We love Vetkoek. We love how it can go both ways - savoury and sweet. We love how it can be small and dainty, or big and loud. We love how it can be stuffed with delicious cheese or mince or Marmite, or be enjoyed on its own with a bit of butter or dusted with icing sugar.
Vetkoek has been one of those things that made us fall in love with food, because it's so easy to make. Our moms made it. We make it. We can buy it in dough form from the supermarket, or in takeaway form from the Mama at the corner. Vetkoek is a bite of identity that all South Africans miss when they go away for a while. We just can't get enough of it.
For this Vetkoek, we kept thing VERY low key, as one should on a midweek evening.
1 Bag Fresh Vetkoek dough from our local supermarket
1L Olive Pride Blend of Seed Oils and Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Heat oil in a pot. We really like the Olive Pride blend, because it gives the Vetkoek an olive flavour, instead of that kinda gross vegetable oil taste. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a little piece of the dough - if it bubbles, and floats to the surface in about 2-3 seconds, your oil is ready.
- Carefully drop small pieces of dough, about a tablespoon in size, into the oil. Keep an eye and turn dough when it starts to become golden.
- Once Vetkoeks are golden (not too dark and definitely not brown), remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels. Because this is a sweet version, you want to get rid of as much oil as possible, so add more kitchen towels between layers of Vetkoek.
- Place in a serving plate and dust with icing sugar to taste. Serve.
This is perfect for tea time or a post-braai dessert bite that can be send around among your guests.
Making Vetkoek - A Tradition
I remember my grandmother placing a cloth over a big olive green skottel, and, like a precious secret, nestling it between sun-kissed blankets in the sonkamer. I could never understand why she did this, and always assumed that the dough needed to be made an offer of love and attention for it to grow so big, and for it to be so delicious. In front of the shrine is where I would settle, and eventually, bored of peeping under the cloth and stealing little pinches of dough, I would wander off and fall asleep in her bedroom. Later, always when it was late in the afternoon and the house started to turn cold, I would wake up, groggy and unhappy, beckoned by the glorious smell of vetkoek drifting from the warm sun-filled kitchen, along with the familiar muffled sound of Oums opening and closing drawers and cupboards, getting ready to feed the family. Happiness, but a corridor away. I thought it would last forever, but since she's passed we rarely return to the farm.
Nowadays, when I miss Gran, I look for her in the kitchen by making Vetkoek. I don't ever make the dough myself, but I keep true to tradition: Build a shrine of blankets in the sun, tuck in the dough, and steal little pinches until its big and round like a cloud. Only then will it be perfect. - Frederika
A traveller and foodie at heart, Frederika loves to recreate and combine the dishes she's discovered in her travels. Her favourite dishes include ramen, mac & cheese, confit de canard, and a plate of fresh carbonara.