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Bubble and squeak recipe

When I wrote about having a vegan full English breakfast at Inspiral cafe last week, I rhapsodised about the bubble and squeak that came with it.

One of the lovely commenters who read the post - Allysia, who writes the excellent The Real Meal - said she was unfamiliar with bubble and squeak. That was all the encouragement I needed to cook some up!

For the uninitiated, bubble and squeak is a British dish that's centuries old. It was apparently invented as a way to use up the leftover bits of your Sunday lunch: roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots, whatever you've got left, you just fry it up and that's bubble and squeak.

Pretty much anything can go into bubble and squeak, and the recipe normally goes something like this: heat a bit of oil in a pan, fry til hot, eat. 

There's also a second school of thought that uses mashed potatoes and makes bubble and squeak patties  (they most often seen in full English breakfasts in greasy spoons) - and that's what I thought I'd make. With no roast leftovers to hand, this is a recipe for making bubble and squeak from scratch.

Bubble and squeak
Makes six patties

Mashed potatoes from two large baking potatoes
One medium white onion, finely chopped
A quarter of a small white cabbage, finely sliced
Salt and white pepper

How you do it
Fry the onion in oil or margarine (be generous with the fat!) until soft, then add the cabbage and fry til that's soft.

Add the mashed potatoes to the other veggies, add salt and white pepper (and a slug of vegan 
Worcestershire sauce if you fancy) and shape into patties.

Dust the patties lightly with flour.

You can now either bake or shallow fry the patties. If you're shallow frying, cook on one side til brown then flip over (be gentle with them, they're liable to fall  apart); if you're baking, heat your oven to 220C and grease a baking sheet liberally with vegan margarine. Put the patties on, cook for five to ten minutes, until the bottom is brown, and then flip and cook for five to ten minutes more.

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  1. Yum, I love bubble and squeak. We had it a lot when I was a kid to use up leftovers. It was always seen as something quite exciting - think it must have been the name!

  2. Hey, thanks for the answer! I'm sure making and then getting to eat this dish wasn't too much of a hardship either. :) The only thing that hasn't been solved for me is - why bubble and squeak? What's the bubble, and what's the squeak? Or is it an old English expression that I'm not in on? No matter, these look super tasty and really easy, both of which I'm a big fan of.

    1. Too true - you just reminded me of how much I love bubble and squeak - thanks for giving me the excuse to make it again.

      And I *think* it's just called bubble and squeak because of the noise it makes in the pan!

  3. Hey, I love the short food-history lesson! :-) Bubble and Squeak sounds right up my alley. I love to make concoctions from leftovers. By the way, somebody named "S" left a lengthy comment in response to your question on my blog. Don't know who S is, but what they said was very accurate.

  4. I feel ashamed as an Aussie with British roots that I have never eaten bubble and squeak before. I'll have to give your recipe a go one day to rectify this! They look really good.


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