The tojásos nokedli is proof that spätzle-like dumplings can play more than just a supporting role on a plate. Using a spätzle maker (or a colander), all you need to do is shave coarse bits of runny dough into a pot of simmering water and scoop them out when they appear on the surface a few minutes later. The key to this dish is the creamy scrambled eggs folded into and glued to the dumplings. As well as a side of fresh, sweet-sour lettuce.
Yield: 4 servings; Total time: 45 minutes
For the dumplings (galuska)
400 grams (2 ¾ cups) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
150 ml (⅔ cup) water
3 pinches of salt
For the egg coating
5 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 pinches of salt
For the salad
1 Romaine or butterhead lettuce, washed, cored, and quartered
2 cups water
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white vinegar
Step 1: For the salad dressing, combine water, sugar, salt, and vinegar and mix well so sugar and salt dissolve. Soak each wedge of lettuce in the dressing for a few seconds then place salad leaves in individual bowls (discard wilted leaves).
Step 2: Prepare the egg dumplings by mixing egg, flour, oil, water, and salt. Knead them into a wet dough, then using a wetted spaetzle maker or a cutting board and a knife (or the holes of a colander if at least ½ cm or ¼-inch thick), shave coarse bits of dough into a large pot filled with 3 liters (3.2 quarts) of simmering salted water. Scoop out the galuska with a strainer when they appear on the surface a few minutes later. Drizzle with a generous amount of oil and mix well so they don’t stick together, then put aside.
Step 3: In a small bowl, mix together beaten eggs and salt. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a wide skillet on medium and add the beaten eggs mixture when the butter has melted. As soon as the eggs start to coagulate, about a minute, add the dumplings to the skillet and combine with the eggs. After each bit of galuska is nicely coated by the moist scrambled eggs mixture, about 2 minutes, turn off heat.
Step 4: Sprinkle some salt over the dumplings and serve while still hot with the salad on the side.
Words of advice
Take care not to overcook the eggs mixture; the galuska should be enveloped by creamy and tender scrambled eggs.
I created these recipes with the help of nearly a dozen historical Hungarian cookbooks, adjusting ingredients, cooking times, and methods to reflect my own preferences and tastes of the current day. Do you have any feedback? Please let me know!