I did it! I made my first Yerushalmi Kugel in my life, and I made it vegan.
Yerushalmi Kugel and I have a long past. My husband and I met over a Yerushalmi Kugel. I know it sounds strange, but more than twenty years ago we were two lost souls in Israel. We met up at a mutual friend for Shabbat and our friend was making Yerushalmi Kugel. That might be what scared me off of making it all these years. No, it’s not that meeting my husband turned me off making this yummy dish, it’s the way that Yosef made it that scared me. There are blank spots in my memory from the trauma, but I do remember the screams to hurry up and stir before the sugar congeals and the pots that were clean enough to use. I was brave enough to eat it, so I guess it wasn’t as traumatic as I remember.
- Yield: 16
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
This is an Israeli classic. The mixture of sweet and spicy is a real treat.
- flax seeds - 3 tablespoons
- soy milk - 3/4 cups
- thin noodles (vermicelli) - 1 500 gram package
- oil - 1/2 cup
- sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- pepper - 1 tablespoon
- salt - 1 1/2 teaspoons
- Grind flax seeds in a coffee grinder.
- Add ground seeds to soy milk and mix with a fork or whisk for a couple of minutes and set on the side to give it time to thicken.
- Prepare noodles as instructed on the package and drain.
- Melt oil and sugar together in a pot until all the sugar dissolves and it turns a light shade of brown.
- Pour melted sugar over noodles and stir thoroughly.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Pour into baking dish and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
- Serve with pickles.
When making phony eggs, freshly ground flax seeds work best. The pre-ground stuff just doesn’t do it. I have a trusty coffee grind that I got to do the trick. Grinding takes about 5-10 seconds in the coffee grinder.
Don’t freak out when you pour the sugar on to the noodles. When I did it, it started bubbling up, so make sure that the pot/bowl that you are mixing it in is big enough to handle it.
I’m not sure who came up with the brilliant idea to serve Yerushalmi Kugel with pickles, but it really works. Even though the kugel has a lot of pepper, it’s also really sweet. The sourness of the pickle is a great contrast.
My husband I have have been very happily married for over 21 years. Perhaps Yerushalmi Kugel is the perfect metaphor for our relationship. It is both sweet and spicy. I couldn’t have picked a better food to meet with.