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home » blog » recipe for home made bitterballen - a true dutch delicacy.

Recipe For Home Made Bitterballen - A True Dutch Delicacy.

Sunday, 30th November 2014 - Last updated on: Monday, 1st December 2014

One of the Netherlands’ most famous snacks is the ‘bitterbal’.

A bitterbal is a deep fried snack, round, and the size of a golf ball. The outer layer consists of breadcrumbs, and the inside is made of either ragout or a meat filling.

A bitterbal is the kind of snack you either love or hate, and most people like to dip them into some mustardfritessaus or mayonnaise.
Bitterballen are popular snacks at parties, and also when having a drink with friends at a bar or terrace. Complemented by a glass of wine or beer.
Some of you requested a recipe for bitterballen, and we found a great and detailed list of ingredients and a Youtube video with instructions on how to make them.

We’re aware that not all of you speak or read Dutch, so we have translated the list of ingredients for you.
The Youtube instruction video is easy to follow, even if you don’t speak Dutch.

(Recipe and video courtesy of:

(NL) Ingrediënten voor de bouillon – (EN) Ingredients for your stock:

1 liter water – water, 1 liter
1 runderschenkel – 1 beef shank
2 mergpijpen – 2 marrowbones
500 gram runderpoulet – 500 grams beef poulet
50 gram winterwortel in stukken – 50 grams of carrot (in pieces)
50 gram ui, 50 gram prei – 50 grams of onions and also 50 grams of leek
50 gram bladselderij. Stronken en blaadjes – 50 grams of celery, both leaves and stumps
3 takjes verse peterselie – 3 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 blaadjes laurier, 2 takjes verse tijm – 2 laurel leaves, and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 takje verse rozemarijn – 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
5 peperkorrels – 5 whole peppercorns
1 kruidnagel, 1 stukje foelie – 1 clove and 1 piece of mace
6 gram zout, 6 gram witte peper – 6 grams of salt and 6 grams of white pepper
6 gram gelatineblaadjes. Dat zijn er +/- 4 – 6 grams of gelatine (+/- 4 sheets)
(NL) Ingrediënten voor de ragoût en vorming – (EN) Ingredients for your ragoût/hash and formation of your bitterballen.

60 gram roomboter - 60 grams of (dairy) butter
60 gram bloem - 60 grams of flour
Uw eerder gemaakte bouillon - Your previously made stock
De runderpoulet uit uw bouillon - The beef poulet from your stock
6 gram gelatin (+/- 4 velletjes) - 6 grams (+/- 4 sheets) of gelatin
Snufje zout, peper en nootmuskaat naar smaak - Some salt, pepper and nutmeg to add flavor to your ragout/hash

Some instructions to go with the video:
Pour the water into the pan. Also add the beef shank, marrowbones and beef poulet.
Now add the cut up carrots, chopped onions, leeks, celery, parsley, thyme, laurel leafs, rosemary, pepper corns, clove, mace, 6 grams of salt, and 6 grams of pepper.
Put on low heat. Don’t forget the lid, and let it simmer for 4 to 6 hours.
You can remove the fatty layer and/or foam on top of your stock.
Remove the marrowbones and some of the meat and sieve the stock.
Get the rest of the meat out of the colander. You will now have half a liter of tasty stock.
You won’t be using the vegetables, but they make a tasty snack!

Use two forks to separate the meat (as pictured in the video). You need some patience to do this carefully and precise because it’s laborious, but this way you’ll get the best result.

It is now time to make the ragout/hash. If you have cooled your stock, you can remove the fat easily. Sieve your 60 grams of flour and soak your gelatine in cold water.
Melt your butter until it is light brown, on low fire. Now add all the flour to the butter. Stir well for two to three minutes until you have a nice roux/concoction.
Now add all of your stock, and keep stirring well until your ragout/hash starts to bubble.
It is now time to add your meat. After adding half the meat, you’ll have to stir some more. (very low fire!) When you have a smooth and glossy ragoût/hash, you can now add some nutmeg, salt and pepper until the taste is right.
Add the other half of the meat, stir, and turn off the fire.
Squeeze the water out of the gelatine, and stir the gelatine through your ragoût/hash.

Taste again after stirring, and add some more flavor, because some of it will get lost in the process of deep frying.
If you feel the taste is right, let your ragoût/hash cool off, and put it in the fridge for a night.
There are many different kinds of breadcrumbs to coat your bitterbal with. We usually start with a finely ground variety, followed by rolling it through some egg, and then another coat of coarsely ground breadcrumbs for a great result. Instead of using finely ground breadcrumbs, you can also use flour for a first layer.

It is now time to form a bitterbal.
Take some of the ragoût/hash between your fingers, make it round-ish, and roll through flour or the finely ground breadcrumbs. Now dip your bitterbal in egg, and roll through the coarsely ground breadcrumbs.
Your bitterbal is almost ready!
If you want to consume your bitterbal quickly, first let them rest in the fridge for another hour. If not, you can now deep freeze them until you want to serve them.

Deep frying:

Frozen bitterballen: 5 minutes, 175 degrees Celcius
Defrosted bitterballen: 2 to 3 minutes, 180 degrees Celcius
Serve with mustard, ‘fritessaus’, or mayonnaise.

Smakelijk eten! (Enjoy your meal!)

(Photo's courtesy of:, bitterballenbruid & StuffDutchPeopleLike)


Tags: bitterbal, bitterballen, snack, frozen, food, lekker, eten, Dutch, delicacy, mustard, mosterd, fritessaus, mayonaise, mayonnaise, recipe, homemade, zelfgemaakt, recept

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