Sharing Our Stories Through Food: Hungarian Fushiert

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Submitted by Judy & Deb Flomberg

The first thing I learned how to make in my mother’s Hungarian Jewish kitchen was Fushiert – also spelled “fasírt.” It’s a staple in our household, and something that brings me great pleasure in sharing with as many people as I can. In fact, it was one of the first things I made for my now-husband and I’m pretty sure these small meatballs are the reason he proposed.

I have vivid memories of rolling the balls in my hands, still small enough that I had to stand on a chair to see over the kitchen counter. The red from the paprika staining my hands as I looked to my mother for approval, “More paprika!” she would command. And I’d dutifully add in another couple shakes. “No. MORE Paprika!” I quickly learned that the measurements in this one are definitely to taste and, in the case of paprika, to color.

The absence of any kind of breading in this meatball also makes it a perfect choice for a Passover Seder, or for any Gluten Free diet. It’s on our Seder table every year, and people ask for these by name.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large potato, peeled
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 Tbl Garlic
  • 2 – 6 Tbl Paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C Vegetable Oil


  1. Grate both onion and potato into a large bowl. 
  2. Add ground beef, egg, garlic, salt & pepper.  Mix well. 
  3. Add paprika (Note: paprika is for taste and color, add more if needed). 
  4. Mix ingredients well and form into balls.
  5. In large skillet, heat oil to fry meatballs.*
  6. Drop a ball at a time into heated oil and fry on one side till dark brown. 
  7. Flip each meatball and cook till done.  Drain on paper towels (just like latke).  Enjoy!

*Note* In recent years I have learned that air-frying these turns out just as good as pan-frying. I use a flat air fryer, ensuring all meatballs are in an even layer, 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flip them over, then another 5 to 10 until cooked through.