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Bubble and Squeak

Soop Mar 2, 2009 06:21 AM

Has anyone heard of this? It's leftovers, like spinach/greens and potatoes, fried until brown in a pan. For some reason, I loved it, even as a kid. Especially with brown sauce.

It's probably being served in michelin star restaurants now. You guys got any similar leftover-using dishes?

  1. billieboy Mar 2, 2009 06:34 AM


    1 Reply
    1. re: billieboy
      Soop Mar 2, 2009 06:42 AM

      Oh yeah, I love a good hash. Our corned beef I think is better for hash than the US version. Soft and salty.

    2. c
      cheesecake17 Mar 2, 2009 06:50 AM

      My younger brother loves asking my British relatives about bubble and squeak and spotted dick. I never actually knew what it was until now- thanks! It's just leftover spinach and potatoes fried up? It sounds delicious

      3 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17
        MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 06:53 AM

        I thought it was usually leftover potatoes and cabbage, though I've made it with brussel sprouts.

        1. re: MMRuth
          cheesecake17 Mar 2, 2009 06:55 AM

          Soop (OP) wrote "spinach/greens".. so maybe it's both? If it uses leftover potatoes and cabbage, it's a great cheap meal since potatoes are 49cents/lb and cabbage is 39cents/lb!

          1. re: MMRuth
            Soop Mar 2, 2009 06:58 AM

            Yeah, it is usually cabbage I think; spinach was just what I would likely have. I can't see there being a huge difference across the 'greens' part of the dish.

            I love it when you get a crispy chewy bit of browned potato! Mmmm

        2. Gio Mar 2, 2009 07:24 AM

          I always thought it was leftover potatoes and cabbage and that's the way I've always made it... The 2 Fat Ladies have a very simple recipe for Bubble & Squeak.
          Keep in mind this is for ONE serving:


          1. r
            RedTop Mar 2, 2009 08:45 AM

            I grew up eating bubble & squeak a few times a year. I make it occassionally myself. I use day-old boiled cabbage and potatoes; (a must) fried in a metal skillet in copious--I mean copious amounts of butter. Sinful and wonderful.

            1. f
              Fydeaux Mar 2, 2009 09:01 AM

              When I was in London, I was usually up well before any of my traveling companions. So I would start the day by going 'up the caf' for a breakfast of eggs, bangers or bacon, and 'bubble'. Loved it and couldnt get enough of it.

              Guessing that the name originated as Cockney rhyming slang, I further guessed that the greens involved were from leeks. No one I spoke to there ever disavowed me of this notion...Is it possible that it COULD be leeks but might also be some other type of greens?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Fydeaux
                MMRuth Mar 2, 2009 09:03 AM

                I think I've heard of leeks being used as well.

                1. re: Fydeaux
                  Gio Mar 2, 2009 09:11 AM

                  I've heard the name comes from the sound of all that stuff sizzling in hot lard....

                  1. re: Fydeaux
                    JohnE O Mar 2, 2009 10:52 AM

                    The little Irish cookbook I have suggests the name may come from the effect that the cabbage has on one's lower digestive system, but that may be a bit of blarney.

                  2. c
                    CocoaNut Mar 2, 2009 09:45 AM

                    This makes me hungry. I've never heard of bubble and speak, much less eaten it, but reading this thread (whichever "green" is opted) certainly makes me want a big plate of it now!

                    1. s
                      shadysider023 Mar 2, 2009 11:27 AM

                      this was just in the January 2009 Food and WIne -


                      1. h
                        Harters Mar 2, 2009 01:37 PM


                        I havnt yet seen it at any British Michelin starred I ate at last year, but it certainly appears on reasonably upmarket menus.

                        It was a childhood standard appearing for dinner on Monday evenings as leftovers along with any cold roast meat from Sunday lunch. Nowadays, we make sure we cook extra spuds (you need a good mashing potato) and cabbage so we have leftovers.

                        We mix the two with lots of pepper and then fry in butter. If you're clever, you can turn it over by covering with a plate and flipping it to cook the other side (like you would with a tortilla). Brown sauce is an absolute requirement and I'd have any leftover gravy as well. And, yes, I'd add leeks or any other leftover root veg as well but not so much as to dominate

                        "Bubble" (as its usually abbreviated) is a traditional part of the full cooked breakfast in the London area, although nowhere else in the UK. The name is generally accepted to come from the sound of cooking - "bubble & squeak" is Cockney rhyming slang for "Greek".

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Harters
                          Harters Mar 3, 2009 07:30 AM

                          Oh, and unlike colcannon (which is mainly potato), you need at least equal quantities of cabbage and spud - certainly no less cabbage. Cos it won't squeak otherwise.

                          1. re: Harters
                            dinaofdoom Mar 4, 2009 08:00 PM

                            i'm from boston and the scores of irish pubs/restaurants had colcannon with cabbage and leeks...
                            never had the US version w/o it, actually.

                        2. Passadumkeg Mar 2, 2009 10:02 PM

                          B&S, stolen from the Irish; Colcannon, just in time for St. Paddie's Day.


                          1. a
                            adrienne156 Mar 2, 2009 10:43 PM

                            I made the most amazing version of Rumpledethumps - the Scottish version of Colcannon - last weekend after I couldn't decide what to do with some gorgeous leeks and a bag of broccoli that has been dominating my fridge for a week (yea for Costco). I knew I wanted to caramelize the leeks, so I started by sauteeing 3 of them in a couple of tablespoons of butter with salt until they were wilted, sprinkled on some sugar (1/2 tsp?) and cooked until I got some caramelization, added a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, and added a splash of white wine. Cooked down until the wine absorbed (this whole process probably took about 25 minutes). In the meantime, I had boiled 3 largish yukon golds, mashed them with a tbsp. of butter, a dallop of creme fraiche, milk, s&p and steamed some broccoli. Mixed all of this together, more s&p, sprinkled the top with a bit of grated parm reg (didn't have cheddar although I probably could have left the cheese out altogether), shoved under the broiler.

                            It was amazing. PLEASE try it if you ever get a hankering.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: adrienne156
                              Gio Mar 3, 2009 04:31 AM

                              I like the sound of your recipe, Adrienne. There are 3 large leeks lurking in my fridge as I type as well as the omnipresent cabbage, but your using brocolli is sheer genius!

                              1. re: Gio
                                adrienne156 Mar 3, 2009 11:24 AM

                                Thank the Scots! :o)

                            2. s
                              smartie Mar 3, 2009 02:53 PM

                              bubble and squeak is always cabbage and never spinach.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: smartie
                                Soop Mar 4, 2009 01:40 AM

                                Pfff, technically yes, but it's leftovers. It's not like you would chuck it all away.

                              2. NYCkaren Mar 4, 2009 01:14 PM

                                Nigella Lawson has a recipe for Christmas bubble and squeak _ with brussels sprouts instead of cabbage _ in "Feast." I made it using my Christmas leftovers and it was delicious.

                                1. g
                                  Goldendog Mar 5, 2009 12:47 PM

                                  As a chef & foodie this one passed completely under my radar until I saw it on a 2 Fat Ladies episode & then printed in their book. I consider theirs the final word in Bubble & Squeak. Their 3 rules---

                                  1. Use a very heavy cast iron pan.

                                  2. "There is no substitute for lard-if you object, eat something else."

                                  3. The potatoes must be cold.

                                  Their recipe calls for a little diced onion, cooked cabbage or Brussels sprouts. They make no mention of spinach

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Goldendog
                                    jellyface Mar 6, 2009 12:36 AM

                                    Agree with 2 of these 3 rules except:

                                    2. Goose and Duck fat are equally delicious to Lard/Bacon fat.

                                  2. JungMann Mar 11, 2009 07:24 AM

                                    Try making bubble and squeak from aloo gobi and cabbage curry. There's usually no gravy to put on it, but you can make something tasty with brown or tomato sauce.

                                    1. c
                                      chef24 Mar 11, 2009 11:24 AM

                                      Equal parts mashed potatoes and chopped cooked cabbage fried until browned can add chopped boiled meats(i.e.) corned beef ,,,great way to use up St. Paddy's leftovers..S&P.T.T.

                                      1. d
                                        dizzydeb Mar 22, 2009 09:01 AM

                                        Just yesterday I ate at St. Andrews Restaurant on W. 44th St. in New York City, a supposedly authentic Scottish restaurant. I ordered bubble and squeak as a side dish, and it was AWESOME. It was about 60% coarsely shredded cabbage, 30% diced potatoes (looked and tasted like Yukon Gold) and 10% diced bacon. After I got it I wished I had skipped my entree (trout) and just gotten a double order of bubble and squeak. So simple but so delicious.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dizzydeb
                                          Soop Mar 26, 2009 09:10 AM

                                          Good to see moar love for the B&S :)

                                        2. BamiaWruz Mar 26, 2009 03:35 AM

                                          I make the cabbage/potato/sausage version and it's great!! Grew up eating it too.

                                          1. m
                                            mymymichl Nov 8, 2009 11:02 PM

                                            I don't remember spinach, but I can see it as a nice color to have in it. Always cabbage, and the cabbage we used was the leftover from when we made corned beef. It's best to use a heavy cast iron griddle to get some nice crispy brown on the bottom. I never saw it done with red cabbage. Leeks sound like they're going into my next one instead of onions. Any scraps of corned beef just have to be in the B&S too.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mymymichl
                                              Passadumkeg Nov 9, 2009 12:52 AM

                                              Used grated beets w/ the spud & cabbie and one has red flannel bubble and squeak.

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