If you’ve never been to Germany or Austria you may not be familiar with this meat dish. Traditional German schnitzel is a flat, breaded and fried slice of pure goodness, one of my favorite foods in the entire world. When I’m tired, worn out, sick of the usual work grind and I want a home-cooked, feel good meal, I always want schnitzel.
About once a year, my mother used to make her version of Wiener Schnitzel, found no where in the entire world except her kitchen, and it became one of those meals that just feels like a hug from her. It’s that good! Since moving to Germany, we have been on a serious hunt to find and eat the best traditional schnitzels in the country.
We’ve found a few great schnitzel restaurants, but we’ve also learned how to make the best ourselves, and here is our German Schnitzel recipe, complete with video. We’ve also learned that we love a good sauce or filling for a different schnitzel experience.
What Is Traditional German Schnitzel?
You can use pretty much any type of meat for your schnitzel. For example, I’ve seen turkey, chicken, pork, veal, and even ostrich schnitzels on the menu. If you’re going with a traditional Wiener Schnitzel then you’re talking veal. But the most common and popular schnitzel would have to be pork or Schweineschnitzel and that’s our choice as well.
The trick to a tender, juicy German schnitzel is not slicing the meat super thin but rather using a meat tenderizer (hammer or rolling pin) to pound the meat down to a 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness. I’ve used a few different cuts over the years including boneless pork chops (several different cuts) pork steaks, and tenderloins. My favorite, for both tenderness, flavor, and consistency is the pork tenderloin.
- Gather ingredients.
- Cut and pound individual schnitzels.
- Dredge in flour and egg mixture.
- Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Serve with a schnitzel sauce and with potatoes and salad.
This traditional pork schnitzel recipe is tried and true. Eating it will make you feel that you are smack dab in the middle of a German Gasthaus. Enjoy!
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 2 lbs.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1-2 cups bread crumbs
- vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, sliced thin
- Trim excess fat and silver-skin from the tenderloin, and then cut it into 4 equal pieces. Place one piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat for the remaining 3 pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic and spread it out on a large dinner plate. Whisk the egg on a second large dinner plate. Spread out a thin layer of bread crumbs on the third plate.
- Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet to around 325 degrees Fahrenheit so that the oil will be hot and ready for the breaded schnitzel (but be careful not to scorch the oil).
- Dredge one of the schnitzels in the flour mixture, being sure to coat both sides evenly, and shake off excess flour. Transfer the floured schnitzel to the egg and coat both sides. Lay the egg washed schnitzel on the bread crumb bed and sprinkle a layer of bread crumbs on top, pressing down gently to adhere the crumbs to the schnitzel.
- Gently put the breaded schnitzel into the hot oil. Shake the pan carefully side-to-side while the schnitzel swims in the oil. Carefully flip the schnitzel after two or three minutes and continue frying for another two or three minutes (remember to shake the pan, side-to-side). Remove the schnitzel when it has a nice golden brown color. Repeat for the other three schnitzels.
- For the crispiest German schnitzel, serve directly out of the frying pan after a short cool down on a paper towel. Otherwise, finish frying all of the schnitzel and keep them warm in a 225 F (100 C) oven while you finish off sauces or toppings.
- Serve the schnitzel with a slice of lemon and side of fried potatoes.
Our Favorite Traditional Schnitzel Restaurants
That’s it, crispy and delicious traditional German Schnitzel.
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