Stuffed Mulberry Leaves

by Sarah on April 18, 2009

I live next to the biggest mulberry tree on the block and every year anybody passing by stop for a moment to pick the fruit for a quick sweet snack. Sometimes older couples come with their nimble grandchildren and gather a bag or basketful of fruit. The fruit ripen in waves, and for weeks, until the beginning of summer, the tree is always laden with mulberries. Most eventually drop off the tree and onto the path where they ferment in the warm spring sun, staining the path and leaving a musty smell of a winery in the air. This year the mulberries are just about to ripen but it won’t be such a perfect gathering ground for people anymore.

The tree is beautiful, with dark green foliage, a shady haven in summer. Its branches used to extend outward and into the walking path between our houses. Complaints, a few phone calls and a city worker arrived to saw off all the lower branches which were so annoying to passersby’s or so annoying to one in particular. I was mad. Now the tree looks like a poodle, an embarrassment for a mulberry tree and not the natural way of things. I can’t pick leaves from the path anymore but my son is more than happy to climb the tree to collect them (I wish he was so enthusiastic for the other chores I give him).

Stuffed Mulberry leaves are eaten in south east Turkey and in northern Syria. Mulberries are grown for their berries, which are either eaten fresh or made into jams or wine. The berries are high in anthrocyanin pigments (blue, reds and purples) which are used as natural colorants in food. The leaves are used as supplements because they contain high levels of resveratrol and 1-deoxynojirimycin (say that three times fast), compounds which have been shown to have anti-imflammatory and antidiabetic properties. In fact, in Turkey and Jordan mulberry leaves have been the traditional method of treating diabetes (Morus Nigra). Let’s not forget that it is also the favorite food of the silk worm.

I stuffed the leaves as I would grape leaves, using my grandmother’s recipe but used vegetable stock instead of water. They were perfect. They didn’t have the characteristic flavor of grape leaves but a more subtle taste. I liked them much better than stuffed malva leaves. I never knew mulberry leaves were eaten until I found out from the friendly foodies at Egullet forum.
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Michele April 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm

what an interesting take on stuffed grape leaves! they look delivious


Sazji April 22, 2009 at 3:53 am

I’ve heard of mulberry leaves being stuffed in Malatya but I’ve never actually eaten them. What variety of mulbarries are you using? We have white and black in our yard, neither of which have leafed out yet. How long do they have to cook?


Sarah April 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm

I believe I am using black mulberries. The leaves were young and tender so I only dipped them in boiling water, they didn’t even change color. I cook them the way I cook stuffed grape leaves, about 45 minutes. If meat is used in the filling the leaves can be rolled long and thin without closing the ends (read this on egullet)


SimplyHeavenFood June 26, 2009 at 10:18 am

God Bless your son!
This is one of my favorite dish! Looks so delicious.


pixen June 30, 2009 at 1:41 am

I read, cook and ate only stuffed grape leaves but haven’t try Mulberry leaves. Is it the same as Mulberry Leaves in Southeast Asia where we used the leaves for making tea and also fed to the Silkworms?

Do you have close up pictures of the Mulberry leaves?

You have lovely blog and I can’t wait to try this recipe…provided if I can find Mulberry leaves… :-D What’s this leaf called in Turkish?


Kelli July 1, 2009 at 5:04 pm

It seems as though the blog has been removed that had your grandmother’s recipe. I would LOVE to see this recipe. Could you post it?


admin July 3, 2009 at 8:42 am

thank you for your comments,
Kelli, I fixed the link. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Pixen, I will try to post a picture of a mulberry leaf shortly


Americo Cardenas July 16, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Las hojas de morera se consumen de diferentes formas:
1.- En platos verdes: hojas picadas y sancochados, luego los condimentos a gusto del cocino.
2.- Las hojas envolviendo preparados, que también pueden ser a gusto del consumidor cocidos al vapor o en hornos. resulta agradable.
3.- Convertidos en harinas, se puede consumir en jugos.

Pues es nutritiva con 24 % de proteinas que no es poco a parte que contiene mas de 20 aminacidos, por ello tiene diversas propiedades medicinales y nutricionales.


ninu October 26, 2009 at 7:22 am

wow nu ga luga means very good job


nemo March 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I am speachless…I am crazy about the black mulberries and I guessed that Asians were the same, because the silk worms story.

Infact the plant has very particular properties but frankly never imagined to cook the leaves like grape, which also… I have not been eaten for very long time.

Thank you for the great suggestions.

1 question: is the jugo really drinkable alone?
2 I have tried the tomatillo in jugos and it is very good but best with other fruits.


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