This is the best time of the year to head to Lake Balaton and try some traditional lángos or fried hake – but if you want to prepare them at home, here are the best recipes as collected by Femina.
Ask any Hungarian about what kind of food they usually visit the beach stalls for, and it is very likely that the answer will include at least one item from the list below. Even if we never leave home with the cooler packed with carefully layered sandwiches, we will always end up having a freshly fried lángos or palacsinta. Attention: contains a lot of calories!
A signature dish of the Hungarian cuisine, lángos needs no introduction to anyone. There is probably no beach in Hungary that does not sell this tasty fried dough, but you can very easily find it anywhere else in the country – or prepare it at home.
- 500 g flour
- 30 g yeast
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (rub the fried dough before adding any topping)
- 200 g sour cream (tejföl)
- 150 g cheese
Heat the milk until lukewarm, then add the sugar and yeast. Wait until the mix has some foam on top. Sift the flour into a bowl, then add the salt, yeast, oil, and water. Mix the ingredients until you get a semi-soft dough. When it is homogeneous, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 50 minutes until its volume doubles.
When it is large enough, work the dough on a floured surface. Make small piles with an oily hand and place them on a tray so that they do not touch. Raise the dough for another 30 minutes. When they are large enough, use your hands to stretch them to the desired size. Make sure the oil in which you fry the dough is hot enough, otherwise it will be soaked. For an alternative recipe, click here.
Another staple of Hungarian beach stalls is the hake (hekk), usually breaded in a mix of flour and paprika powder. It is usually served with French fries and pickles.
Once cleaned, make sure that the hake is dry, otherwise the breading will come off. Make small cuts in the hake every 1–2 cm and rub it abundantly with salt. Mix 250 g flour with some pepper and 2 tbsp paprika powder. Bread all parts of the hake with the mix, and fry it in hot oil for 8–10 minutes.
Boiled corncobs (főtt kukorica) are not only an extremely popular summer food among Hungarians, but they are also healthy and very easy to prepare. When you buy the corncobs yourself, make sure they are fresh, moist, and light-coloured. If possible, cook them on the same day.
Remove the corn husk and place it at the bottom of the pot. Put the cleaned corncobs on the husks in the pot and cover them with the remaining husks. Add water until it covers everything. Cook the cobs over medium heat for 15–30 minutes until the grains are soft. Let them cool a little and serve with salt as desired.
Many people do not think of hamburger as a DIY food, but making this popular meal is easier than you think. You can either buy the hamburger bun with the other ingredients and put them all together, or – if you are the experimenting type – prepare some parts yourself. Here is a simple recipe for a chicken patty:
- 500 g minced chicken
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 50 g cheese (grated)
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- salt and pepper
Mix the ingredients and work them well together. Make 6 or 8 flattened balls, depending on the number and size of patties you want. Put them on a baking paper and bake them at 190 °C for circa 25 minutes. Do not forget to flip the meat at regular intervals.
Did you know that now you can even grab a hamburger on the trains to Lake Balaton?
A funny-looking, appetising snack that works perfectly as a garnish but will also make a dish on its own.
- 2 bigger potatoes (no need to peel)
- 100 g parmesan
- 50 g butter
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
Insert a skewer into the bottom of the potatoes and push it all the way through to the top. Hold a thin knife at an angle and cut in the opposite direction you are turning the skewered potato. Gently fan out each potato down the length of the skewer and place them on a baking paper. Mix all the other ingredients together and brush the mixture over the potatoes. Bake them at 180°C for 30 minutes.
We have something for those with a sweet tooth as well: when it comes to crêpes or palacsinta, the fillings of cottage cheese and cocoa powder are just as common as the cheese-sour cream duo for the well-known lángos.
- 220 g flour
- 20 cl sparkling water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 40 cl milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp sugar, some salt
Mix the eggs, flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl, adding the water and milk along the way. Mix the ingredients until you get a dense but still liquid batter. If possible, put aside for 20–30 minutes. Add oil to the mix only before you start cooking. Pour some oil into a pan and use a ladle to measure the right amount of batter to pour into the pan.
From berries to marmalade and peanut butter, there are several toppings you can choose from when it comes to another favourite sweet treat of Hungarians.
- 120 g sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 packets of vanilla sugar
- 200 g flour
- 250 cl milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp baking powder
Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs in a bowl while you mix them with the sugar, vanilla powder, and melted butter. Add the mix of flour, baking powder, and salt to the mix. Work the batter until the texture is smooth. It should be a little denser than the crepe batter. Apply some oil on the waffle iron and pour a ladleful of batter into it.
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