Tuck into traditional Hungarian Christmas food

By Vera Treit

As you all know, we Hungarians like abusing our tummies with heavy dishes. These two basic facts don’t tend to change come Christmas. Here is a three-course traditional Hungarian Christmas Menu.

For Starters, we eat Fish Soup. To make it is not so complicated: you take 1.6 kilograms of carp, you wash and clean it, remove the heads and fins. You cut it up into quite thick slices and put salt on it. You wash the paprika and the tomatoes (two pcs of each) and cut them in half. Take five onions, cut them up and put them into a pan with two liters of water. You add the heads and fins of the fish, the vegetables, some salt and boil the mixture. After that you cook it for about 2 hours.

When you’re done with cooking this mixture, you strain it, add two tablespoons of red paprika to it and the previously sliced fish. You cook this for another ten minutes, stirring very carefully so you don’t mash up the fish.


For the Main Course, my all-time favorite: Stuffed Cabbage. Take about one kilo of sour cabbage, and wash it with cold water. You should also buy about eight-ten sour cabbage leaves and wash those, too.  Next, cut two onions, one clove of garlic and 50 grams of smoked bacon into small pieces. In a big pan, fry the bacon in oil and add it to the 400 grams of minced meat. Fry the onions in the pan you cooked the bacon in, and add half of it to the minced meat. To the other half of the onions, you add one tsp of red paprika and 1 dl water and half of the sour cabbage. You add the garlic, 80 grams of rice, one egg, one tsp of red paprika, a pinch of cumin and marjoram and some salt and pepper to the minced meat. You mix it in very thoroughly and form little balls of it. You wrap these balls into the cabbage leaves. When you’re done, you put these wraps into the large pan, onto the half of sour cabbage, and cover it with the other half. You put the lid on and cook it for one hour. When the one hour is up, you take out the wraps, thicken the sour cabbage and put the wraps back in. This is an incredibly delicious dish. Trust me!


Last, but not least, we have dessert. We call it “Beigli,” and it is basically a roll. This online recipe explains how to make it perfectly:



Jó Étvágyat és Boldog Karácsonyt!

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