Hungarian cuisine is appreciated worldwide. Some prefer the most popular goulash soup, some would rather choose the halászlé (fisherman’s soup). However, both of these dishes are on the list of the most popular Hungarian foods according to foreigners.
A website about foods around the world, tasteatlas.com has collected the 10 most popular Hungarian dishes. Have a look at them below!
Halászlé is probably the most well-known Hungarian food. Although it sounds simple, there are many variations. The two most popular are Szeged halászlé, made with four types of fish, and Baja halászlé, made mainly with carp and served with homemade pasta. However, what these soups have in common is the basic ingredient, mixed river fish. The fish is cooked in a broth that is heavily spiced with hot paprika. If you would like to try out the recipe, check out our big Hungarian fisherman’s soup guide.
Yet another simple, but delicious Hungarian dish. Lecsó is a vegetable ragout which is made with a base of rendered lard or bacon fat, fried Hungarian wax peppers, tomatoes, onions, ground paprika, salt, and sometimes garlic. Hungarians often cook this dish over an open fire in a so-called bogrács.
Foreigners get quickly hooked on this Hungarian dessert. Túró rudi is basically curd cheese that is covered in a chocolate coating. At least, that was the original flavour back then when they launched the first túró rudis in 1963. Nowadays, you can find all kinds of flavours such as strawberry, apricot or raspberry.
If you attend a conference, wedding, or any kind of event in Hungary, one food that you will surely find there is pogácsa. It is a Hungarian snack consisting of a small, bite-sized pastry that can be either sweet or savory. Pogácsa pastries are commonly prepared in a round shape. As for the flavour, there are many possibilities: cheese, cabbage, potatoes, bacon, pumpkin seeds and the list goes on.
Another all-time favourite is kifli, crescent-shaped yeast rolls. Although, usually they come plain, they can be also sprinkled with poppy, sesame, or caraway seeds, or topped with fruit jam or honey. Legend has it, kifli was invented when Christians defended Buda from the Ottomans. As a sign of celebration, the bakers in the city started selling fresh bread rolls in the shape of a crescent moon.
Pörkölt is regarded as Hungary’s national stew. The name of this dish derives from the word pörkölni, meaning roast or singe. The meat in pörkölt can be beef, lamb, pork or chicken. If you have decided on the meat, you put it in a red sauce with lots of onions, garlic and paprika powder. Traditionally, it is served with dumplings, boiled potatoes or pasta.
Although it is similar to the classic pörkölt stew, what makes paprikás different is sour cream and occasionally flour to create a smooth sauce. The ingredients are chicken thighs and legs, onions, and a paprika-flavored broth. If you visit Hungary, you will most probably come across pörtölt both at every corner of the city.
Lángos is considered a Hungarian traditional beach food. It is made by deep-frying a basic dough consisting of water, flour, yeast, sugar and salt until it turns golden-brown. After that, one can choose sour cream, grated cheese, garlic sauce and salt as a topping. No matter which one you choose, this food is so good it will surely make you want to lick all your fingers!
In addition to the túró rudi, krémes is another beloved sweet delight in Hungary. It is the Hungarian version of the famous cremeschnitte. Krémes consists of two layers of puff pastry held together with a generous amount of smooth pastry cream. After a hearty meal like goulash or prökölt, krémes is always a good idea!
The widely successful goulash finished first on the list, which is no surprise. Goulash is prepared with meat, traditionally beef, that is simmered in a rich paprika-infused broth, usually alongside onions, bell peppers, root vegetables, various spices and occasionally tomatoes. Here are 5 different recipes, if you would like to try out the most popular Hungarian dish!