Dolma Japrak
Stuffed Vine Leaves

Dolma Japrak

Share it on your social network:

Or you can just copy and share this url


Adjust Servings:
600g Pickled Grape Leaves This is approx 60 leaves and can be purchased in jars ready to use.
400g Lamb Mince Beef mince can be used if preferred.
5 Diced Onions
75g Rice
1 Tsp Pepper
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Dried Vegetable Stock
25g Chopped Parsley
1 Tsp Basil
Olive Oil
Optional Salt
2 Litres Boiling Water You may not need all of the water, just use enough to cover the stacked Japrak.

Nutritional information

Sat Fat




Stuffed vine leaves (Dolma Japrak) always remind me of the summer and has got to be one of the best recipe to have when the sun is shinning! These refreshing rolled vine leaves stuffed with minced lamb, onions, rice, herbs and seasonings are simmered until tender and delicious. 

‘Dolma’ means stuffed vegetables and although grape vine leaves are most popular you can also stuff any form of Greens (Cabbage is most popular), Onions,  Peppers, Aubergines, Squash, Tomatoes and Courgettes. 

Making this Albanian Japrak recipe out of season, vine leaves are often needed to be brought from Mediterranean food shops, so as a replacement try cabbage leaves – they are just as tasty. Ensure you let the whole cabbage sit in boiling water for 10 minutes before gently peeling back the leaves so they don’t break.  

You can boil stuffed leaves in a tomato based sauce too and I find that cabbage leaves work best for this. Look out for this recipe coming soon.

Albanian Japrak





Add the onions to a saute pan and fry for 5 minutes in olive oil until the onions start to brown.


Turn off the heat and add the meat, rice, pepper, paprika, vegetable stock, parsley and basil. Mix all the ingredients together.


Carefully unwrap the vine leaves. Place one vine leaf on your hand with the base on the bottom of your palm and the point pointing towards the top. Add a second vine leaf with the point pointing downwards and base of the leaf at the top of your fingers. there should be a good overlap. You can do this on a flat surface if preferred.


Place a spoonful of the meat and rice mixture in the middle of the leaves. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the mixture, fold in both sides and the roll the leaf upwards sealing in the mixture into a parcel shape.


Layer a layer of vine leaves covering the bottom of a deep saucepan and then add the vine leaf parcel on top.


Make as many vine leaf parcels as the meat and rice mixture will make adding each one to the saucepan. Pack the parcels side by side util the saucepan is covered, then start another layer on top.



Pour into the saucepan enough boiling water to just cover the top of the vine leaves and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer with a lid on for 1.5 hours. All water should be absorbed however top up with a little extra boiling water if this happens before the time is up.



Remove from the saucepan and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Tuna with Garlic
Albanian Soup - Supë me Mish
Supë me Mish
Baked Tuna with Garlic
Albanian Soup - Supë me Mish
Supë me Mish

5 Comments Hide Comments

I love this recipe, the pictures helped me get an image of what I’m supposed to do!! It helped a lot you should do more recipes with the pictures.

Thank you so much, glad you enjoyed the recipe. I agree images help a lot. I am working on updating some of my older recipes with images over the coming weeks. Your feedback is very helpful 🙂

I love your website! I’m an American that worked 25 minutes away from Shkoder. I met my Albanian fiancé when I was working there for two and a half years. I’m back in the US and am relying heavily on your recipes to remind me of my second home!

Just to make sure on this recipe, you do not cook the meat mixture before you put it on the grape leaves? Shume faleminderit dhe gjithe te mirat!

Lovely to hear from you! So glad my recipes are helping bring back memories, it was always one of my goals. You don’t need to cook the mixture as it boils within the leaves within the water. The onion needs browning first still, otherwise it will taste hard and slightly raw! Hope this helps 🙂

Don’t forget you can also use cabbage leaves – picked leaves work well.

Thank you for sharing the information. Beautiful photos, food looks very appetizing. In Ukraine, the analogue of dolma is cabbage rolls, not grape leaves, but white cabbage leaves are used. Yummy.

Add Your Comment

These recipes look YUM!

It only takes a few seconds to get more recipes...

Join our group of foodies and get recipes, news and cooking tips straight from the kitchen.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This