Kokleten – (My Shtetl/Hungarian Burgers)

My Hungarian Grandma, Lily used to make these wonderful oval-shaped beef patties that were so good and soft they melted in your mouth.  When my daughter Anita comes to visit from New York,these are at the top of her food request list. I have combined my Hungarian grandmother’s recipe with that of my Polish Mother-in-Law, Dora, and have come up with a delicious hybrid. Try it with beef or turkey, chicken or ground Tofu, you won’t go wrong.


1 large onion chopped

1 tbsp.  canola oil

2 lb. ground beef or ground turkey or ground chicken or ground tofu

2 large eggs

2 garlic cloves pressed

1/2 cup steamed or boiled rice until very soft

1 matzoh cracker soaked til soft and drained

1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


Saute half of the chopped onion in 1/2 of the tablespoon of oil, until it is a golden brown.Place ground meat into a large mixing bowl, add the golden brown onions and mix well. Add all of the other ingredients and mix very well with clean hands. Heat the remaining canola oil in a large saucepan, form slightly oval-shaped patties with about the amount of 1/2 cup of meat per patty, place in hot oil, and brown well on all sides over medium high heat. Place patties on paper towel to drain any excess oil. Accompany with roasted potatoes or Arroz Mexicano. It’s also great accompanied by an Israeli style chopped salad, and you can never go wrong having a little guacamole and salsa close by. Enjoy!

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