25 August 2011

Chicken sate bitterballen

I know you all are very curious of what I did with the chicken I made earlier. Well it was sitting in my fridge (where would we be without refrigerators) till yesterday. I wasn’t in the mood for eating it with rice or noodles or bread. Instead I wanted to transform it to another dish, but couldn’t decide. Shall I make chicken pot pie, or pasta with chicken or a simple chicken omelet?
Then it hit me; why not make chicken sate bitterballen. For the non Dutchies out there, a "bitterbal” is the “krokets” younger sister. Or more like smaller, rounder sister. There is no English translation of it so a bitterbal is a bitterbal and a kroket is what you call a croquet. Apparently croquets are more familiar that’s why there is an English word for it. But both are delish and we Dutchies love them. My absolute favorite is the one with chicken sate.

I have never ever made chicken sate bitterballen before, so this is a first. I think it is first for most of you. Although it is not difficult to make, it is of course so much easier to buy it. And they have very good ones in the frozen section (if you live in Holland) or you can pull it out of the wall. Fast easy and super “lekker”. Well since I’m making a typical Dutch snack I thought I’d throw in some more Dutch words.

This is a dish you have to make one day ahead, or have plenty of room in your freezer because it has to set for some time.

This is what I used:
-          500 ml water
-          10 tablespoons of sate mix (same package I used for my peanut soup)
-          50 gram butter (note to myself: about 1cm)
-          50 gram flour (2 full tablespoons)
-          1 onion
-          1 teaspoon of salt
-          1 teaspoon of hot chili sauce
-          1 small roast chicken
-          10 tablespoons of water (next time I won’t put extra water in the mixture) 

I started with boiling the water with the sate mixture. If I would make a different kind of bitterballen I would boil the water with one bouillon cube. After it boils for a couple of minutes I took it off the stove and let it cool down a bit.
I took all the meat off the chicken and chopped it in small cubes. I guess you can use your hands to tear it apart as well, but I thought chopping would be faster and easier. That one little chicken was enough for this bowl of meat.

I also chopped one onion in small cubes.
All the ingredients are ready.
The butter went into the pot as well as half of the chopped onion. After the onion became translucent I added the flour.
As the stove was on medium I turned it to low so I could slowly cook the flour mixture.
Then slowly bit by bit I added the sate sauce. I incorporated the sauce in the flour before I poured more.

Because the mixture looked too thick I added some extra water. Next time I wouldn’t because it turned out that the mixture had the right thickness. So please DON’T add any extra water.

I only wanted to use half an onion, but I thought why not so I added the other half.
After it cooked for a bit I added the chicken and some chopped spring onion. Just because it was sitting in my fridge, so it’s optional.

I tasted the mixture and added the salt and the chili sauce. Add as much or as little as you like. If the stuffing taste good your bitterballen will do to.
I waited till it started to bubble and then poured the mixture in a tray. I covered it with plastic foil and put it in the fridge so it could cool off and hopefully thicken.
Today I put the flour, the eggs and the breadcrumbs ready. I took the chicken sate mixture out of the fridge and I was happy to see that it was a bit thick, but not thick enough as I discovered later. So DON’T add the extra water!! I can’t stress it enough.
I used my mini ice cream scooper to scoop little balls and drop them in the flour. As they weren’t firm enough it was difficult to form them in little balls.

I did the best I could and after they were covered I rolled them through the egg mixture and right into the bread crumbs.
Well this one looked pretty round…for now…

At first I did one at the time and then found it easier to just scoop a batch, roll them in all the mixtures and the start a new batch. This so I don’t have to wash my hands all the time.
I poured enough oil in my pan to cover at least half of the bitterballen and waited till it was hot enough. I always put my hand above the oil and if it feels hot enough, it is good to go. You can also drop a little bit of dough in the oil and when it immediately started to bubble up you know it’s good. But I found that the hand method works well for me.

Of course you if you have a frying pan it is easier to fry these. And it helps if you have enough oil to cover the balls, but if not then just make sure it will cover at least half of it.

If you can fry spring rolls you can fry bitterballen =)

Since they are freshly made they only need a couple of minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on them and flip them over once they are golden. If your heat is right they will not burst. You don’t want that nice chicken sate to ooze out.
After all this hard work it is reward time!
Bitterballen are the best straight out of the pan. Just a little warning; make sure you don’t burn yourself. The chicken sate stuffing can burn your mouth and ruin it for you.

Ps: I made so much I had to put some in the freezer. I froze them on plate first, making sure they didn’t touch each other and after they froze a little I put them together in a bag. If you put them in a bag straight away you will never manage to separate them again. Next time I’d like to eat them I would just through them in the hot oil, no defrosting needed. Since they are frozen they need a bit more time.


  1. I was really scared when the chicken mix went into the 9X13, but the end product! Crave worthy in the biggest way!

  2. What a great recipe, these look so delicious :)

  3. These look delicious and the step-by-step photos are really helpful!

  4. That is SO clever and creative! I bet they were amazing to eat! Thanks for the step-by-step photos, too!

  5. NICE! These are like little mouthfuls of chicken heaven! I love learning something new too, and I've certainly never heard of a bitterballen before :) Buzzed!

  6. Wow, what a great idea..sounds and look sooo delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  7. So yummy. What a great use for that chicken.

  8. Hi Lilly! Don't forget, Japanese eat croquette too! We say Korokke (I have one recipe in my blog) and it's very popular food in Japan. See, we always get influence from Europe.. =) Never used chicken for Korokke (usually ground beef/pork) and it's tempting me! I know already how delicious your bitterballen is. Thanks for shariing!!

  9. Sounds like a tasty little bitterballen to me!

  10. Perfect for kids. I had never heard of bitterballens before. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I'm glad you all liked it. I had some in a bun and it was great as well.

  12. Actually, that chicken looked so good, I did wonder what happened to it. It's fantastic that you managed to get another dish from it. These bitterballen sound wonderful - never heard of them before but definitely appearing very soon in my kitchen, Lilly.


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