A National Culinary Treasure – The Humble Vetkoek!

Truly South African!  We call it vetkoek, amagwinya, fat cakes, etc.  It is basically deep-fried (bread) dough, that you can have with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings. On a good day, the ultimate nostalgic comfort food!   My Gran always used to make vetkoek for breakfast, served with curry-spiced sausage (sosatie wors).  I loved having it with cheese, Bovril or good old-fashioned Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Fond (and tasty) memories!

Fast forward a good couple of years to where we became regular visitors to the Irene Market. Quite often it would happen that we drive all the way to the market on a Saturday morning, find parking, run in to buy vetkoek and go home again!  What reawakened our love for vetkoek?  The vetkoek stall used to sell a very special vetkoek – with lettuce, cream cheese and biltong powder.  Yes, I will admit, the additional of lettuce made me double-take at first, but it is a vital part of this scrumptious combo!

Seeing that the 30th of August is #NationalVetkoekDay, it was the perfect opportunity to try to re-create this deliciousness at home. Again!  (See https://socialsavage.co.za/2018/08/14/amagwinya-vetkoek-gyros-and-so-much-more-with-olive-pride/ – where we had this as a ‘starter’ vetkoekie)

No need to be intimidated by the idea of making your own vetkoek.  We shared a ‘made from scratch recipe here: https://socialsavage.co.za/2017/08/30/kitchen-at-the-end-of-the-universe-vetkoek-day/

But it is as easy as buying bread dough at your supermarket (ask for it at the bakery section) or using a nifty pre-mix like the one we used for this batch by Eureka Mills.

Vetkoek Smulpape Vetkoek Eureka Mills
























Once the dough is ready for use, section it into your desired size vetkoek and deep-fry in medium-hot oil.  Drain and serve, it can not be any easier!

Vetkoek #NationalVetkoekDay











Vetkoek Day Flagstone Pinotage Vetkoek Boozy Foodie Favourite Vetkoek Boozy Foodie Roelia Schoeman







































What is your favourite filling?  Let me know on the comments below!

With Afrikaans being my home language and vetkoek being my frame of reference, asked the question in one of the largest (Afrikaans) Facebook traditional recipe/foodie groups, and got the following insight!

One thing that is a given, is that it is best served hot.

The top three most popular filings by far:

  • Curry Mince
  • Golden Syrup
  • Cheese with apricot jam

Here are a few other interesting and favourite ways with vetkoek:

  • Steak and onion strips, topped with cheese
  • Chicken Mayonnaise with lettuce
  • Cheese Spread
  • Bacon, egg and cheese
  • Baked egg with fresh tomato and onion slices
  • Thick cream and apricot jam
  • Tuna Mayonaise with lettuce
  • Green fig preserves with cheddar
  • Ham, brie and fig preserves
  • Biltong and cheese spread
  • With condensed milk
  • Marmite and cheese
  • Banana
  • Peanut Butter and syrup
  • Ham, lettuce, tomato, mayo and sweet chilli sauce

And to show the versatility of vetkoek:

  • Burgers
  • Served with soup
  • Adding grated cheese and chopped ham to the dough, then dropping small balls of dough in the deep-fryer
  • As a toasted ‘sandwich’ with ham, cheese and tomato

It sure looks as if we will be making vetkoek on a regular basis from now on, am keen to try a few of the more unusual suggestions!  What do you think?

One comment

  1. Pingback: A Proper Biltong Feast! - The Life and Times of Boozy Foodie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top