My husband is 3⁄4 Hungarian (1⁄4 Polish). His maternal grandparents, Holocaust survivors, were born in Hungary but they left after the second world war. His grandmother, Shula, was a decent cook. Her goulash and stuffed peppers were filling, however her strudel and linzer cookies were delightful (If she didn’t accidentally drop a coin into the batter). My mother-in-law is very nostalgic about her mom’s food, but not enough to make it herself. Lucky for her, it’s an honor for me to cook her mother’s food. I believe that by reviving Shula’s dishes, I bring Shula to life. I like to think that she can watch us. So I want her to see that we never forgot her.
I watched a well-made YouTube video how to make it. The dumplings are easy to make though slightly messy because the butter is runny. It’s easier and less messy if you make it with a nokedli maker. I didn’t have one therefore used a box grater and spatula.
They remind me gnocchi though eggy. The aroma and flavor of the caramelized cabbage and onion were soul stroking. I could see why my mother-in-law was so nostalgic.
• It’s the easiest dumpling I ever made.
• I did make it with millet flour once but they didn’t taste good. I think all-purpose gluten-free flour might work. I would try it with one of these days.
• Vegan version isn’t impossible but tricky. Perhaps you can make them with vegan pancake batter. Adding it to my list of experiments.
• One of my followers on instagram, who’s Hungarian, reported that she cooks the nokedli in soups. I didn’t try it yet, adding it to my to-make list.
• You can buy a nokedli maker, however, if you know that you’re not going to make it often then make it with a box grater.
Hungarian Dumplings (Nokedli)
- ¼ Avocado or another vegetable oil
- ½ medium cabbage - sliced
- 1 large onion - sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- Olive oil
- Warm the oil in an oven-proof large skillet*. Add the onion, cabbage, salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and mix. Saute on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add ½ cup water and bring into a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. If the skillet isn’t oven proof you can transfer the cabbage and onion to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Roast the cabbage and onion until they are brownish and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
- To make the dumplings: whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the water and salt, and whisk until combined. Add the flour gradually, whisking constantly, until the batter is smooth and runny. Thick runny, not watery, like pancake batter.
- When you're ready to make the Nokedli, bring a large pot of water to a boil. (DON’T add salt to the water!)
- There are a bunch of techniques to shape them. If you have a nokedli maker than great, if you don't, you need something with medium-sized holes spaced far enough apart, like a cheese grater or perforated spoon. The idea is to put a small amount of dough on it, and then use a silicone spatula to press the dough through the holes (Watch the video, link in the post). It sounds complicated but it’s easy and satisfying to see the dumplings emerge from the holes and form into pasta like drops. Do this in small batches or you will end up with some dumplings that are overcooked. When you're done adding the dumplings, give them about 30 seconds after they float to the surface to ensure they are cooked. Fish them out with a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil.
- Put the cabbage and onion over the nokedli and toss gently to coat them. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve immediately.