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October 21, 2007 / Tony

Currywurst

In my college days, I was fortunate enough to visit Vienna and Berlin.  I was not as adventurous (or even interested) food back then but I was expecting to eat well while I was there.  I did have some really great food there but what surprised me most was the quality of the street vendor food.  Initially, I was quite skeptical of such food due to my unfamiliarity with the German language, German cuisine, and the almost uniformly poor state of street vendors in the U.S.  But, after a short consultation with one of the trip advisors after smelling an incredibly pungent street sandwich, I wasted no time in ordering a Döner Kebab.   This is similar to a gyro and it is absolutely delicious.  Another street vendor treat is a Käsekrainer which is a cheese stuffed sausage in a delicious roll. 

Unfortunately, I missed out on eating Currywurst while in Berlin.  According to Savuer magazine, it is just a popular as Döner Kebabs.  And with good reason, Currywurst is a simply ingenious concoction of curry, tomatoes, paprika, sausages, and bread (or french fries).  The sauce just jumps off the plate with flavor with the pungent sweetness from the curry, a little heat from the hot parika, and the acidity of the tomatoes.  It’s unbelievable.  Here’s the original recipe from Saveru:

Currywurst, from Saveur magazine here   

The best Schnell-Imbisse (fast-food stalls) make their own currywurst sauce, essentially a curry powder–flavored ketchup. Heat 2 tbsp. canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped large yellow onion; cook until soft, 8–10 minutes. Add 2 tbsp. curry powder and 1 tbsp. hot paprika; cook for 1 minute more. Using hands, crush 2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes (with juice) into pan. Add 1⁄2 cup sugar, 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar, and salt to taste; stir well. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 minutes. Purée sauce in a blender until smooth. Strain sauce through a sieve. Serve hot over sausage. Makes about 1 1⁄2 cups.

A few notes: 1) I never bother to strain the sauce after the sauce has cooked.  I really like the texture of the sauce as it is.  2)  If you don’t have hot paprika, please add some cayenne pepper to the mix.  There really needs to be a little bit of heat in the dish to make it work properly.  3)  Use quality sausages and bread to complement the sauce. 

Here’s a look at the sausages I cooked:

img_1303.jpg

And here’s the final product:

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One Comment

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  1. AYT / Oct 24 2007 12:26 pm

    Speaking of German food, if you’re on I-80 in Iowa, take some time checkout the Amana Colonies.

    http://www.amanacolonies.org/restaurants.htm

    I ate at Ronneburg Restaurant last week. Excellent schnitzel in a long time.

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