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Place of originPortugal
Region or stateEurope
Main ingredientsPastry or breadcrumbs; sweet or savory filling

A rissole (from Latin russeolus, meaning reddish, via French in which "rissoler" means "to [make] redden") is a large circular ball, enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried.[1] It is filled with savory ingredients,[1] most often minced meat or fish, and is served as an entrée, main course, or side dish. Rissoles originated in Portugal.[citation needed]



Rissoles from Savoy, France - Dessert of baked pear compote

In Portugal, rissoles are known as rissóis (singular "rissol") and are a very popular snack that can be found in many cafes, barbecues and house parties. Rissóis are a breaded pastry shaped as half-moon, usually filled with fish or shrimp in Béchamel sauce and then deep fried. Minced meat is often used too. Other usual fills include shrimp and cod. Other variations use chicken or a combination of cheese and ham as a filling. Rissóis are usually eaten cold, as a snack or as an appetizer, but can also be a main course, usually served with rice or salad.

Fried rissoles are common in the Republic of Ireland, especially in the county of Wexford, where boiled potatoes are mashed, mixed with herbs and spices, battered or breadcrumbed, and served with chips, chicken or battered sausages.

Meat rissoles with potatoes

Rissoles are sold in chip shops in south Wales, north-east England and Yorkshire. Rissoles and chips is a common choice of meal. These rissoles are meat (typically beef), or fish in Yorkshire, mashed up with potato, herbs and sometimes onion. They are coated in breadcrumbs or less frequently battered and deep fried.

In Poland, rissoles are known as sznycle (singular "sznycel") and are very common in canteens, especially in schools. Eaten hot as the main part of the main course, sznycle are usually served with boiled potatoes (sometimes mashed) and vegetables. The stuffing is always minced meat. Other variations use chicken or a combination of cheese and ham as a filling. In some regions where the name denotes a Wiener schnitzel, the term kotlet siekany (literally: "chopped cutlet") is used instead.

In France, rissoles are served as a dessert cooked in the Savoy region. They are made of pears in batter and are baked, not fried.

South America[edit]

In Brazil, they are often filled with heart of palm, cheese, ham, ground meat, chicken or shrimp.


Australian rissoles, cooked and cut in half

This form of rissole is very similar to a burger patty and is made from minced meat without a pastry covering, resembling an irregular meatball. An Australian rissole usually contains more ingredients than a burger, almost always using breadcrumbs but many Australians have their own family recipe which may also include onion, finely grated herbs and vegetables, sauces, salt, and spices. Rissoles are usually made from beef, chicken or lamb. Basing the rissoles on ingredients such as tuna, and pumpkin is also possible. They are cooked in a pan or on a barbecue, and are usually eaten hot as part of a meal. Australian rissoles are not usually eaten hot between bread with salad or cheese. If they are they will usually be called burgers (despite differences between the two types of patty) however cold rissoles are frequently eaten as a sandwich filling the next day.

The Australian Rissole became popular during both World Wars as a means of stretching meat rationing set by the Australian government. Rissoles were made by butchers and housewives to use off cuts of meat, then finely minced with the adding of left over bread crumbs, abundant flour, eggs and vegetables/herbs to improve the flavour. The Australian Rissole has evolved over the past 100 years with most Australian Families having special recipes and secret ingredients including; beer, Vegemite, peanut butter, Cornflakes, Carrot, Chili and a spices from all over the world.


Vendor selling rissoles at the pasar malam (night market) in Rawasari, Jakarta

Rissole is a snack food in Indonesia, where they are called risoles (pronounced 'riss-ol-less'). The skin is made from batter in the same fashion as a flat crepes. They are commonly filled with bechamel, chicken, and diced vegetables - including carrot, celery, common beans and potato. The filling is wrapped inside the skin, then the package is rolled upon breadcrumbs and fried in ample amounts of hot cooking oil. It is eaten with bird's eye chili, chilli sauce, mayonnaise or mustard.

Rissole in Indonesia

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rissole." Thefreedictionary.com. Accessed June 2011.

External links[edit]