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Easy Vegan Japrak (Stuffed Grape Leaves) Recipe

Discover the taste of tradition with a vegan twist in our Vegan Japrak recipe, inspired by Albanian culinary heritage.

In the rich Albanian cuisine, Japrak is a tasty and very popular traditional dish that reflects the essence of the Mediterranean diet. This dish, consisting of grape leaves usually stuffed with a rice filling, is a testament to the creativity inherent in Albanian cooking, preserved for years.

It’s name, “japrak” (that stands for stuffed leaves) might sound strange, but as they say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. And indeed, you might be impressed by its taste!

Today we will share with you a plant-based alternative, promising that even those following a vegan lifestyle can indulge in this classic dish.

Easy Vegan Japrak (Stuffed Grape Leaves) Recipe 11

Vegan Albanian Japrak Recipe

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 1 hour 20 min 

Total Time: 1 hour 45 min 

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

Easy Vegan Japrak (Stuffed Grape Leaves) Recipe 12
  • 1 large (4-pound) head cabbage
  • 1 cup white rice, washed (short-grain or long-grain) 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots with greens, grated and chopped 
  • 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup soy flakes
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, whole
  • 1-2 bay leaves 
  • 1 tbsp paprika (hot or sweet)

How to Make Vegan Japrak (Step-by-Step)

Easy Vegan Japrak (Stuffed Grape Leaves) Recipe 13

  1. Remove the tough ribs from the cabbage head without damaging the leaves.
  2. Steam the cabbage in a large pot partially filled with boiling water. Steam for approximately 15 minutes, removing larger leaves as they become done. Continue to steam until you have 22 to 24 whole large cabbage leaves.
  3. In the meantime, cook the rice in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes.  
  4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over moderately high heat. Then, sauté the onions and carrots (without greens) until they’ve softened.
  5. Then, sauté the mushrooms until they release their moisture and become golden brown; add the garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute more, until aromatic.
  6. Rehydrated soy flakes in 1.5 cups of hot water for about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir the soy flakes, chopped walnuts, rice, salt, and 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil into the sauteed veggies. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the filling from heat and let it cool slightly. Add carrot greens and stir to combine well. 
  8. Assembling japrak: Grab one cabbage leaf and place it on a flat surface. Trim the stem, if necessary. Spoon a small amount of the filling onto the center of the leaf.
  9. Fold the bottom part of the leaf over the filling, then fold in the sides, and roll it up tightly; the goal is to make little packages. Repeat the process until you run out of ingredients.
  10. Next, line the bottom of a large soup pot with a few cabbage leaves. Arrange japrak packages in layers, seam side down, packing them closely together.
  11. Pour the hot water over the japrak until they are just covered. Add black peppercorns, bay leaves, paprika, and the remaining olive oil. 
  12. An important note: Place a heat-resistant plate on top of the japrak packages to keep them from unwrapping during cooking.
  13. Simmer, covered, over low heat for about 1 hour. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts About Vegan Japrak

* Optional items are not included 

(Amount per 242g = 1 serving)

Vitamins Values
Vitamin A 4273 IU

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) 0.311 mg
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 0.201 mg
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) 2.77 mg
Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.834 mg
Vitamin B-6 (Cobalamin) 0.451 mg
Vitamin D 1 IU
Vitamin E 1.38 mg
Vitamin K 60.7 µg
Minerals Values
Calcium 113 mg

Magnesium 51 mg
Phosphorus 237 mg
Iron 4.97 mg
Potassium 530 mg
Sodium 214 mg
Zinc 1.57 mg
Copper 0.45 mg
Selenium 6.3 µg
Manganese 1.104 mg
Other nutrients Values
Calories 301
Total Carbohydrates

35.9 g

Protein 18.2 g

Total Fat 11.5 g

Sugars 4.2 g

Fibre 3.7 g

Would You Try It?

Vegan Japrak is a fantastic twist on the traditional Albanian dish, offering a tasty alternative for plant-based eaters and food enthusiasts alike. With its simple ingredients and easy cooking process, anyone who loves Albanian cuisine can recreate the recipe easily. Give it a try for yourself and experience the homemade vegan goodness!

Other Vegan Recipe You Might Like:

Vegan Albanian Byrek: Quick and Easy Recipe

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