Schnitzel Recipe and Rachel’s Matbucha Recipe

An Iconic Israeli Sandwich

In honor of Israel’s 75th celebration of modern statehood, we present to you the recipe for this crispy schnitzel and spicy matbucha sandwich.

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An Iconic Israeli Sandwich

In honor of Israel’s 75th celebration of modern statehood, we present to you the recipe for this crispy schnitzel and spicy matbucha sandwich.

Sharon Gomperts and Rachel Emquies Sheff

April 20, 2023

Photo by Gabriella Gomperts

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Last summer, Neil and I visited Israel. Before we left, my son (a personal chef and a major foodie) gave me a whole list of restaurant recommendations and street food must haves. He emphasized that we mustn’t miss the incredible Shabbat Sandwich at the Shuk Ha’Carmel. 

One bright, sunny day, we walked along the “Tayelet,” the Tel Aviv Promenade that hugs the beach along the Mediterranean seashore. The beach was teeming with people swimming, walking, playing “matkot,” and relaxing on lounge chairs under brightly colored umbrellas. 

Several times, we stopped to admire the beach volleyball games — it was unlike anything we’ve ever seen, with the players hitting the ball with their body and no hands. 

Mach’ne Yehuda Shuk
tupungato/Getty Images

As the sun grew ever hotter, we stopped at a street stand and indulged in a refreshing green juice from a street stand. When we finally got to the Shuk, the scene was electric with the buzzing of locals and tourists and vendors shouting their wares. Our first stop was at my favorite stall — the Sfenj vendor. He is the loudest and the funniest in the whole Shuk. Neil patiently followed me as I photographed the olives, the pastries, the breads, the gorgeous fresh fruit and vegetables, and the overflowing barrels of spices, dried fruit and nuts. Of course, I stopped and sampled and shopped. By the time we got to the Shabbat Sandwich stand, we were just too full to eat anything.  

When my son heard that we hadn’t ordered the sandwich, he was very disappointed. So we reassured him that we would have it at Mach’ne Yehuda, the famous Jerusalem Shuk. 

And there it was, the Shabbat Sandwich stall, among all the other incredible food stands. There are so many cool, trendy coffee bars and restaurants in the Shuk. You’re guaranteed to get the best of the old fashioned homemade classics and the very latest culinary creations. 

Then there’s Mach’ne after hours, when the fruit and vegetable stands shut down for the night and the real action begins. Enthusiastic crowds fill the tables and chairs that spill out from restaurants into the aisles. There are DJ’s blasting loud music and you might even spy young people dancing on the tables. The fun and the energy level is insane. Then it all magically disappears and in the early morning hours, the shoppers are back to buy the freshest produce and breads, gourmet cheeses and pickled herrings, briny olives and plethora of pickles.

This iconic sandwich is definitely comfort food with it’s pairing of beloved fried schnitzel and matbucha salad in a challah roll punctuated with crunchy Israeli pickles. What’s not to love?

When we finally bit into the iconic Shabbat Sandwich, we understood why it’s the sandwich of choice for lunch on Fridays when people are hungry before the big Friday night meal. This iconic sandwich is definitely comfort food with it’s pairing of beloved fried schnitzel and matbucha salad in a challah roll punctuated with crunchy Israeli pickles. What’s not to love?

—Rachel

In honor of Israel’s 75th celebration of modern statehood, we present to you the recipe for this crispy schnitzel and spicy matbucha sandwich. We hope you bite into this deliciousness soon. 

—Sharon


Schnitzel Recipe

2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut
into 5×3 inch pieces
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 gallon size freezer bag
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
4 cups panko crumbs
Avocado or vegetable oil, for frying
1 carrot, for frying (keeps oil clean)

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and garlic powder.
Place the chicken breasts pieces in the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Place the flour in a gallon size freezer bag, then set aside.
In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs and add the salt.
Place the panko crumbs on a large plate.
Take several pieces of the marinated chicken and place in the flour bag. Make sure that the chicken pieces are well coated with flour.
Place the floured chicken pieces into the beaten egg and make sure that both sides are completely soaked.
Lay the chicken pieces onto the panko crumbs and bread both sides of the chicken.
Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towel or butcher paper.
Over a medium flame, heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large frying pan.
Place carrot and a few pieces of schnitzel into the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan.
Fry until both sides are golden, about 5 to 7 minutes total.
Place fried schnitzel on prepared baking sheet to drain the oil.

Rachel’s Matbucha Recipe

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

10 large cloves of garlic, peeled and
    chopped

4 28oz cans of whole tomatoes

4 large red bell peppers

1 large green bell pepper

1 small can of fire roasted green diced
    chiles or 2 teaspoons red chili flakes or
    2 jalapeño peppers 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Preheat oven to 400°F.

• Place the red, green and jalapeño peppers on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until skins are slightly charred. 

• Seed the peppers and peel off the charred skin. Chop the peppers into long strips and set aside.

(A simple method is to immediately place the roasted peppers into a paper bag and let them steam for 20 minutes, causing the skins to fall away easily. Leave more seeds if you prefer a spicier matbucha or add more chili peppers to your pot.) Chop the peppers into long strips and set aside.

• Heat the oil in a heavy pot over low heat, then add the chopped garlic.

• Drain the liquid from the canned tomatoes and set it aside. Roughly chop the tomatoes into large chunks, then add tomatoes to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, cover the pot and reduce heat to low.

• Keep stirring the tomatoes every 30 minutes. If the tomatoes become too dry add some of the reserved tomato juice. 

After cooking for 4 to 5 hours, the tomato mixture will be quite thick.

• Add the roasted peppers, salt and paprika and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Sandwich Assembly:

Challah roll, slit to leave a flap

Schnitzel 

Matbucha

Israeli pickles, sliced 

French fries, optional 

Fried eggplant, optional


Rachel Sheff and Sharon Gomperts have been friends since high school. They love cooking and sharing recipes. They have collaborated on Sephardic Educational Center projects and community cooking classes. Follow them on Instagram @sephardicspicegirls and on Facebook at Sephardic Spice SEC Food.

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