Gulka comes from Upper Hungary, which is the usual English translation of Felvidék, the Hungarian term for the area that was historically the northern part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and now it belongs to the Slovak Republic. Gulka, which is a peasant food incredibly filling, means potato dumplings made with bacon and/or smoked pork and served with sautéed onions. The dumplings, which are quite hard, are first cooked in boiling water, then fried in lard until they get some color.

Gulka – photo:


  • 600 g (~1 1/3 lbs) potatoes
  • 300 g (~2 1/3 cups) flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic, crushed
  • 30+50 g (1 oz + 1 3/4 oz) smoked pork fat
  • 200 g (~7 oz) boiled, smoked pork neck
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp lard

Place 30 grams (~1 oz) of smoked pork fat and pork neck cut into chunks in a food chopper and chop until fine.

Boiled, smoked pork neck and smoked pork fat
Boiled, smoked pork neck and smoked pork fat – photo:

Peel and grate the potatoes on the large hole side of a box grater. Squeeze excess water out of shredded potatoes. Add salt, pepper, marjoram, egg, crushed garlic, chopped pork and flour to the potatoes, and knead until well combined.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare the dumplings dipping your fingers into flour and forming 3 cm / 1 inch balls. Drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes (stir occasionally). Depending on the size of your pot, you may cook the dumplings in 2-3 batches.

While the dumplings are cooking, fry 50 grams (~1 3/4 oz) of diced smoked pork fat until it becomes crisp and releases enough lard. Add chopped onions and sauté until they are soft and get some color.

Once the dumplings are done, heat 2-3 tablespoons of lard in a skillet and fry the dumplings until golden brown. Spoon sautéed onions on the dumplings and serve them with sour cream.

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