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Langos: Hungarian Street Food

January 8, 2013

 

Langos

So I’m having dinner with my Hungarian friend Gergely and he’s waving his arms excitedly in the air, getting all nostalgic for langos. During the conversation I get the impression very quickly that Hungarian food is all about insulating; it’s cold there in the winter, innit. Although apparently they eat it on the beach too so er, yeah. Basically a lot of the food seems to be rib sticking, fatty, carb loaded and in this case, deep fried. I am instantly all over it like a particularly vicious rash. It’s always good to talk about unpleasant physical complaints when describing one’s enthusiasm for food, don’t you think?

So on Sunday Gergely came to my house and taught me how to make langos and it was brilliant. He freaked me out by managing to get the dough to rise super fast in my rather cold kitchen, then we made sort of cow pat (sorry) sized discs of dough and plunged them into hot oil. A couple of minutes each side and they emerged golden and sizzling; is there anything more appealing than freshly fried dough? No, no there is not.

We’re not done yet though, because here comes the most important thing about langos – garlic water. The garlic water makes the langos special. It’s officially my new favourite thing and I have a lot of favourite things on the go right now. Basically you just get an absolute shit load of garlic and whack it in a jar with, you’ve guessed it, some water. Oh and a little bit of oil. You mix it together and the garlic kind of mellows but at the same time stays er, really strong. Yeah, that makes sense. Anyway so you brush the freshly fried langos with the garlic water and the intensity of perfume created by the heat meeting the garlic is incredible.

Then it’s time to smear that dough with sour cream. I am assured that Hungarian sour cream is far superior and now of course I long for it. I had to make do with some regular stuff from Tesco Metro. Still, sour cream it was. To finish the langos, grated cheese. Yep. Oh and it absolutely has to be the shittiest cheapest most poorly produced ready grated cheese you can find, apparently. Gergely was very adamant about this. We bought some kind of basic stuff from Tesco and he instantly pronounced it ‘too good’.

Langos

 

Unsurprisingly I instantly fell in love with langos. It’s deep fried dough covered in garlic, sour cream and cheese FFS. We washed it down with Unicum which is like Hungarian Fernet Branca. I’d planned dinner afterwards. It didn’t happen. Gergely and his girlfriend rather impressively went straight on to dinner at Koffman’s. Respect.

Langos is the kind of food we should all be eating in January. Sod the diet, it’s cold and the Hungarians really know how to do food that keeps you warm.

You will however stink of garlic for 2 days.

Langos

(makes loads)

1kg flour
2 sachets instant yeast
1 pint luke warm water
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix the sugar, yeast and water in a jug. Wait 5 minutes or so until the top is frothy, then mix with the flour to make a semi soft dough. Gergely did this with his hands. The dough should be really sloppy.

When the dough has doubled in size, oil a piece of foil, then add a drizzle of oil around the edges, which makes the dough come out of the bowl really easily (it is very sticky and won’t come out otherwise). Turn it out onto the foil, cut pieces and make little rounds, which are thinner in the middle.

Deep fry the fuckers.

For the garlic water and to assemble:

Mix about 10 cloves of garlic with a jam jar of water and a splash of oil. Leave for a couple of hours to infuse.

Thin the sour cream by whipping it with a bit of water.

To assemble, douse the langos with the garlic water, spread on sour cream and top with shitty grated cheese.

We did some crazy pimping with a bit of smoked salt and some fennel seeds, admittedly after we’d started on the Unicum.

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53 Comments

  • Reply Chloe January 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    DEFINITELY making these.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      What? But it’s not like you to like anything deep fried Chloe? 😉

  • Reply BigBen January 8, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Ooh, these look and sound amazing, will defo try them.

    Love the way you write about food by the way. I’m addicted to the blog, can’t get enough!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Aww thank you! What a lovely comment.

  • Reply @gergelywine January 8, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Just one thing: the oil has to be really hot. I mean we started it with about 180 C, and it was just all right. And it has to be plenty. This is a serious deep frying operation! otherwise, best enjoyed with a bone dry spritzer (strictly soda+wine, not lemonade) in the summer, or a pint or two with unicum chasers in the winter.
    Oh and one more: the garlic water has to be served in a 2nd hand pickle jar, and applied with a regular paintbrush, otherwise it is not official…

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Thanks Gergely!

  • Reply henry the cat January 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    meaiow meiaow pimp ass fryage yo’ do you ever do them with tuna or rabbit and jely?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Hi Henry the cat. I’ll start working on a variation. Purr.

  • Reply Anne January 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Anyone whose cooking instructions are ‘deep fry the fuckers’ NEEDS their own cookbook!

    Also Unicum just sounds wrong but these look great for soaking up the Unicum

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Ha ha! Unicom DOES sound wrong now I come think of it…

  • Reply Piers January 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I love Unicum. Must be the best hair of the dog ever.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      As is Fernet Branca! Love em both.

  • Reply Alicia (foodycat) January 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I want more of Gergely’s input – this is brilliant stuff. I saw langos on a Hairy Bikers thing and thought it looked just my affair and you have confirmed it!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      You must try it! Then let us know what you think.

  • Reply Donald Edwards January 8, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Seriously, do you not think about the ethical considerations of posting recipes like this? It’s a fucking heart attack on a plate. Ffs people like you disgust me with your deep fried everything.
    I’d cry for you but I’ve run out of tears.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Oh HAR de HAR HAR. Why did you run out of tears Donald? WAS IT FROM LAUGHING AT YOUR OWN JOKES?

  • Reply Shu Han January 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    that looks like heart attack on a plate but somehow quite irresistible…damn.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 12:14 am

      The langos calls you! You are powerless to resist!

  • Reply Maunika January 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

    There is a reason I’m addicted to the blog and the food you cook… this is it! Sinful goodness in every bite. Reminds me of deep fried Indian Bhaturas. Yum x

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Ha ha! Yes I am rather partial to the bad stuff. I eat salad too though, honest!

  • Reply Donald Edwards January 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

    On a serious note, langos is stunning, utterly glorious deep fried wonderment. Though the kebab meat one I once had in Tokaj might have been pushing it a little…

  • Reply eddichen January 9, 2013 at 10:28 am

    So i’ve been told by Hungarian friend that they use Trappista cheese, but not sure how available it is over here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trappista_cheese

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Ooh fab, thanks!

  • Reply Catherine January 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Oh my god I’ve died and gone to fatty heaven. If I’ve been good all week I can make and eat these right? They look great and no fancy pants ingredients to worry about finding, mmmmm. They also seem like a great way to banish a hangover. Thank you.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      This is PERFECT hangover food. Seriously. And yes of course you can have them, especially if you’ve been good all week…

  • Reply Robert January 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Damn wish I had seen this earlier! I bought a miniature bottle of Unicum as a present from Budapest years ago. It produced plenty of giggles and piggy guttural snorting. How very childish!

    Nice recipe by the way. Not sure if I should be deep frying food while on a diet 😉

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      I think you can deep fry on a diet as long as that diet is not the low calorie kind…

  • Reply Stacy January 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I might have started dancing around and clapping when you went savory with this. I really can’t remember, such was the joy. Too many fried dough recipes are sweet and that is definitely not my thing. Yay for garlic water, sour cream and crappy cheese! Although that begs the question: What happens if I use nicer cheese? I mean, besides Gergely coming to haunt me with the ghost of Hungarian cooks past and a garlicky paintbrush?

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Ha ha! I’m pretty sure you’re allowed to use whatever cheese you like 😉

  • Reply thomash January 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    A Hungarian friend make up a batch of these once for housemates, after two with the garlic water, sour cream and cheese I went off piste and had one with curry sauce, which was odd, but I then a pudding one with apricot jam and powdered sugar which was the best by far. However I then had to go and lay down due to the amount of fried bread I had consumed.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      I am in awe of your stamina!

  • Reply Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) January 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    The New Years Diet Me is droooooling. Looks DIVINE.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      I did it to torture you

  • Reply Eileen January 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Oh my. I have never heard of langos, but anything fried then coated in garlic and dairy has to be good. 🙂 Garlic water?? SUPER interesting.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 10, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Give it a go! (and let me know what you think…)

  • Reply explodyfull January 11, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I LOVE Langos. I had them years and years ago at a festival in Australia and have also been looking for them. Went to Hungary last year and feasted on them for real.

    I would make these at home but I have a fear of hot oil! I am very intrigued by the garlic water though.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

      I used to have the same fear until I got a thermometer. The therma pen is excellent. I you could also buy a deep fat fryer that would have a thermostat.

  • Reply Gin and Crumpets January 15, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Brilliant, Hungarian food fights cold like no other food out there. Although Unicum is poison and they should be given a sharp telling off for inventing it. It makes bad things happen.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 16, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Unicum! Poison?! Wash your mouth out with Fernet Branca.

  • Reply Michael January 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    They look deeeeelicious

    They did have a stall selling these at lunchtime at Elephant and Castle a few years ago. Not sure if they’re there anymore.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen January 17, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Ah that’s a shame.

  • Reply leighgoodstuff January 24, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Hell yeah. Give me these badboys and a cold beer and i’m happy. will be making these!

  • Reply Essex Eating January 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Holy shit. How have I never heard of these before? They look frigging uber.

  • Reply Cathy February 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Love these. Used to be a couple who did them at the Elephant and Castle Sunday food market. Haven’t been there for ages since Arturo stopped going there.

  • Reply Jeanne @ CookSister May 15, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Mmmmm, langos. I associate these with Malmo in Sweden where they are a hugely popular street food. They give them a nordic twist of course, topping the obligatory sour cream with fish roe, shrimps or smoked salmon – but it’s still a big ball of deep-fried decadence when you get right down to brass tacks. Love.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen May 15, 2013 at 8:53 am

      ooh that’s interesting, they sound lovely with the roe on top. I’m not sure I could be without the garlic water but still. A little less anti social for sure.

  • Reply Cherls October 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Found the blog after watching the Hairy Bikers do Lagos and googling for a recoie, and will definitely be trying yours. Love your style Helen, can’t wait to read more of your stuff!

  • Reply Cherls October 4, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Fuck! Just spotted all my typos in the last post. Way to make my first blog comment!

    • Helen
      Reply Helen October 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Ha ha don’t worry, standards are pretty slack around here 😉 I didn’t know the Hairy Bikers did langos. I shall have to look it up! Bet they’re not as good…*cheeky face*

  • Reply ashish January 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I lived in Hungary and had them all the time there. I used to eat them with a curry.

  • Reply JohnC August 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Out in Hungary at the moment. Langos is our go-to lunch! Just bloody amazing. Going to ditch the Hairy Biker’s recipe and go with yours when I’m back in Blighty. Not discovered Unicum yet but I’ll have a look tomorrow!

    And yes, “deep fry the fuckers” has to be the best cooking instructions yet.

    • Helen
      Reply Helen August 25, 2014 at 3:22 am

      I am amazed…um no, gobsmacked that the hairy bikers have a langos recipe. Anyway, so glad you enjoyed the post. Whereabouts in Hungary are you?

  • Reply Deborah August 6, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Hi,

    I had langos once, deep fried gorgeusness, yeah , love how you describe cooking it, made me laugh, will def try your recipe 🙂

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