Yonah Schimmel Low-Fat New York City Knish

March 13, 2021  Online Recipe Guide Avatar

Here’s a recipe that comes from a challenge issued by the New York Daily News. They wanted to find out if a West Coast boy could duplicate the taste of an authentic New York City knish. But, mind you, not just any knish. This knish comes from one of the oldest knisheries in the Big Apple; a place which also takes pride in the low fat content of its knishes, versus the popular deep-fried variety. When I tasted the famous Yonah Schimmel knish (the first knish I had ever sampled), I realized that not only could a simple clone recipe be created, but that the fat gram count could come in even lower. The Daily News even went so far as to have a lab analyze the fat content of not only the original knish and the clone, but also the fat grams in a street vendor knish and a supermarket knish, just for comparison. The results are listed below. If you’d like to check out the original article that ran in the Daily News.

6 medium russet potatoes
2 1/2 tablespoons low-fat butter
1/4 minced onion
3 tablespoons fat-free chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
Seasoning blends, chives or pepper flakes to taste (optional)
6 sheets phyllo dough

1. Peel, halve and boil potatoes until tender, 15-20 minutes. Mash in a large bowl.
2. Sauté onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter until translucent but not brown. Add to mashed potatoes with broth, salt, pepper and spices. Stir well.
3. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Layer 3 sheets of phyllo dough and cut in half. Repeat with remaining 3 sheets. Spoon 1 cup of potato mixture on each section of phyllo, mold into a large ball and position off-center at one end of strip of dough. Roll ball along the length of phyllo, folding dough over bottom of filling and leaving some filling poking through the top. (Trim and discard excess dough.)
5. Brush melted butter over edges of knish to seal the seams and press down onto an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with other knishes. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Makes four knishes. (

How They Stack Up

Top Secret Recipes knish – Price: 40 cents, Weight: 6.75 ounces, Fat: 3.63 grams
Yonah Schimmel knish – Price: $1.50, Weight: 11.27 ounces, Fat: 7.01 grams
Street vendor knish – Price: $1, Weight: 4.35 ounces, Fat: 4.53 grams
Supermarket knish – Price $1.50, Weight: 9.89 ounces, Fat: 11.27 grams


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