Litvak Kishke

This is a Jewish version of the Lithuanian vėdarai, made from matzo meal or dough leftovers, rendered goose fat, and a mixture of stewed vegetables (onions, carrots and celery). Kishke is a Yiddish word borrowed from the Slavs that literally means gut or intestine. This dish was inspired by the Lithuanian vėdarai, which Jews couldn’t eat due to their religious beliefs.

Kishke became one of the symbols of Litvak cuisine even before World War II, and after the war it spread worldwide, together with the surviving Litvak emigrants who had safeguarded their family recipes. According to gastronomy historian Alexander Bely, kishke can undoubtedly be called an authentic Vilnius dish.

This information was shared by Alexander Bely.

Litvak Kishke (Fania Lewando’s modern vegetarian version)

This recipe is a vegetarian version of Litvak kishke.

You will need:

  • 450 g cold boiled potatoes
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tbsps. wheat flour
  • 2 cups wheat breadcrumbs
  • salt to taste
  • 60 g dried mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup melted butter (plus 3-5 tbsps. for baking and coating)
  • bunch of fresh dill
  • bunch of parsley
  • pepper


  1. Mash the boiled and cooled potatoes, beat in 3 eggs, add 2 tablespoons of flour, 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and a little salt, then knead the dough.
  2. Sprinkle flour on a table and roll out the dough to form a sheet that is 6 mm thick.
  3. Soak the dried mushrooms in water and fry the onions in butter. Pulverise the mushrooms and fried onions in a blender or food processor. Mix the resulting mass with 1 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 cup of melted butter, 2 eggs, a little salt and pepper, finely chopped dill and a little chopped parsley.
  4. Spread the mixture on the sheet of dough and roll into a log.
  5. Grease a small baking dish with butter. Cover the bottom of the dish with chopped potatoes and onions (optional) and place the kishke on top. Bake uncovered at 180°C until browned, then cover and bake for another 25 minutes or so.

Note: Making the roll will be easier if you use aluminium foil.

Source: Fania Lewando, The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook: Garden-Fresh Recipes Rediscovered and Adapted for Today’s Kitchen, 2015.


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