The word “schnitzel” comes from a German word for “slice,” but Wiener schnitzel actually dates back to 1845 when it referred to a Viennese dish of veal. When the Viennese immigrants came to Palestine in the 1930s, they brought this dish and made it with chicken or turkey.
Today, schnitzel is an Israeli classic on restaurant menus and in homes.
Classic Israeli Schnitzel
Adjust according to number of servings
- Turkey or chicken boneless cutlets
- Beaten egg or eggs
- Bread crumbs (I use Panko)
Place flour, beaten egg or eggs and bread crumbs in three different shallow dishes or bowls. Dip each cutlet first in flour then in egg then in bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry cutlets until brown on both sides.
Best served with mashed potatoes.
I know this is an old recipe, but I’m not sure of its origins.
- 4 pieces turkey or chicken schnitzel (boned cutlets)
- 2 t. soy sauce
- 2 T. flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. water
- 2 t. vegetable oil or sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T. sesame seeds
- 6 T. bread crumbs (I prefer panko)
- 4 T. margarine or sesame oil
Brush schnitzel with soy sauce in a shallow dish. Let dry. Coat with flour.
Beat eggs, water and oil with salt and pepper.
Mix sesame seeds and bread crumbs
Brush egg mixture on schnitzel. Coat with sesame seed mixture.
Heat margarine or sesame oil in a frying pan. Brown schnitzel on each side for 4-5 minutes.
Serve immediately or keep on low temperature in the oven.
Sue’s Schnitzel Sukiyaki
This recipe came from an old friend, Sue, a writer who lives in Jerusalem.
- 1 pound schnitzel cut in strips
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 6 chopped scallions
- 2 chopped green peppers
- ½ pound sliced mushrooms
- 2-3 cups bean sprouts
In a shallow bowl, combine wine and soy sauce and marinate schnitzel for 1 to 2 hours.
Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté schnitzel until brown. Remove from pan. Add onions, peppers, mushrooms and sprouts. Add more soy sauce if needed and sauté.
Add schnitzel to warm.
Italian-Jewish Fried Chicken Cutlets
This is a recipe from Jayne Cohen, a cookbook author and food journalist from her book “The Gefilte Variations.” She says this recipe is a Chanukah specialty in Italy.
- ¼ t. cinnamon
- 4 finely chopped garlic cloves (1½ T.)
- 3 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 T. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1½ pounds chicken cutlets
- 1 cup matzah meal
- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 ribs celery with leaves, cut into 4-5-inch lengths
- lemon wedges
- parsley sprigs
In a large bowl, whisk together cinnamon, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and marinate 2-3 hours in refrigerator, turning chicken occasionally.
Spread 1 cup matzah meal on a large sheet of wax paper or a plate.
Season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a bowl with a few drops of water,
Dredge cutlets with matzah meal, rubbing it lightly into chicken.
Heat ½ cup olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, shake each cutlet then coat with egg. Slip quickly into the frying pan. Slip a piece of celery between cutlets as they fry. Turn in 2-3 minutes and sauté 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate then discard celery and keep chicken warm in oven until all is fried.
Serve right away, accompanied by lemon wedges and fresh parsley.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/contributor/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She lives in Jerusalem, where she has led weekly walks of the Jewish food market, Machaneh Yehudah, in English since 2009. She wrote the kosher Jerusalem restaurant features for Janglo.net, the oldest, largest website for English speakers from 2014 to 2020.