Bitterballen Recipe

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Marion Wilting


This is the most popular snack food in the Netherlands. You get it about everywhere, in pubs, cafés, fast food restaurants and frozen in every grocery, but the home made version is by far the best and well worth the effort!
Prep and cook times are a wild guess - I haven't made them yet and the Dutch recipe didn't specify any times. Prep time does not include the time for chilling, though.


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5 (makes about 20 balls)
1 Hr 30 Min
30 Min
Deep Fry


  • 100 g
  • 150 g
  • 700 ml
    beef bouillon, cold
  • 30 g
    onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp
    parsley, chopped
  • 400 g
    meat, cooked
  • ·
    salt, to taste
  • ·
    pepper, to taste
  • ·
    nutmeg, to taste
  • 50 g
  • 2
    eggs, beaten
  • 50 g
  • ·
    oil, for deep frying

How to Make Bitterballen


  1. First make a roux: Let the butter melt in a large pan, slowly add the flour, stir to avoid lumps, until you have a smooth paste, then slowly add the bouillon, stirring, to avoid lumps.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  3. Let simmer for several minutes, then add onion, parsley and the chopped cooked meat. The mix has to simmer until it becomes a thick, heavy sauce.
  4. Pour the sauce into a bowl and cover with cling film, let cool and then let sit in the fridge for several hours until the mixture has hardened.
  5. When it has hardened, place the 50 grams flour, the beaten egg and the breadcrumbs in 3 shallow dishes to make the breading.
  6. Take a tablespoon of the firmed up meat sauce, quickly make a ball, lightly roll through the flour, the the egg and the breadcrumbs sothat the whole ball is well covered. Place the ball on a plate and continue until all sauce is used up.
  7. Place the balls in the fridge and get a pan for deep frying ready with oil. Heat the oil to 190°C, then fry the balls until golden brown. Don't overcrowd, only fry 4 balls at a time.
  8. Serve with hot mustard.

Printable Recipe Card

About Bitterballen

Course/Dish: Other Snacks
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Dutch

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