The Hungarian potato dumpling you’ve been missing out on.
Shlishkes, sometimes known as shlishkas, are a potato dumpling popular in Hungarian-Jewish households. They can be served savory or sweet, rolled in seasoned bread crumbs or cinnamon and sugar. They make a great appetizer or a delicious snack. My family loves them, and my oldest sister, Manci, taught me a great trick on preparing this dish quickly for the whole family. She admitted that she made it in large batches and froze it once it was rolled out and cut (she would roll it in more flour to prevent it from sticking together when frozen). She would take it out of the freezer, cook it in boiling water, and roll it in crispy, toasted bread crumbs.
Recipes and photos courtesy of Honey Cake & Latkes, Auschwitz Birkenau Memorial Foundation 2022, read the full review of the cookbook here.
Did you know that Judaism is very big on table manners? How we conduct ourselves while we eat says a lot about how seriously we are taking the activity? Get more Jewish food thoughts here.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 minutes
- About 5 medium potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- About 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for rolling
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
- Place the potatoes in a pot with water to cover by a few inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain and let the potatoes cool completely. Peel the potatoes, place them in a large bowl, and mash them well. Make a large well in the middle of the mashed potatoes and pour in the eggs. Gradually pull the walls of the potato well into the eggs and mix well. Start adding the flour in small increments until the mixture can no longer absorb any more. Knead well and add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the salt to the dough.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil while you form the dumplings and preheat the broiler. Flour a work surface. Coat your hands with oil, take a piece of the dough, and roll it into a long strand about ¾ -inch thick. Cut the strand into ¾ -inch slices. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pot, add the slices of shlishkes to the water and cook until the dumplings rise to the surface, gently nudging them off the sides of the pot if they begin to stick. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- While the dumplings are cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- Add the bread crumbs and toast, stirring, until browned. Drain the shlishkes and gently toss them in the toasted bread crumbs. Transfer to a broiler pan, place under the broiler, and broil until golden brown.
Tip: Shlishkes can also be made without breading and paired with sauce instead. To freeze, roll the shlishkes in flour before boiling them and place in a zip-top bag.
Note: Yukon Gold potatoes work the best with this recipe. The bread crumbs should be toasted to a crispy brown and—if desired—seasoned as well.
Photo credit: Ellen Silverman for Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation