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A Hungarian Peasant Dish

Hungarian Káposztas Tészta, or Cabbage Noodles

Hungarian Káposztas Tészta, or Cabbage Noodles

One of my favorite dishes as a child was Hungarian Káposztas Tészta, or Cabbage Noodles, which was both cheap and good. The recipe below is taken from 2009 posting to Blog.Com describing the way I prepared it for a Hungarian Meet-Up Group potluck:

Take one head of cabbage, grate it as finely as possible. Deposit it into a large mixing bowl and salt liberally. Then cover it with a clean dish towel and come back a half hour later. You will find that the salt draws the water out of the cabbage. Pick up handfuls of the cabbage, squeeze the salt water out of it over the sink, and place in a colander. Then squeeze it hard again.

Now it’s time to get a large saucepan and melt some unsalted butter in it and add an equal amount of olive oil. (The old Hungarians used bacon fat, but butter and vegetable oil is just as good and better for you.) Sauté the cabbage and keep stirring for upwards of an hour, until the cabbage starts to get a little brown around the edges. Don’t leave the cabbage to burn: You have to attend to it fairly closely.

Around this time, start boiling water for egg noodles. My mother used to make her own, cutting them into three-quarter-inch squares that were perfect. But prepackaged noodles are almost as good. Drain the cooked noodles and add to the cabbage. I used my Chinese iron wok to mix the two together. While turning the mix around, I added salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Simple and good.

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