Hungarian Wienerschnitzel

Crispy cutlets dredged in flour, eggwash and breadcrumbs, pan-fried to golden brown perfection, doused with a squeeze of citrus and sprinkled with a pinch of salt.

You know it as “Wienerschnitzel.” I know it as “Little Guys.”

The story as to why or how my siblings and I grew up calling schnitzel “Little Guys” doesn’t exist. Blame it on randomness. Consider it relatively odd. Go ahead, cock your head and go “huh?”

To this day my family still laughs thinking about the origin of the Little Guys name. But regardless of what anyone called it, Little Guys were a weekly staple in our American-Hungarian home. There were Little Guys with mashed potatoes. Little Guys with red cabbage. Little Guys with cucumber salad. Heck, there were even Little Guys with barbecue sauce.

And while traditional Wienerschnitzel is made with veal, we often put our own American spin on this eastern European classic by subbing in chicken, turkey or even pork. And after years of using traditional breadcrumbs, this past Christmas I got a lesson from Wolfgang Puck, the Wienerschnitzel master, who told me that crushed Panko is the secret to the lightest, crispiest, most golden brown crust imaginable.

Hungarian Wienerschnitzel

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

Four 8-ounce veal, chicken, turkey or pork scaloppini
Salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten together with 2 Tablespoons water
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs, crushed
Peanut oil, for pan-frying
Lemon wedges

Directions:

Season the scaloppini with salt and pepper on both sides then dredge them in the flour, then in the eggwash and then in the crushed Panko breadcrumbs.
Heat a large pan over medium heat and add enough peanut oil so that the oil will rise up to half of the thickness of the cutlets.
Test the hotness of the oil by dipping one tip of the breaded cutlet into the oil. You want to hear a distinct sizzle.
Pan-fry each of the cutlets until golden brown, turning them over as necessary.
Once fully cooked, remove the cutlets from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Season them immediately with salt.
Serve with a slice of lemon and your favorite accouterments, like red cabbage, potatoes and cucumber salad.

Recipe adapted from Wolfgang Puck.


Comments

  1. 1
    #

    says

    My fiancee and I love a good schnitzel. We always add a tablespoon or two of grated white onion to the panko breading mixture for extra, unexpected flavor. Your plate looks clean and delicious with that thinly sliced cucumber salad… and of course the glass of beer on the side!

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

  2. 3
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    Lisa Martin says

    That looks so good! Do you have a recipe for the cucumber salad that you would share? I’ve been looking for one and yours looks so refreshing – the perfect side dish for wienerschnitzel.

  3. 4
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    Kelly Senyei says

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks so much for your comment. The cucumber salad is a family recipe that I just throw together since I’ve been making it since I was 10 years old! This weekend I’ll work out the specific proportions of ingredients and post them. In the meantime, I can share that I usually use two large cucumbers (thinly sliced on a mandolin), shallots or red onion, white vinegar, water, sugar, salt and fresh dill. As for how much of each of those – I’ll report back soon!

  4. 6
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    says

    My husband spent time in Germany so we eat Schnitzel in our house. I have never tried making it with Panko we usually use seasoned bread crumbs. I will have to try that sometime!

  5. 8
    #

    Táňa says

    I´m sorry to correct you but it isn´t hungarian dish.. It belongs to the best known specialities of Viennese cuisine. The Wiener Schnitzel is the national dish of Austria.

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