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what is the secret to shnitzel?

  • m

I love shnitzel in restauarnts, but I can never replicate it. The good ones have a yellowish color and a delicious crispy coating and moistness inside.

I heard many versions with cornflakes? cracker crumbs? bread crumbs? What is the best way to get the crispiness?


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  1. I use Panko on both chicken and pork schnitzel. Also the oil has to be hot enough that it cooks quickly but not so hot that the crumbs burn before the meat is cooked through. An old boyfriend's German mother told me it had to be crisp enough so that a man could sit on it and not get grease on his pants. So I dredge in flour first, then an egg and cream wash and then panko. I am probably frying it at about 325 F.

    1. Like Candy, I use panko for my coating. Key to my schnitzel:

      1. Start w/ fresh, milky center cut pork loin.

      2. Make sure to butterfly and/or pound out evenly. I usually cut horizontally in half and then pound so the pieces aren't too big. I season each piece of meat w/ some salt and pepper before dredging. I also salt the panko a bit.

      3. Coat w/ flour, egg wash, and panko so that everything is even but as light as possible.

      4. Pan fry on med-high heat w/ a mixture of olive oil and butter. The combo gives it the best flavor and color IMO. Don't overcook so adjust heat accordingly.

      1. I do the same thing and use the same ing. The only different step I do is to let the breading sit on the meat for at least 30 min. before frying. This seems to make the breading firm up and adhere to and stay on the meat much better. I do this step with chicken, crab cakes, eggplant and whatever else I want a crispy,but non-greasy coating on.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jackie

          My German landlady said the breading should be on the schnitzel overnight. She also used the whitest veal she could find at the butcher. Her schnitzel was incredible.

          1. re: jackie

            I do exactly the same thing, Jackie. I also squeeze fresh lemon juice on the pork or veal and let it soak in for 30-45 minutes before the breading proceedure. Then serve lemon wedges along side when you plate it.

          2. The best shnitzel ever is really simple. Take 4 plates. In the first one put as many chicken breast slices as you need. long and around 7mm thick (or the fillet) is a perfect size for the chicken. In the next dish put lots of flower. Now, the third one should be a bowl. mix in some raw egg, soy sauce and mustard (even if you dont like mustard or soya sauce, still use it, you can barely taste it, but it isnt the same without it). Now, in the fourth one, put bread crumbs and lots of sesame seeds. All of this should be near the stove, where a pan of canola oil should be bubbling. All you have to do is take a peice of chicken, smother enough flower so that it is mostly white, then drop it in to the egg mixture so that it gets yellow with eggs and all the other ingredients. Then plop it in the bread crumbs until it is completely covered with them. Then, just fry it until it is nice and brown. If you have family or a husband, its a good idea to get them to help, or it will be a slow process. It is great with mashed potatoes and lemon on the shnitzel

            1. 1. Pound it thinly before breading. Schnitzel in Vienna are the size of hubcaps.
              2. I usually salt and pepper the breading and add other spices. Heresy, perhaps, but it works for me.
              3. A double coat of egg wash and breading.
              4. A squeeze of lemon at the end. Another lemon wedge on the side.


              1. after pounding (this is an ABSOLUTe MUST) jfood agrees to the 3-step method for breading, flour, egg, crumbs. then jfood "pushes" the bread crumbs into the meat. Next step is to place the meat into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This seems to set-up the meat/crumbs so the crumbs stay on while frying and the internal temperature is lowered so the meat does not overcook. Then use hot oil. this does two things. first its does not keep the meat in the pan too long for the oil to soak in and second the meat does not stay in the oil too long to overcook.

                  1. I make schnitzel with chicken, turkey or veal cutlets. Like them pounded, but not paper thin. Agree with other posters on process: flour, egg, crumbs. Sometimes I put parmesan cheese in crumbs, usually use dried or fresh bread crumbs, sometimes matzo meal, sometimes, fresh or dried parsley in crumbs. I let them sit in crumbs for a few minutes so they are dry and adhere well. Key is to use hot canola, olive or combo butter/oil (butter burns, don't use too much). Very important not to crowd the pan, they will steam not fry. I keep schnitzels warm in 250 oven on plate with paper toweling to catch excess oil while I finish all of them.

                    Something unique that our family does is make a hush puppy like pancake out of any leftover egg, flour & crumbs that we call "cookie". We mix all the leftovers togethers and fry up. My grandmother and mother are (were) Holocaust survivors and insisted you use up everything, nothing goes to waste. It has gotten too the point that I purposely make too much breading so I can have enough "cookie" for everyone. Weird, but even kids' friends like "cookie".

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Diane in Bexley

                      diane my mother and grandma also used up the left over breading, they were called bubelehs in my house and were dredged in sugar soon as they came out of the hot oil.

                      1. re: smartie

                        Smartie, think this is a Jewish thing or just the sign of a thrifty cook? Funny how need dictates some pretty darn good eating.