Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak is a tasty British hash made from potatoes and cabbage similar to colcannon, named for the noise it made while cooking.

Bubble and Squeak

This dish was originally thought to become popular back during WW2 to extend the reach of foods when there was quite a lot of food rationing. But we don’t need a war to know that repurposing leftovers is a good and economical thing to do! Along with this dish, the common sausage “bangers” also had modifications during the war to have water and filler added to them which caused them to sizzle, bang & pop in the skillet when cooking!

But we can make this dish now easily either by using leftovers, or actually intentionally cooking it, in which case we use fresh ingredients. Simply made with some onion, shredded cabbage and cooked potatoes, it is still by all means, an economical and filling dish!

Typically this is made like a hash into one big cake in the frying pan, then turned out (upside down) onto a serving platter, but the cakes themselves are rather delicate, making it sort of a difficult operation for those not used to it. I am sure if you made this all the time it would be old hat, and you could sling these like the best of them. So to make things just a “little bit” easier to cook, I have divided the potato mixture and cooked it in smaller amounts, which also has the added benefit of being able to brown these on both sides. That being said, they are still delicate little creatures, since they could use another binder such as egg to hold them together. But for traditions sake, I am keeping them like this, since they do work out. If you want to add egg or another binder, you can feel free.

I am posting this as part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, not because they are truly “Irish” but because of their similarity to colcannon, (which is mashed with cabbage or another green such as kale) and can easily take part in any Irish meal. It might simply be a matter of nationality and pride, but they do taste very much alike, and are all British anyway.

I hope you enjoy- as a potato side for a dinner meal or as an easy hash for breakfast, these are sure to please. Try one of these patties with a poached egg on top and a couple rashers of bacon on the side!


Bubble and Squeak

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime


Bubble and Squeak

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Bubble and Squeak

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • cooking oil


  1. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water for about 12-15 minutes or until fork tender; drain.
  2. Heat small amount of cooking oil in a skillet and add onion and garlic, when onion begins to brown, add cabbage and continue to cook until cabbage and onions are soft.
  3. Mix cooked cabbage mix with potatoes, bacon, chives, melted butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Using hands, divide and shape potato mixture into 4-6 firm hamburger like patties.
  5. Heat cooking oil in a large nonstick skillet and brown patties on both sides, gently turning once. If they start to break, press them together again.  Serve garnished with sour cream if you like, but not necessary.

Bubble and Squeak

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3 responses

  1. Hi Sue,
    I just love this history of this recipe. I love Bubble and Squeak it is pure soul food and your recipe looks wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with Food of The World this month and hope you are having a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

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