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Bitterballen - Dutch Meat Balls

Indonesia was under Dutch colonial rule for a long time, and during that time, some of the Dutch cuisine was absorbed into Indonesian cuisine. Among the many Dutch influenced food, I think bitterballen is still among my favorite.

With a crunchy skin enveloping soft and flavorful potato and beef mixture inside, bitterballen is a favorite snack accompanying afternoon tea or coffee, and they are always served piping hot with a side of mayonnaise and chili sauce. ♥

Bitterballen - Dutch Meat Balls

Bitterballen - Dutch Meat Balls

Bitterballen - Dutch Meat Balls

5.0 from 5 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 40 meat balls

Print Recipe


  • 3 tablespoon butter (Indonesian: mentega)
  • 100 gram onion (Indonesian: bawang bombay), minced
  • 100 gram white button mushroom (Indonesian: jamur kancing putih), minced
  • 200 gram ground beef (Indonesian: daging sapi cincang)
  • 40 gram all purpose flour (Indonesian: tepung terigu)
  • 250 ml milk (Indonesian: susu)
  • 400 gram potato (Indonesian: kentang), peeled, boiled, and mashed
  • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Indonesian: bubuk pala)
  • 2 teaspoon salt (Indonesian: garam)
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper (Indonesian: bubuk merica)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (Indonesian: gula)
  • 40 gram cheddar (Indonesian: keju cheddar), grated
  • 4 stalks of Chinese celery (Indonesian: daun seledri), thinly sliced
  • enough oil for deep frying
  • Coating
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (Indonesian: tepung panir)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Sauce (mix together the following)
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon bottled chili sauce of your choice


  1. Melt butter in a frying pan, sauté onion until wilted and slightly transparent, add mushroom and cook until wilted, then add beef, mix well, and cook until no longer pink.
  2. Add all purpose flour, stir until the mixture clumps together. Slowly pour the milk and keep stirring until it becomes a thick smooth sauce like consistency.
  3. Add mashed potato, nutmeg, salt, ground pepper, sugar, cheddar, and celery leaves. Mix well and cook until all the sauce has been absorbed into the mixture. Turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Take a tablespoonful of the potato and beef mixture, shape into a round ball, coat with bread crumbs, then egg, and finally coat with bread crumbs again. Repeat until all the potato and beef mixture is used up. You should be able to make roughly 40 meat balls.
  5. Deep fry the meat balls in hot oil until crispy and golden brown. Drain on wire rack/paper towel. Serve immediately with the mayo/chili sauce.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Tisha Tisha says:

    These are some meatballs I definitely need to try! Love they are breaded.

  • Emily Liao Emily Liao says:

    These meatballs are so crispy on the outside, and delicious on the inside. One of my favorite recipes to make on the weekday.

  • Alison Alison says:

    This is the first time I've heard of Bitterballen. The crunchy outer coating really makes these meatballs special!

  • Heidy L. McCallum Heidy L. McCallum says:

    I made this recipe and it was fab! Everyone enjoyed the new cuisine on our table that night. I will be making this recipe again soon.

  • Olivia Olivia says:

    These sound so much like Puerto Rican Papas Rellenas. I am definitely going to try my hand at these!

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