A frikandel is one of the most popular Dutch fast food items. They are usually produced from “mechanically separated meat”, which means any meat that can be obtained through mechanical means from a carcass after ‘regular’ butchering has finished. To make up for the lack of proper meat, a lot of spices are used as well as MSG. A frikandel is first poached and then deep fried. They are sold already poached. I don’t eat frikandellen, but they are very popular in the Netherlands with 600 million of them produced on an annual basis (for a population of 17 million).
A frikandel is deep fried, and then usually served with mayonnaise, ketchup, and onions. It is then called “frikandel speciaal”. I thought it would be fun to make frikandellen from proper meat, and serve it to a bunch of frikandellen lovers (which are not hard to find in the Netherlands). My own husband happens to like them, and so I brought my batch of frikandellen to the boat to the ‘boat improvement’ crew.
The real connoisseurs of frikandellen then taught me that the frikandel should be cut lengthwise before deep frying, which increases the amount of crispy crust and makes it easier to hold the mayonnaise, ketchup and onions. They loved my frikandellen, although they did mention that mine didn’t taste like regular frikandellen, because they actually tasted of meat. Here is how to make them yourself.
For 12 to 14 frikandellen
1 kilo (2.2 lbs) finely ground meat, I used equal parts of beef, pork, and chicken
2 tsp (15 grams) table salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
60 ml (1/4 cup) water
Combine the salt and spices in a small bowl…
…and stir to mix.
The meat should be very finely ground and should be quite fatty (20%) to get a succulent frikandel.
Put the ground meat in a food processor with the spice mix. Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) cold water.
…until the mixture has become a paste.
For a taste test, put a bit on a dish…
…and nuke it in the microwave for 20 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Take some of the mixture and give it a sausage shape with your hands. The sausage should be about 2 cm (a bit less than an inch) thick and about 20 cm (8 inches) long. The typical weight of a frikandel is 70 grams (2.5 oz).
Wrap the sausage in cling film, and repeat until you have used up all of the mixture.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Place the plastic-wrapped frikandellen in the hot water.
Put a plate on top to keep the frikandellen submerged.
Cover and keep the frikandellen over low heat until they are cooked through, about 15 minutes. The water should not boil and should remain around 80C/175F.
After 15 minutes they will be completely cooked through.
Allow them to cool (this is not necessarily a good configuration to allow them to cool, but more to take a nice photograph).
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 180C/350F.
Deep fry for about 3 minutes.
If you cut them halfway as explained in the introduction, the cooking time is less (about 2 minutes).
Serve with mayonnaise…
…and minced onions.
Two years ago I made baked pasta with ham and peas for the boat improvement crew.