabbage rolls. Bring it to a boil. Place a heavy plate on top and push down. 
  • Cover with the lid and turn the heat down to medium-low. Carefully remove the plate after 30 minutes. Cook until the water is evaporated – an additional 1 to 1.5 hours. 
  • Remove the lid and add the lemon juice. Let it sit for a few minutes to soak it up. 
  • Place the serving board on top of the pot and carefully flip it over. Serve it immediately with pita bread, a salad, or by itself. 

Recipe Video

Notes

  • (1) I used precooked vegan meat (Yves Veggie Cuisine) for ease of cooking. You can use raw vegan meat with spices instead. Use the same amount as mentioned in this recipe, along with 2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of seven spice, 1 tsp of salt and pepper (each). Adjust the spices to your preferred flavours.
  • (2) Store any leftover cabbage rolls in a freezer bag (after cooling down completely). Place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat over stovetop or microwave for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Leave a comment: