Sauteed cabbage from Bihor, Northern Transylvania

Sauteed cabbage is a warming, comfort food that often finds its way on Romanian dinner tables, in the most honest and unpretentious manner. Standard recipe, great taste. So you’d wonder, what more could you do to this dish, and how come adding a few succulent vegetables could then be called by a different name, “Bihor sauteed cabbage”? It turns out that this enhanced version is indeed a more flavoursome, graceful version of its pedestrian cousin, a recipe which I’ll certainly cook again when missing the homy taste of sauteed cabbage.

  • 1 fresh cabbage (2 kg),1 onion, 2 gogosari (red pepper bell variation, which I’ve only seen in Romania),  2 red pepper bells, 2 garlic clover, 1 bunch of dill, 1 tbsp thyme, 3 tomatoes
  • 500 gr meat (viel, pork, chicken, anything you want), 200 gr smoked ham (optional)
  • 100 gr cream, oil, salt and pepper


Chop the onion, the red pepper bells and the gogosari, cut the meat in rather latge cubes, and fry together in oil. When golden, add a little boiling water and let simmer.


Finely julienne the cabbage and blanch in boiling water, until it softens; drain and put aside. When the meat is almost boiled, add the cabbage and complete with water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep on heat until it reaches boiling temperature, and boil for a short period. Cut tomatoes in disks, cover the cabbage, sprinkle thyme over, cover with a lid and put in the preheated oven (225 C) for half an hour.


After you take it out of the oven, mix the cream with the finely chopped dill and add over the cabbage.

This is a great dish, sweet and very tender, melting in your mouth. It has a great flavour combination, and it’s a great summer dish. The winder version, with pickled cabbage, is saltier and with a stronger flavor profile, but just as good!


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