Perkedel kentang (Indonesian potato fritters) is a ubiquitous everyday side dish in Indonesian, and is popular for lunch, dinner, or even as snacks! The humble perkedel is tasty and filling, and you will spot these everywhere in Indonesia, from street hawkers, tiny Mom-and-Pop family restaurants, all the way to fancy formal banquets.
Interestingly, the name “perkedel” is derived from “frikandel”, a Dutch term for deep-fried minced meat patties. It becomes perkedel when we adopt it into our cuisine. Other varieties of perkedel also exist, such as perkedel tahu (tofu fritters), perkedel tempe (tempeh fritters) and perkedel jagung (corn fritters) to name a few.
What are the ingredients to prepare perkedel kentang?
The main ingredient of a perkedel kentang is potatoes. I use Russet potatoes since they are the most common potatoes you can find, but any variety of potato that is suitable for deep-frying will be perfect to make perkedel.
Aside from potatoes, you will also need:
You can omit this if you want to keep the dish strictly vegetarian/vegan, but I highly recommend adding some ground beef for everyone else.
You can use a combination of these, or just pick one out of these to use as your main greens.
fried shallot flakes (Indonesian: bawang goreng)
This is non-negotiable, perkedel without fried shallot will lack major oomph, and you will be wondering why yours doesn’t taste as good as the ones you bought.
nutmeg (Indonesian: pala)
You can skip this, but I am almost certain once you try the perkedel version with nutmeg, you won’t ever want to skip this secret ingredient.
salt, pepper, and sugar
First step: Prepare perkedel kentang dough/batter/mixture
There are two major steps in preparing perkedel. The first step is to prepare the dough/batter/mixture, which is then used to shape into patties. The second step is the deep-frying of said patties after coated in egg and turn them into perkedel that we all know and love.
The first step to prepare perkedel involves these following process:
1. Deep-fry potatoes.
Peel and cut potatoes into 1-inch wedges, and deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown. You may see other recipes suggesting steaming or boiling, but you get the best perkedel texture by deep-frying.
2. Pan-fry ground beef.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the ground beef with a little bit of salt and pepper until fully cooked.
3. Mix potatoes with the rest of the ingredients.
Use a fork/potato masher to mash the deep-fried potatoes until smooth, then add the cooked ground beef, along with chives, bawang goreng (fried shallot flakes), nutmeg, salt, sugar, and pepper.
4. Shape into patties.
Gather all the potato mixtures into a ball, then divide it into 16 portions. Shape each into a patty shape. Arrange the shaped patties on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Second step: Deep-fry chilled potato mixture patties into perkedel/fritters
The second step of perkedel making is much easier compared to the first step. Once you have chilled your potato patties for one hour, it is time to do the following:
1. Heat a pot of oil.
I highly suggest you have at least 2-inches of oil to deep-fry your perkedel.
2. Lightly beat 1-2 eggs.
Depending on the size of your egg, you may need up to two eggs, lightly beaten, to coat your potato patties.
3. Deep-fry potato patties.
Once the oil is hot. The easiest, no thermometer needed method, is to stick a bamboo chopstick into the hot oil. If you see bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready!
Coat each of the patties with some lightly beaten egg, then gently drop into hot oil and deep-fry until golden brown. Drain over a wire rack to remove excess oil.
Storing your leftover perkedel/potato fritters
Perkedel kentang/potato fritters are best served hot, just like any other deep-fried food. But I get it that making perkedel takes effort, and you may want to make a really big batch in one go and store them for later. Here is how to do it:
1. Only freeze cooked perkedel.
You may be tempted to freeze the shaped patties and deep-fry as needed, but I’ve tried it, and they’re not pretty! So you definitely want to only freeze cooked perkedel.
2. Freeze cooked perkedel.
You will want to arrange cooked perkedel on a lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once solid, it is best to transfer the frozen cooked perkedel into a ziplock bag.
3. Reheat with an oven/toaster oven.
To reheat/serve the frozen perkedel, bake frozen perkedel in a 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) preheated oven, or a toaster oven, for about 10 minutes.
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