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Hungarian Tidbits

Hungarian Fisherman’s Soup – Halászlé

hungarian halaszlu, fisherman's soup
By Kati Mami

There are quite a few regional differences in the ways to cook fisherman’s soup in Hungary. The three main known versions are from the region of Lake Balaton, from the southern town of Baja by the Danube or perhaps the most famous if from the southern town of Szeged by the river Tisza. This is a nice tasty version to try.


For the soup base:

  • 600 g fish – some pieces for the base, nice carp fillets
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4 medium yellow onion
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • 3 heaped tbsp Hungarian paprika powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1100 ml water

Fish filets to add at the end

  • 400 g fillet of carp, cut into neat slices


  1. Clean and chop the vegetables
  2. Place the chopped onion, vegetables, fish and all spices into a large pot with the water and cook on medium heat for just under an hour, till completely soft and falling apart.
  3. On Fine mesh passing Sieve strain the liquid and push through any most of the pieces that gets caught with the help of a spoon.
  4. Now place the carp fillets cut into neat slices, pieces into the soup base, add more water and salt to taste. Tip: Salt the fish slices separately in advance, to make the dish tastier and salty enough.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes till the fish slices are cooked
  6. Serve hot with some white bread and some hot chili paste on the side for those who like it spicy.

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