Monday, November 9, 2009

The poor step-sister of Shabbat kugels

You’ve got to feel sorry for lukshen kugel.

I mean, in the Shabbat kugel pantheon, it always gets short shrift.

Because no matter how you slice it (pun intended), lukshen kugel just doesn’t have the same mouthwatering cachet as fresh, hot, hand-grated potato kugel.

Nostalgic interjection: Interestingly, my grandmother a”h held the opposite view. Studded with bits of chopped meat, her lukshen kugel came replete with a crisp crust and was considered to be the ultimate Shabbat side dish. In contrast, she felt that potato kugel wasn’t elegant enough for Shabbat and should be relegated to weekday meals. </nostalgia>

Yet here in TRLEOOB*, it’s potato kugel that gets star billing.

But don’t get me wrong. I like lukshen kugel as much as the next blogger.

After all, notwithstanding its lowly status, lukshen kugel is still delicious. And in fact, since its preparation involves neither peeling nor grating, lukshen kugel is my go-to side dish when I’m pressed for time and energy.

Yet, before lukshen kugel could become a mainstay of the Shiputzim kitchen, I first had to resolve two issues:

1) Sweetness - In keeping with my Lithuanian forebears, I was raised exclusively on so-called salt-and-pepper lukshen kugels. However, YZG and the kids enjoy a touch of sweetness, and so I learned to make what a guest once oxymoronically but accurately referred to as a “sweet salt and pepper kugel”.

2) Margarine - Over the past few years, I slowly phased margarine out of our diets. But since my favorite lukshen kugel recipe called for 100 grams of margarine (i.e. just under half a cup), I simply stopped making lukshen kugel.

Until, that is, I saw Leora’s lukshen kugel post and was inspired to adapt my recipe. Here’s the result:

Sweet Salt and Pepper Lukshen Kugel


  • 500 grams noodles
  • 2-3 soupspoons vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs (5 eggs would probably be fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (use much less for a more traditional taste)
  • About 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste (we like it peppery)


Cook noodles. Drain and rinse quickly with cold water. Return noodles to pot, and toss with the oil. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Place in an oiled 9x13 baking pan, and drizzle a little extra oil on top. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour and a quarter or until the top is golden brown.



*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog


  1. Growing up in an Israeli family I learned that 'kugel' was yerushalmi kugel only. Anything else was "kugaleh me'tapuchei adama, kugaleh me'itriot..." as if they were the younger childish version of 'real' kugel. (Yerushalmi kugel is not the same as salt & pepper kugel).
    Can you share your grandmothers recipe? Kugel with bits of meat sounds yummy.

  2. The thought of so much sugar with pepper never fails to surprise me. Once I'll have to try this.

  3. Chedva - "as if they were the younger childish version of 'real' kugel" - LOL! :-)
    B"N, I'll ask my mother if she knows how my grandmother a"h used to make her kugel. (Please send me an email with your email address or, if you prefer, I'll post the recipe here.)

    Ilana-Davita - As far as I understand, classic Yerushalmi kugel (which Chedva referred to above and which is a mainstay of Israeli kiddushes) is made with caramelized sugar and LOTS of pepper.

  4. I too, grew up with savory kugels. (Sweet is for dessert, no?) I am totally going to try this recipe - thanks!

  5. Toby - Let me know how it comes out.

  6. potato kugel wasn’t elegant enough for Shabbat and should be relegated to weekday meals


    Sorry, I can't imagine having potato kugel during the week, unless it was leftovers.

    (And speaking of elegant -- since when is gefilte fish jelly remnants on the fish itself...elegant?)

  7. Jameel - gefilte fish jelly remnants on the fish itself
    It sounds like you must have recently experienced some sort of fish jelly trauma...

  8. Thanks for participating in the November KCC! Please don't forget to spread the word and post a link to it in your blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Pesky Settler - Thanks! I linked to your KCC and also added some background information about this post here.


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