Indulge in the rich culinary heritage of Hungary with this iconic dish, Halászlé. Bursting with robust flavors and a fiery kick, this spicy fisherman's soup is a quintessential Hungarian delicacy. Crafted from a harmonious blend of paprika-infused broth and an assortment of tender freshwater fish, every spoonful offers a tantalizing journey for the palate. Whether enjoyed as a comforting meal on a chilly evening or a centerpiece for festive gatherings, Hungarian Halászlé promises a taste of tradition and a celebration of culinary craftsmanship.

Here's a traditional recipe for Hungarian Halászlé:


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika (adjust to taste for spiciness)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1.5 liters (6 cups) fish stock or water
  • 500g (1 lb) mixed freshwater fish fillets (such as carp, catfish, perch), cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Crusty bread, for serving


1- In a large pot, heat the lard or vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic, and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

2- Stir in the sweet paprika and hot paprika, and cook for another minute to release their flavors. Be careful not to burn the paprika.

3- Add the bay leaf, caraway seeds, chopped bell pepper, and tomatoes to the pot. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

4- Pour in the fish stock or water, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer gently for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

5- Add the fish fillets to the pot, and simmer gently for another 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

6- Season the soup with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Adjust the level of spiciness by adding more hot paprika if desired.

7- Serve the Halászlé hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley. Enjoy with slices of crusty bread for dipping.

This hearty and flavorful Hungarian fisherman's soup is sure to warm your soul and satisfy your taste buds with its rich paprika-infused broth and tender chunks of freshwater fish.

Nutritional Values:

Providing precise nutritional values for each ingredient can be challenging as it depends on factors such as brand, ripeness, and cooking methods. However, I can offer approximate nutritional information for some common ingredients used in Hungarian Halászlé:

Onion (1 large, finely chopped):

  • Calories: 60
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g

benefits:Onions are rich in antioxidants and sulfur-containing compounds that may help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and boost immunity. They also contain vitamins C and B6, as well as fiber, which supports digestive health.

Garlic (2 cloves, minced):

  • Calories: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g

benefits:Garlic is known for its potent medicinal properties, including its ability to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. It also contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.

Lard (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 115
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 0g

benefits:Lard, when used in moderation, can provide healthy fats that are essential for cell function and hormone production. It's a good source of vitamin D and can add flavor and richness to dishes.

Hungarian Sweet Paprika (3 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 60
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 2g

benefits:Paprika is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C and carotenoids, which may help reduce inflammation and protect against certain chronic diseases. It also adds vibrant color and flavor to dishes.

Hot Hungarian Paprika (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 6
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g

benefits:Hot paprika contains capsaicin, the compound responsible for its spicy flavor, which may help boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and alleviate pain. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Green Bell Pepper (1 medium, chopped):

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g

benefits:Bell peppers are low in calories but high in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants that support eye health and boost immunity. They also provide fiber, which aids digestion and promotes satiety.

Tomatoes (2 medium, chopped):

  • Calories: 50
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g

benefits:Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and K, as well as antioxidants like lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They also contain potassium, which supports heart health and may help lower blood pressure.

Fish Stock (1.5 liters):

  • Nutritional values can vary depending on preparation. Store-bought versions may contain varying amounts of sodium and other additives.

benefits:Fish stock is a good source of protein and minerals like calcium and magnesium, which are essential for bone health. It also provides a savory base for soups and stews, adding depth of flavor without additional fat or calories.

Freshwater Fish Fillets (500g):

  • Calories: Varies depending on the type of fish. For example, carp has about 127 calories per 100g, catfish has about 95 calories per 100g, and perch has about 96 calories per 100g.
  • Protein: Varies depending on the type of fish.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors like specific brands, cooking methods, and ingredient sizes. If you require more precise nutritional information, it's recommended to use a nutritional calculator or consult specific product packaging.


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