Sunday, 25 January 2015


In Holland, a night out on the town, or a social event with coworkers, usually starts out at a local café, with a beer or two and something to snack on. This something is called a "bittergarnituur". The word translates as the slightly confusing "garnish for bitters", where bitters in this case refers to alcoholic beverages
The bittergarnituur will usually contain bite-size cubes of Gouda cheese, miniature eggrolls and meatballs, perhaps some slices of a local meat sausage and of course, bitterballen, Holland’s favorite snack.
Bitterballen are deep-fried and crispy breaded rounds with a tender, savory filling. Traditionally made with beef, they can also be prepared with chicken, veal or even with mushrooms, for those that prefer a vegetarian option.


  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) butter
  • 150 grams (5.3 oz) flour
  • 700 ml (23.7 fl oz) beef bouillon
  • 30 grams (1 oz) fresh onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 400 grams (14 oz) cooked meat, shredded
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg

For the breading

  • 50 grams (1.8 oz) flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50 grams (1.8 oz) bread crumbs
Melt the butter in a skillet or pan. When melted, add the flour little by little and stir into a thick paste. Slowly stir in the stock, making sure the roux absorbs the liquid. Simmer for a couple of minutes on a low heat while you stir in the onion, parsley and the shredded meat. The mixture should thicken and turn into a heavy, thick sauce.
Pour the mixture into a shallow container, cover and refrigerate for several hours, or until the sauce has solidified.
Take a heaping tablespoon of the cold, thick sauce and quickly roll it into a small ball. Roll lightly through the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Make sure that the egg covers the whole surface of the bitterbal. When done, refrigerate the snacks while the oil in your fryer heats up to 190C (375F). Fry four bitterballen at a time, until golden.
Serve on a plate with a nice grainy or spicy mustard.


  1. I love these and have eaten them several times. But I didn't know how to make them. It is great to have the recipe and I will be trying it at home very soon. I wonder whether you could also dip them in sour cream?


  2. I like them to, Han, just like our 'kroketten'.
    Again a very surprising post.


  3. They sound delicious. Too bad I adopted a 5 ingredient, 5 step rule when I turned 65 or I'd make them. Of course, you could send me a care package. lol

  4. Ooh those look so good Han! Thanks so much for the recipe...will definitely be trying them...probably with turkey.

    Hugs and Blessings...

  5. Yum! I love a good recipe. I shall give it a try and will let you know how I do.

    I had to do a double-take of a read. Normally, I get new recipes from Cat's blog. It's nice that I can get a food gem on your blog, too. =)


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