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Mititei or mici (Romanian for little or small ones) is a traditional Romanian dish, grilled minced-meat rolls made from beef (usually mixed with mutton and pork), which contain garlic, black pepper, thyme, coriander, anise, savory and sometimes a touch of paprika. Sodium bicarbonate (and sometimes broth or water) is also added to the mixture.

Left: Mititei on the grill.

It is best served accompanied by mustard and beer. Ideally the mustard should not contain too much vinegar, because the sour taste does not fit with the Mititei. The mititei are very popular in Romania.

Legend has it that mititei were invented one evening at an inn in Bucharest, well-known for its sausages, when the kitchen ran out of casings.

Nowadays, it is very popular sold as fast-food or in restaurants close to traffic. They are also sold as processed food in supermarkets.

Recipe Ingredients

  • One third each ground pork, lamb and beef for a total of 2-2.5 lbs meat (if you have access to a butcher, double grind the meat and ask the butcher to include fattier pieces or mix in some pork fat in the mixture - this will melt off on the grill, but it keeps the meat rolls moist and tender)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup water or vegetable/beef stock

Serves: six persons.

Recipe Cooking and Preparation Method

  • Mix well all the ingredients together
  • Beat either water or vegetable/beef stock into the mixture
  • Leave mixture in fridge to set for a couple of hours or ideally overnight - this is an important step that aids the meat in coming out tender
  • Form into little 3-4 inch sausage shapes

NOTE: Keep a bowl of water handy to wet hands (this prevents the meat from sticking to fingers).

  • Grill on very hot grill, turn once
  • Serve with bread rolls and mustard

Food Serving Suggestion


Romanians eat mici with mustard inside a bread roll - add a cold beer and a lazy summer evening and you are in heaven.



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