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The Wonders of a Wiener Schnitzel

What could be  better or more delicious than a nice Wienerschnitzel? While technically an Austrian dish, the Schnitzel is known and loved throughout Germany. I grew up with my mother making this at least weekly, with a nice squeeze of lemon on top. It’s a delicious recipe that every German knows and loves. You can make it with veal (preferred), but I have also made pretty decent schnitzel with pork and even (for a slightly healthier variety!) chicken breast.

Wikipedia has quite a long discussion on Wiener Schnitzel, (“Viennese Cutlet”), describing the history of the Schnitzel:

Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish consisting of an escalope coated in breadcrumbs and fried. It is a popular part of Viennese and Austrian cuisine. In Austria the dish, called Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese Schnitzel), is traditionally served with a lemon slice and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter. Although the traditional Wiener Schnitzel is made of veal, it is now often made of pork. When made of pork, it is often called Schnitzel Wiener Art (Germany) or Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (Austria) to differentiate it from the original. In Austria, the term Wiener Schnitzel is protected by law, and any schnitzel called by that name has to be made from veal. There are also regional versions of Schnitzel, such as “Salzburger Schnitzel”, which is stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, onions, and other various herbs.

There is a debate as to where schnitzel originated. Some claim Milan, northern Italy, as cotoletta alla milanese, though others say it appeared in Vienna during the 15th or 16th century. One hypothesis is that it could have been brought to Austria during the Battle of Vienna in 1683 by Polish and German troops. According to another hypothesis, it was introduced in 1857 by Field Marshal Radetzky, who spent much of his life in Milan. The term Wiener Schnitzel itself dates to at least 1862. Variants of this dish are common around the world. Because of the major role Wiener Schnitzel has in Vienna, the city is also nicknamed “The Big Schnitzel”.

Here’s a quick recipe to make some of your Schnitzel at home, courtesy of AllRecipes:


  • 2 pounds veal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup oil for frying


  1. Cut the veal into steaks, about as thick as your finger. Dredge in flour. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Coat the veal with egg mixture, then with bread crumbs.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry veal until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
Of course, there are variations on the Schnitzel, including:
That’s it! It doesn’t get much easier than this. Making with chicken or pork is a simple substitution of the meat.
To finish off your real German meal, just add Kartoffelsalat (potato salad), Salat (side salad), or my personal favorite; some Pommes mit Mayo (French Fries with mayonnaise on the side) along with it. One of those tiny plastic forks would complete the German flashback.  Yum!

What’s your favorite Schnitzel recipe and side dish? Visit our Forum post to discuss with other ImGerman members!

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