Pyttipanna (which translates as ‘small bits in a pan’) feels like the Swedish answer to nasi goreng (the South East Asian dish of fried rice with a fried egg on top). Typically comprising onions, potatoes, minced meat, beetroot and a fried egg, pyttipanna is a dish that is quickly put together with whatever you might have foraged from the kitchen. There are no rules in my book when it comes to making this dish, so feel free to get creative with leftovers. I always seem to have rashers of smoky bacon in the fridge (in case of a bacon sarnie emergency), and lentils are always in the larder. Just don’t forget the obligatory fried egg on top!
Swedish Stir-fry (gf) / Pyttipanna
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
200g beluga or puy lentils
a handful of raisins
800ml good-quality chicken or vegetable stock
a bunch of spring onions
6 rashers of smoky bacon, finely chopped
2–3 parsnips (200g)
3 carrots (340g)
2 small beetroot
½ tsp white pepper sea salt
3 tbsp pickled mustard seeds (see page 292 of The Little Swedish Kitchen, or buy from a speciality foods store)
2 tbsp pickling liquid, from any jar of pickles
2 tbsp butter
Put the lentils, raisins and stock into a pot and bring to a simmer uncovered. Cook according to packet instructions until the lentils are al dente. Drain, reserving the leftover stock.
Trim the spring onions, remove the green parts and set these aside for later. Finely chop the white parts and put into a frying pan with the bacon. Gently fry for 5–10 minutes until the onions are soft. In the meantime, peel the parsnips, carrots and beetroot and chop into 0.5cm cubes. Add these to the spring onions and season with the white pepper. Turn up the heat slightly and continue to fry for another 10 minutes.
Add the cooked lentils and raisins to the frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of cooking stock. Stir together and taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary, then take off the heat and cover.
Finely chop the green parts of the spring onions and toss with the pickled mustard seeds and pickling liquid.
In a non-stick pan on a low heat, fry the eggs in the butter, until the white is set and the yolk still runny.
To serve, divide the lentil mixture between your plates or bowls, and top with a fried egg and the spring onions and mustard seeds.
Top tips / Beluga or puy lentils are my go-to lentils for this dish, as they hold their shape the best. Leftover rice also works.
For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and replace with a tablespoon of olive oil or butter.
For meat eaters, the bacon can be replaced with leftover roast meat or poached fish. Fry the meat with the spring onions and a tablespoon of oil. If using poached fish, flake that in at the end with the lentils.
Recipe from my latest cookbook, The Little Swedish Kitchen. Order it on amazon now!