The Netherlands offers a dining experience unlike any other because of its diverse history, with all the cultures that have influenced Dutch cuisine living relatively close together. Bitterballen is one such dish. The popularity of this dish is not inferior to Stroopwafel, Hollandse Nieuwe or Kroket. It also has many different versions such as bitterballen pizza. I will also give you the best Bitterballen recept. However, if you are too lazy to cook, don’t worry. This list of Amsterdam’s best places to enjoy bitterballen will leave you satisfied!
What is a Bitterballen?
Bitterballen are a meat-based snack popular in the Netherlands. To make them, you make a very thick stew with lots of meat that has been thickened with roux and beef stock, chill the stew until it is firm, and then roll the thick mixture into balls that are breaded and fried. Typically, the base stew is seasoned with onions, salt, pepper, parsley, and nutmeg. The majority of recipes call for nutmeg, but there are also variations that use curry powder or carrots or other finely chopped vegetables.
The name “bitterbal” is derived from the Dutch word “bitter,” which refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages with herbal flavors. In the Netherlands, pubs and receptions frequently serve the bitterbal as part of a bittergarnituur, a selection of savory snacks to accompany drinks.
In terms of ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavor, bitterballen and the more popular croquette (kroketten in Dutch) are very similar. However, the larger kroketten have a distinctive oblong sausage shape with a similar diameter.
Beginning of Bitterballen
The 80-year War had just begun when the year 1568 AD passed. The bitterbal was about to be discovered and the Dutch were rising up in rebellion against the Spanish. Who therefore invented the bitterbal first? I apologize, but it wasn’t the Dutch. The Spanish had invaded with their tapas, chorizo, and olives, among other things. However, given that they were in the Netherlands, it would be difficult for them to find all the ingredients for their favorite tapas.
The lack of ingredients for making traditional tapas forced the Spanish chefs to experiment with Dutch goods. After learning about the ragout, they improved the recipe by dredging the mixture in breadcrumbs and deep-frying it in hot oil. A hybrid between the kroket and the bitterbal was created as a result. The Spanish took their tapas with them when they left after the war, but the bitterbal survived in the Netherlands.
Even in the 17th century, bitterballen were always a part of a larger eating and drinking routine. Famous Dutch authors Vondel and Bredero made a comment in an Amsterdam bar about getting hungry after drinking gin and having to leave the place to eat at home. This was exploited by the owner, who gave them kaas (cheese), worst (sausage), and bitterballen. The Dutch still enjoy eating these while relaxing in a pub.
The Best Bitterballen In Amsterdam
Winkel 43 is known for its hearty winter fare and specializes in warming Dutch specialties. Its snack menu features a big platter of crispy bitterballen along with tasty fried snacks. The restaurant’s apple pie is out of this world, so it’s worth checking out their dessert menu while you’re there.
📍 Winkel 43, Noordermarkt 43, Amsterdam
Café de Tuin
One of the most popular drinking establishments in Amsterdam’s de Jordaan neighborhood is this typical Dutch brown café, which draws large numbers of locals every day. Similar to other traditional Dutch taverns, Café de Tuin offers a small selection of lager, ale, and IPA on its food menu. From 16.30 to 22.00, its kitchen prepares bitterballen, which are served with a side of hot French mustard.
📍Café de Tuin, Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 13, Amsterdam
Eetsalon van Dobben
The Dutch street food has a touch of class thanks to this chic snack bar. Like other similar establishments, the majority of the food at Eetsalon van Dobben is deep-fried and covered in a thick, brown batter. Their bitterballen, which can be ordered with other salty snacks or a serving of fries, are absolutely delicious.
📍Eetsalon van Dobben,Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-7-9, Amsterdam
A Michelin-starred chef runs the kitchen at De Ballenbar, which crafts a wide range of artisan bitterballen. This Dutch classic has been perfected by the restaurant, which also adds international flavors to its dishes. The de Ballenbar team frequently sets up stalls at neighborhood food events and sells chorizo, veal, and saté meatballs at the Foodhallen.
📍 De Foodhallen, Hannie Dankbaarpassage, Amsterdam
There are a number of unusually designed cafés in Amsterdam that use enormous vending machines to serve food. The most well-known chain of this kind is likely FEBO, which has locations all over the city. At FEBO, customers are offered a sizable wall of food that is concealed behind glass plates. This strange contraction opens its doors and offers a plate of fried snacks after accepting a small amount of change.
📍 Over 22 cafés around Amsterdam
Homemade Bitterballen recept fried beef croquette balls with crispy crust
Ingredients Bitterballen recept
- 1 liter of water
- 1 shin of beef
- 2 marrow bones
- 500g beef poulet
- 50 grams of carrot into pieces
- 50 grams of onion, leek 50 grams
- 50 grams of celery leaves. Trunks and leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 clove, 1 piece of mace
- 6 grams of salt, 6 grams of white pepper
- 6 g gelatine sheets. That there are +/- 4 pieces
Add your own favorite tasty vegetables and herbs, because then there is a broth that is drawn to your taste. Ingredients beef ragout and forming your Bitterballen recept
- 60 grams real butter
- 60 grams flour
- Self drawn broth
- The braised beef
- 6 grams of gelatin
- Pinches of salt, pepper and nutmeg