Mohnnudeln, or poppy seed potato noodles might sound a bit unusual, but once you try this sweet delicacy from Austria you’ll know why they’re so popular. Our recipe is easy to make, and they taste amazingly delicious!
What are Mohnnudeln?
Mohnnudeln are a sweet Austrian delicacy. Traditionally made with butter and eggs, our vegan recipe is much easier to make. We make them with only six simple ingredients – potatoes, flour, salt, olive oil, sugar, and of course poppy seeds – but by no means is their flavour any less rich! And like so many Austrian sweet dishes, Mohnnudeln work really well as a main course.
Poppy seeds may not be to everyone’s taste, and they might be a bit annoying when they get stuck between your teeth… But this dish will make you absolutely love poppy seeds! By the way, grinding poppy seeds really lets them unfold their full aroma.
Mohnnudeln literally means poppy noodles (Mohn = poppy, nudeln = noodles), but they are probably not like any other kind of noodles you have tried before. The finger-shaped noodles are made from a dough of mashed potatoes and plain flour.
There are also savoury varieties of this type of noodle in Austria and Bavaria, usually called Schupfnudeln (schupfen = to roll/to toss) or Fingernudeln (finger noodles). Mohnnudeln however, are a sweet specialty of a part of Austria where poppies are grown and cultivated for centuries.
Making Vegan Poppy Seed Noodles
When veganising the Mohnnudeln recipe, we found there’s no need to replace the eggs and butter in the dough. We even wonder what they were doing in there to begin with? The noodles keep together well and are super yummy just using mashed potatoes, flour and salt. No need to overcomplicate things, right?
The butter in traditional recipes is an important flavour component, so we went on a quest to find a decent substitute. After a lot of testing, we found that light olive oil doesn’t just work best. It works like magic! It’s not too dominant in flavour itself but adds a lot of richness and enhances the other flavours.
There is not one single authentic recipe for these sweet poppy noodles, but it always goes along the same line: After boiling, the potato dough noodles are coated or fried in melted butter and covered in lots and lots of a mix of ground poppy seed and sugar.
Personally I wonder how I was able to live almost three decades before discovering how amazing pan-fried Mohnnudeln taste! Frying them really takes the dish to another level. But by all means, if you’re in a hurry just cover the boiled noodles in oil and poppy-sugar-mixture. They are delicious just like that as well.
How to make Mohnnudeln – Step by Step
Step 1: Poppy and Sugar mix
Grind the poppy seeds and sugar together. Use a food processor for this. We’ve tried a mortar and pestle before, and it’s painfully slow!
Step 2: Make the dough
It’s really important that you use starchy potatoes to get a nice and smooth dough.
Of course, this is a great opportunity to use leftover potato mash! As long as it’s plain, and not flavoured with garlic or other savoury things. Simply mix the mash with the salt and the flour. Then knead into a smooth dough, then it’s time to make the noodles! Ready to roll?
Step 3: Shaping the noodles
It’s less complicated than it looks. First, roll the dough into a thick roll. Then, cut it into slices. Finally you shape the noodles, by rolling them under your palm. You don’t even need to apply much pressure at all.
Step 4: Boiling the noodles
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil and carefully drop in the noodles. Like fresh pasta, the noodles only take about 2 minutes of simmering to be cooked and float to the top. Because the noodles cook so quickly, it is easy and painless to do them in batches.
Step 5: Frying the noodles
Mmmh yummy! This is when the magic is starting to happen! Again it’s easier to do fry the noodles in batches. They can stick a bit at the bottom, and with fewer in the pan, they are easier to handle. Trust us, it’s worth the hassle. Frying the noodles just adds so much to the flavour!
Step 6: Mix in poppy sugar mixture
Turn the heat down a bit and add the poppy and sugar mix into the pan. Mix to coat the noodles evenly in the dark ground poppy seeds. Fry for a few more minutes, allowing the sugar to caramelise slightly. This makes the poppy flavour even more amazing!
Step 7: Serve
Enjoy Mohnnudeln the Austrian way as a main course, or serve as a dessert. Plum or apple compote makes a great, fruity addition!
If our Mohnnudeln recipe made you hungry for more sweet main dishes, why not also try these Austrian classics:
Wait! There’s more to Austrian cuisine than sweet things. Discover our very own collection of Vegan Recipes from Austria!
Vegan Mohnnudeln – Sweet Poppy Seed Noodles
For the noodles
- 2 large starchy potatoes = 500g or 2 cups mashed potato
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup plain flour
For the topping
- 1/4 cup poppy seed
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil mild, light
- In a food processor or spice grinder, grind poppy seeds and sugar together.
- Peel, slice and boil the potatoes for 10 minutes.
- Drain and mash the potatoes with half a teaspoon salt added.
- Mix in flour and knead into a smooth dough that holds together well. Add a bit more flour if it falls apart and sticks a lot to your hands.
- On a lightly floured surface, shape dough into a long roll about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick.
- Cut off 1 cm slices and roll them into finger shaped noodles, again on a lightly floured surface.
- Prepare a large pan of boiling water.
- Drop in the noodles carefully. We recommend this splash-free method: drop them in one by one, lowering a noodle until it touches the water surface before letting it slide in neatly. Or lower them in on a slotted spoon.
- When the noodles float to the surface (after about two minutes), they are done. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and let them drain and steam off in a colander for a few minutes.
For fried noodles
- In the meantime, heat up a frying pan with the light-coloured olive oil, on medium-to-high heat. Make sure the pan is properly hot before adding the noodles.
- Toss in the noodles and fry them for 2-3 minutes, turn them over and fry for 2-3 more minutes. Tongues work well for handling the noodles.
- When the noodles are golden brown on two sides, turn down the heat to medium, add in the poppy-sugar mixture and mix it in. Fry for 3 more minutes, tossing the noodles around a couple of times.
Or for plain noodles
- When the noodles have drained, coat them in the light-colored olive oil.
- Add poppy-seed sugar mixture, mix and serve.
- Alternatively, add some oil and a hat of poppy-sugar mix on the serving plates.