Weekend Cooking: Begedil. Sort of

Begedil (begedel/perkedel) is a fried potato patty that can be found in Singapore/Malaysia/Indonesia. According to this Wikipedia entry (yes I know, wikipedia, but it’s not the easiest to find information on food history in Southeast Asia), it may have Dutch origins, derived from the  Frikadeller which are meatballs. But Begedil is more about the potato and less about the meat.

Whatever its origin, begedils are a great snack or an accompaniment to a meal. In Singapore, you can find them at nasi padang eateries, where you pick dishes of meat, curries, vegetables, seafood etc to go with your rice. I always make sure to order begedil! Or it sometimes accompanies soto ayam, a chicken soup made with turmeric and cumin. Add egg noodles and it’s known as mee soto. (Here’s a recipe for soto ayam). 

Traditionally, these are made with potatoes, fried shallots, a little cornflour, salt and pepper, coriander. Mashed into little balls, dipped into a beaten egg mixture and fried. I’ve seen recipes where the potatoes are first fried then mashed. But that seems like too much oil splattering around the kitchen and being absorbed into the potatoes. So I just boil the potatoes. Also there was a single lonely sweet potato looking so sad by itself, that I decided to boil that too and mash it in. I also wanted to make it more of a complete meal for the kids, so I added ground pork. In previous renditions, I’ve added corn, I’ve added peas.

Into a hot pan went some sliced shallots, then some ground pork which I had seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. You can replace the ground pork with any other meat. Chicken, beef, I’ve even used canned salmon before.

Finely chop some 8 to 10 stalks of coriander leaves and some of them stem. Coriander is a big part of begedil. And it adds to the fragrance and taste.

You could form into patties, dip into a beaten egg mixture and immediately fry them. Drain on paper towels.

What I did was dip into egg and then a plate of panko, which I was trying to use up.

I made a big batch, then separated them and froze them. To reheat them, pop them into a microwave then toast until crispy. Or if I remember to do so early enough, thaw them overnight in the fridge.



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  1. Ha! It must be fried potato patty week! That’s fine by me because I could eat a ton of them and I love having recipes for different methods and flavors.


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