Bubble and squeak (vegetarian and wheat-free)

A trio of cooked bubble and squeak patties.

A trio of cooked bubble and squeak patties.

I first had bubble and squeak in a restaurant in the Heathrow airport, and was totally charmed by it’s simplicity and heartiness. Also, the name. Ever since I had read Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett, I had been curious about bubble and squeak. How had a food earned such an odd moniker? What’s great about this recipe it is less a list of hard and fast rules, and more of an idea of what to do with leftovers. Bubble and squeak are little fried patties made of a mixture of vegetables, with potatoes as a base.

Stack of bubble and squeak patties.

Stack of bubble and squeak patties.

This food has an element of comfort to it, as well— partly due to the potatoes in it, and to me, when I first ate bubble and squeak.

After a flight from Chicago to London, I had managed to get myself and my luggage off of the plane, through the airport, and in front of the bus to take me to the right terminal of the Heathrow airport— then promptly tried to get into the bus on the wrong side. (I think the bus driver was used to it.) Soon, I was stumbling through the brightly-lit airport with my rolly purple suitcase on about two hours of sleep, and I was in dire need of food and coffee. While most the of things on the breakfast menu were familiar, the name jumped out at me, and I asked the waiter what was in bubble and squeak— hoping it was vegetarian.

“Er,” he said, “well, it’s got potatoes in it.” So he wasn’t the most well-spoken waiter. No matter— I ordered it, snapped a few photos on my camera, and looked up the ingredients later.

Bubble and squeak reminds me of a different take on a veggie burger, though less of a main dish and more of a side. It’s also a great way to deal with leftovers— all the ingredients here are just extra veggies I had to use up in my fridge. You can try and use different vegetables, whatever you’ve got on hand. If you’re trying to avoid starch, for example, you can make the main base cauliflower instead.

Some recipes called for cheese, and you could add diced vegetarian sausage to them as well. You can also use kale, brussels sprouts, leeks or any other vegetables that strike your fancy. Or, you can bake it as opposed to frying, as this blogger did.

And if you’re curious: it’s called bubble and squeak due to the sounds it makes when it is cooking.

Ingredients for bubble and squeak.

Ingredients for bubble and squeak.

Ingredients

 

4-5 medium, cooked potatoes (or a similar amount of cauliflower)

1 medium onion

2 cups cabbage (cooked or uncooked is fine)

2 cups broccoli, cooked

2 cups chopped carrots, cooked

2-3 stalks green onion, uncooked

2-3 tablespoons of gluten-free flour

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

 

1. Dice the onion and cabbage into small pieces, and saute in a pan with olive oil.

2. While those veggies are sauteing, chop the potatoes, broccoli, carrots and other veggies into small pieces.

3. Mash the veggies in a bowl, until all the veggies are thoroughly mixed.

4. When the cabbage and onions are starting to brown, add them along with the gf flour and green onions to the veggie mixture.

5. Stir thoroughly until all the vegetables and evenly mixed.

6. Form the veggie mixture into about 2” patties.

Uncooked bubble and squeak.

Uncooked bubble and squeak.

7. Fry the patties lightly on both sides.

8. Drain the oil from the patties by placing them on a paper towel.

9. Serve with your favorite breakfast foods, either scrambled tofu or eggs.

The first bubble and squeak I had, at a restaurant in an airport. (It's on the right, under the peppers.)

The first bubble and squeak I had, at a restaurant in an airport. (It’s on the right, under the peppers.)

 

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

 

4-5 medium, cooked potatoes (or a similar amount of cauliflower)

1 medium onion

2 cups cabbage (cooked or uncooked is fine)

2 cups broccoli, cooked

2 cups chopped carrots, cooked

2-3 stalks green onion, uncooked

2-3 tablespoons of gluten-free flour

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

 

1. Dice the onion and cabbage into small pieces, and saute in a pan with olive oil.

2. While those veggies are sauteing, chop the potatoes, broccoli, carrots and other veggies into small pieces.

3. Mash the veggies in a bowl, until all the veggies are thoroughly mixed.

4. When the cabbage and onions are starting to brown, add them along with the gf flour and green onions to the veggie mixture.

5. Stir thoroughly until all the vegetables and evenly mixed.

6. Form the veggie mixture into about 2” patties.

7. Fry the patties lightly on both sides.

8. Drain the oil from the patties by placing them on a paper towel.

9. Serve with your favorite breakfast foods, either scrambled tofu or eggs.

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4 responses to “Bubble and squeak (vegetarian and wheat-free)

    • Yup, potato flour, rice flour, quinoa flour— I just used a bag of gf flour I bought here in Hradec. Not quire sure what’s in it, aside from “not wheat” 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  1. I’m guessing that the usual approach involves more meat and frying? After reading that bubble and squeak was a creative use of leftovers, I just adapted ’em to what was in my fridge. Thanks for the read!

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