Bitterballen (plural of bitterbal) are a Dutch meat-based snack, typically containing a mixture of beef or veal (minced or chopped), beef broth, butter, flour for thickening, parsley, salt and pepper, resulting in a thick roux. Most recipes include nutmeg and there are also variations utilising curry powder or that add in finely chopped vegetables such as carrot. The ingredients are combined and cooked, then refrigerated for the mixture to firm up. Once firm, the filling is rolled into balls roughly 3 to 4 cm in diameter, then battered in a breadcrumb and egg mixture and deep-fried. They are typically served with a ramekin or small bowl of mustard for dipping. They are eaten in Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, the Netherlands, Belgium, and to some degree in Indonesia. The very similar but spicy cutlets of Sri Lanka can also be made with fish instead of meat.
Bitterballen are very similar to the Dutch variant of kroketten (plural of kroket) in their ingredients and preparation/cooking methods, as well as flavour, though the larger kroketten have a distinct oblong sausage shape, but with a similar diameter. The bitterbal derives its name from a generic word for certain types of herb-flavoured alcoholic beverages, called a bitter in Dutch, and are popularly served as part of a bittergarnituur, a selection of savoury snacks to go with drinks, at pubs or at receptions in the Netherlands.