Day 15: Currywurst

Day 15: Currywurst

Have you ever heard of currywurst? It’s the kind of food that makes you scratch your head a little and wonder why somebody would want to eat something with a name like that. But let me tell you about it and see if you don’t change your mind.

One morning on our recent trip to New York City, we bundled up to the max and set out across town to Chelsea Market, braving the icy winds. We blew in the door, chilled, uncaffeinated, and thoroughly hungry. So hungry that it was decided coffee would have to wait until we had found something more substantial to sustain us. Not far inside the door was a little stand advertising currywurst which sounded bizarre, but hunger prevailed and we placed our orders, a little uncertain as to what we were getting. But with the first bite, we were in Heaven. Oh My Goodness. The dish managed to be both exotically tangy and comforting, all in one bite. I could have eaten two bowls full, but to stay true to my thrifty heritage, I determined instead that I needed to learn how to make it myself.

So what is currywurst? It is a German street food, consisting of a sausage topped with a tomato-based curry sauce, which is served in a variety of manners. The breakfast version we were served at Chelsea Market and which will likely always be my favorite is this:

  • A bowl filled with fried potatoes and onions, and hot sauerkraut.
  • On top of that, a generous helping of sausage chunks covered in a rich, tomatoey, tangy curry.
  • And an overeasy fried egg on the top of everything, which drips down into the potatoes and sauerkraut when you cut it.

It is filling, delightfully spicy, and quite healthy, if you don’t consider all the frying involved.

The fried potatoes and onions, sauerkraut, and the egg are all pretty self-explanatory, and since I am not the Pioneer Woman I won’t break down exactly how to make those things.

The curry sauce I googled a recipe for, and ended up tweaking the recipe here, until it tasted as close to the original as I could remember. Here’s what it has.

  • dash of oil
  • 2 small or 1 large onion
  • pack of 5 bratwursts, or more if you feel carnivorous
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 3 TBSP curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • cayenne to taste

Fry the bratwursts till done, then snip them into bite-size chunks with a scissors. Remove them from the pan, and throw in the onions.

Once the onions are golden, add the rest of the ingredients, and the bratwurst, and simmer until the flavors are good and married and delicious.

This proportion of spices makes for a pretty strong flavor. If you’re feeling timid, start with 2 TBSP curry, and work up to as much as you like.

Since I like to try new food out on guests, I had my parents over, and for the second batch a group of friends, and although my plating wasn’t as pretty as the Chelsea Market version, the flavor received rave reviews. It’s definitely a recipe I want to keep in my rotation. Next up, I want to try eating this curry sauce on a sausage in a bun, instead of ketchup. Pretty sure that would take camping food to a whole new level.

A year ago: The kiddos

3 thoughts on “Day 15: Currywurst

  1. I had never heard of this famous dish before, but it sounded so outrageous I had to try it. I already knew I liked sauerkraut and sausage, so I made it for supper tonight…minus the eggs, and with boiled potatoes instead of fried…and despite my family’s dubious faces it was a tremendous hit. I shall certainly be trying this again. The only change I made was to add several tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, as recommended on some other recipes I googled. Thanks Rachel!

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