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Leftover Rendang Part VI: Rendang Bitterballen

Stumbling upon a cooking sensation like @andyhearnden on social media can spark all sorts of culinary inspiration. That's exactly what happened when I saw his bitterballen recipe; it got me thinking about how I could put a unique twist on this classic Dutch snack (you can find his original recipe here). Bitterballen are traditionally small, crispy, deep-fried balls filled with a meaty roux—usually beef.

They originated in the Netherlands as a way to use up leftover meat, becoming a popular bar snack and a staple at family gatherings. My version? I’ve infused these delightful morsels with the rich, complex flavors of my homemade leftover rendang, bringing a Southeast Asian flair to a Dutch favorite.

Creating these bitterballen involves simmering a buttery roux, enriching it with beef broth, and then mixing in heaping tablespoons of flavorful rendang. After chilling the mixture until it's just firm enough to handle, it's shaped into balls, coated in seasoned flour, dipped in egg, and rolled in panko for that essential crunchy exterior.

What emerges from the fryer is nothing short of magical: each bite starts with a crispy crunch, followed by a burst of savory, spicy rendang that’s mellowed by the subtle creaminess of the roux. It’s a flavor experience that bridges continents and cultures in each bite.

Why not bring a little international flair to your next gathering with these rendang bitterballen? They’re perfect for sparking conversation and delighting taste buds. Whether you're hosting a party or just spicing up a family meal, these bites are sure to impress.

So, why not take a little culinary adventure and see where these rendang-infused delights can take your palate? Trust me, the combination of Dutch tradition and Indonesian flavor is a winner. Let’s get rolling, frying, and most importantly, enjoying!



Inspired by @andyhearnden

(Make 16)

  • Unsalted Butter, 60g

  • Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 60g

  • Beef Broth, 350g

  • Leftover Rendang Homemade, 250g

  • Scallions Coarsely Sliced, A Handful

  • Grapeseed / Sunflower / Canola / Peanut Oil, For Frying

  • Seasoned Flour, For Dredging (Unbleached All Purpose Flour + Sea Salt + Black Pepper)

  • Beaten Eggs, 2

  • Japanese Panko, For Dredging

  • Kecap Manis Homemade, For Drizzling

  • Parmigiano Reggiano, For Grating

  • Coriander Finely Chopped, For Garnishing



  • Dutch Oven

  • Sauce Pot



  1. Please visit my “How To Make Kecap Manis” page for the dough recipe.

  2. Please visit my “Daging Rendang” page for the recipe.

  3. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add butter and flour.

  4. Whisk until well combined.

  5. Continue whisking until it turns pale yellowish.

  6. Add in the beef broth while still whisking.

  7. The mixture should be thick, but smooth with no lumps.

  8. Add in the leftover rendang and scallions.

  9. Mix until well combined.

  10. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment to cool down faster, or you just transfer to a large bowl.

  11. Chill in the fridge until set and firm, about 4 hours.

  12. You can weigh and divide them equally into 16 pieces with a weighing scale if you wanna be anal.

  13. Roll each piece into balls.

  14. Chill in the fridge for another hour.

  15. Heat up 4" of oil in a dutch oven.

  16. In the meantime, prepare the dredging station with seasoned flour, beaten eggs and panko.

  17. *Insert a wooden chopstick into the oil. If bubbles are forming around the tip of the chopstick, the temperature of the oil is ready.*

  18. Dredge the balls into seasoned flour, beaten eggs and lastly panko.

  19. Gently drop into the oil and deep fry until golden brown.

  20. Move the balls around for even browning.

  21. Do not crowd and fry the balls in batches.

  22. Drain off excess oil on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  23. Serve immediately with a drizzle of kecap manis, a grating of parmigiano and garnish with coriander.

Mama Mia...


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