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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gluten Free German Potato Noodles with Sage and Garlic Butter

Gluten Free Fingernudeln
A.k.a.Schupflnudel, Fingernudeln, Bubespitzle, rolled potato noodles, finger noodles
Gluten Free, egg free, nut free, soy free

Whew.  It’s been a long week.  I traveled from visiting The Flipper (Hubby-to-be) in Madison, Wisconsin, back home to Vancouver, BC and what with the uber-long bus trip from Madison to the Chicago airport, a flight delay of several hours, and my dearest mother losing the car at the airport after kindly coming to pick me up, then running around and trying to play catch-up after being out of town for some time, I’m already worn out.  So here’s a little something I prepared before I left in anticipation of being too tired to experiment with cooking.  As a warning, from here on out, my photos might change a bit, as I’ve gone from a lovely, south facing, brightly lit apartment in the prairies to rainy, gloomy old Vancouver…

I’ve noticed that since I started posting my gluten free German fusion recipes, many people have actually been finding my site as a result of searching for German dishes like Cabbage Rolls / Holopchi, Gluten Free Kartoffelkloesse, and Gluten FreeSpaetzleI hope that those of you who have run across my site as a result of these searches have found the recipes helpful, or at least have provided some guidance in adapting your own versions!  I’m thrilled to see that there are so many other people out there like me trying to adapt German cuisine to be gluten free and egg free.  So I’ve decided to share another fantastic, tasty, super duper cheap meal.  It works out to be under a dollar to make about 6 servings of these little doodle-y things. 
Gluten Free Bubespitzle
As I’ve been working my way through some of my favorite old German dishes, I realize I refer to most of them as comfort food.  However, the more searching I do to find out more about German cuisine, the more it becomes apparent to me that ALL German food is comfort food! You can’t go wrong with potatoes and flour and butter.  Unfortunately it’s not exactly the healthiest comfort food.  So like all the cheap potato recipes I’ve been posting (i.e. Gluten Free Boxty and Potato Dumplings) I’ve mixed sweet potatoes with regular russets into this schupflnudel, which makes for a slightly sweeter and much healthier version as sweet potatoes are extremely high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, without the high starch content of white potatoes.  The other day I served it with asparagus sautéed in lemon juice and garlic and some of my GlutenFree Zataar Rolls, which are based on a Syrian recipe, so these definitely qualify as another German fusion dish. 

Who says Germans have no sense of humour?

There are a variety of names for these rolled potato noodles, and like most traditional dishes, there is no universal recipe, so I’ve adapted mine to be gluten free and egg free.  Schupflnudel means “rolled noodle,” Fingernudeln literally means what is sounds like, due to the finger-like appearance of these noodles, and finally Bubespitzle which means “boy’s penis,” also thanks to the shape of the noodle.  Who says Germans have no sense of humour, right? 

Gluten Free Egg Free Fingernudeln

This is very similar to the recipe I use for making gnocchi so you could alter the herbs and spices a little and simply mold them into little gnocchi balls instead of rolling them into fingernudeln if you prefer.  In this case I’ve sautéed them with garlic and sage butter, which is truly wonderful and savory, but sometimes these are served as a sweet dish, with poppy seeds and icing sugar sprinkled on top.  This makes quite a lot of fingernudeln, and serves about 6 people.  Instead of cooking them all at once, I reserve the extras and freeze them on a baking sheet.  Once frozen, I pile them in to containers and freeze until needed.  Then I simply remove them and continue to boil and cook as directed below.  

Also, it is not necessary to boil, then fry them if you don’t want to.  These are great simply boiled and eaten that way with a bit of sauce.  I like to fry them because they really absorb the flavour of the garlic sage butter, and I like the difference in texture, crispy on the outside and soft inside, as opposed to simply soft after boiling.

Rolling Fingernudel tutorial


Approx. 2 cups mashed russet potatoes (about 3 medium sized potatoes)*
Approx. 1 c mashed sweet potatoes (about 1.5 potatoes)
½ c tapioca starch (or corn starch or potato starch)
¼ c rice flour (brown or white) + more for dusting and rolling
1 Tbsp parsley (fresh is best, but a little bit less of dried will do also)*
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Sage and Garlic Butter

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
About 1 tsp dried sage
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar (optional)


1. Mix all the noodle ingredients together.  This will be a sticky dough. 

2. Dust a flat surface with rice flour and pour the dough on to it.  Dust with more flour and knead the dough 4 or 5 times to work in a bit of extra flour.

3. Divide the roll into 2 halves, and roll each one into a log about 2” in diameter.  With a sharp, wet knife slice the roll in to 3/4” rounds.  Take a round and, rolling your hands back and forth a couple of times, shape the dough into a long finger-like noodle.  

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Slide the fingernudeln into the pot and boil until they begin to float (this will happen fairly quickly).  Once they float, continue to boil about half a minute, then use a slotted spoon or hand strainer to remove them immediately from the pot on to a plate.  They will be a bit sticky so try not to pile them on to one another.  You may also need to do this in more than one batch, depending on the size of your pot.

5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  You may need to do fry these in a couple of batches, so divide up your butter and seasonings accordingly.  Melt the butter and oil, then add a single layer of fingernudeln. 

6. Fry until one side is slightly crispy and browned.  Roll the noodles over and fry on the opposite side.   

7. Sprinkle with sage, salt and optional sugar.

Serve and enjoy.  Beware though, they are so yummy will not notice how filling they are until you feel as if you may explode and must lie down for a nap…

Do you have a favorite European comfort food that you have tried to convert to be gluten free and maybe a little bit healthier?

*OAS Info: Potatoes and parsley are both common Oral Allergy Syndrome foods.  The double boiling of the potatoes and boiling of the parsley *should* help kill the allergen proteins and make these safe to eat. When in doubt, however, avoid them or check with your doctor. 

Gluten Free Meal Plan via Musings of a Housewife


  1. This sounds fantastic. When I saw it linked up, I had to come right over and find out more about it. I would love to make this and have printed the recipe up. I love the idea of something so different to eat. Thanks for sharing on My Meatless Mondays.


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