Dolmades Recipes

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Vietnamese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Tau Hu Cuon La Nho) Recipe

This recipe is the result of one of my many experiments. The plants in our garden are starting to sprout beautifully. We have a small grape vine, so I used the leaves as wrappers for some Vietnamese vegetarian appetizers called tàu hũ cuốn lá nho (grape leaf wrapped tofu).

If you want to make the dish truly authentic, you should use betel leaves, but I find this version served on occasion. Betel leaves have a peppery, slightly bitter taste and I think the grape leaves taste a lot milder. The choice of the filling is really up to you. I filled them with bean thread noodles, fried jicama, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and fresh soy bean paste (packed with protein).

Either way, they make the perfect snack or appetizers. They're healthy, tasty and packed with good nutrition.


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Meat Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe) Recipe

I love all roll-shaped food. Like eggplant rollatini, egg rolls, sushi, I can’t get enough of dolmades. I‘ve posted a vegetarian version in the past, but this time around I wanted to make some with meat. I decided to go with ground lamb because the meat is so flavorful without a ton of fuss. I paired the lamb with round-grained rice and flavored the filling with dried mint, black currants and caramelized fennel bulb.

I cooked them in a lightly-oiled steamer insert for almost 2 hours and let them cool to room temperature. If you’re wondering whether my husband Lulu had to just look on longingly, don’t worry; I made a separate batch of vegetarian ones for him too!


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Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe) Recipe

Dolmades, also known as dolmas, are stuffed grape leaves. They're typically filled with round-grained rice, but for more flavor I added diced roasted bell peppers and tomato paste. You could also use grilled eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms or even tomatoes if they're in season.

Like many rolled dishes (eggplant rollatini, egg rolls, sushi), making dolmades is quite labor intensive, so get some help to go through the process. I served them as appetizers with my fusion raita dipping sauce on the side. If you're planning a party, this dish can be prepared two days in advance, stored in the refrigerator and served at room temperature.

sushi rice recipe with picture


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Vietnamese Tofu Stuffed Betel Leaves  Recipe

Tàu hũ cuốn lá lốt (betel leaf wrapped tofu in Vietnamese) is very similar looking to Greek dolmades. Instead of using grape leaves though, betel leaves serve as the packaging and delivery device for pan-fried tofu and vegetables. Betel leaves have a peppery taste, and when cooked they have the appearance, but not the texture of nori. The tofu mixture is similar to the filling I use for my vegetarian egg rolls.

The traditional way to prepare this dish is with extra lean ground beef (see tips), called thịt bò nướng lá lốt. However, Aunt Elise, who is a vegetarian, is visiting from Vietnam and taught me how to make the meatless version of the dish. Either way, it's an exotic and authentic taste of Vietnam.


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