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A freshly made batch of frikadeller
Place of origin Denmark
Serving temperature Hot or cold
Main ingredients Pork, veal, lamb, beef or fish
Other information As a main dish, generally served with boiled potatoes and gravy, or creamed cabbage
Cookbook: Frikadeller  Media: Frikadeller

Frikadeller are flat, pan-fried dumplings of minced meat, often likened to the Danish version of meatballs. They are a popular dish in Germany, where they are known as Frikadellen, Buletten, Fleischküchle or Fleischpflanzerl, Austria, where they are known as "Faschierte Laibchen", Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Lithuania and in South Africa, where they form part of the Afrikaner culinary heritage. In Sweden, poached quenelles are called frikadeller and are usually served in soup. In Hungary, it is called fasírt and often accompanies the Hungarian stew type, the "Főzelék".

Many variations of frikadeller exist but traditionally they are made of minced veal, pork or beef (or a blend of two of these meats); chopped onions; eggs; milk (or water); bread crumbs (or oatmeal or flour); salt; and pepper; then formed into balls and flattened somewhat. They are then pan-fried in pork fat or beef fat, or more commonly in modern times in butter, margarine or even vegetable oil. Another popular variation is fiskefrikadeller replacing the meat with fish as the main ingredient and often served with remoulade.

As a main dish they are most often served with boiled white potatoes and gravy (brun sovs) accompanied by pickled beetroot or cooked red cabbage. Alternatively they can be served with creamed, white cabbage.

Frikadeller are also a popular choice on the Smörgåsbord or Swedish lunch buffet, eaten on rugbrød with red cabbage or pickle slices. They can also be served cold, sliced thinly as a base for open face sandwiches on rye bread.

The combination of frikadeller and a cold potato salad is very popular at picnics or potlucks, due to the ease of transporting either component after cooking.


The origin of the word is uncertain. It may be derived from fricandeau de veau, a dish of sliced veal, larded with pork fat.[1] In the Dictionnaire des dictionnaires (1837) 'fricadelle' is defined as, "In Belgium, a ball of minced, cooked meat" and a separate word, 'fricadèle', is defined as "fricandeau".[2] And in Phillips's New World of Words (1706) "Fricandoe, a sort of Scotch Collops made of thin slices of Veal, well larded and stuff'd." The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'fricandele' (variation 'fricadelle") as a "quasi-French form of fricandeau".[3]

Other variations[edit]

Perkedel, an Indonesian version of frikadeller using potato

Frikadeller is also known in Indonesian cuisine through Dutch cuisine influence and called perkedel, however the main ingredients are not solely meat, but for the most part mashed potato mixed (as much as 1:1 ratio) with ground meat or corned beef. The mixture is then shaped into flat round patties and dipped in egg yolk before being deep fried. Other than mashed potato, cabe rawit, spring onion, shrimp, peeled corn, or mashed tofu fritters are also common as perkedel ingredients.

Another legacy of the Dutch colonial influence is the Frikkadels found in Sri Lanka. They are mostly found in lamprais.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Éric Boschman; Nathalie Derny (2008) "La Fricadelle", Le Goût des Belges, vol. 2, p. 33, Éditions Racine ISBN 978-2-87386-525-2 (French)
  2. ^ Delcourt-Angélique, Janine; Delcourt, Christian (2006). "Georges Simenon et le français de Belgique". Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire (in French) 84: 808. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (2003)

External links[edit]