These are South African style meatballs. They are soft and succulent, with a toasty crust.

They are easy to prepare and delicious. Children will love them.

Makes 12 frikkadels.


For the meatballs

600g minced beef
1/2 large or 1 medium onion
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon garlic (finely chopped)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 extra large egg
1 tablespoon Maggi Seasonings Sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 to 3 cups cooking oil

For the brown sauce (optional)
1 heaping tablespoon Bisto gravy mix
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Shaoxing huatiao wine or any cooking wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar


Preheat oven to 180ºC.

In a large bowl, add 600g of minced beef.

Finely chop 1 medium onion. I used 1/2 of a very large onion here. Add the onions to the beef.

Finely chop 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes. Add the chopped tomatoes to the beef.

Chop up some parsley till you get about 1/4 cup worth.

Add all the chopped ingredients to the beef and combine well.

Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Combine well.

Add 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs. I used store bought breadcrumbs.

Add a generous pinch of turmeric. About 1/2 teaspoon.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of finely grounded black pepper.

Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

I also added Maggi seasoning sauce. You can use Worcestershire sauce if you can’t find this.

Add 1 tablespoon of Maggie seasoning sauce.

Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Add 1 extra large egg.

Using a large ice cream scoop or any small container, measure out equal amounts of the meat mixture and roll into tight balls.

Place the meatballs on a baking sheet so that they don’t make a sticky mess. Store in a tight container in the fridge if they are not to be cooked immediately.

Add 2 to 3 cups of cooking oil into a large saucepan. Ensure that there is enough oil to cover at least 1/3 of the meatballs when you add them in later.

When the oil is VERY hot. Add the meatballs in to cook. This oil was smoking hot. That’s why the bubbles are fierce. My meatballs were also chilled and straight out of the fridge. Cook at high heat.

It will take less than a minute for one side to be very golden brown. Turn them over and cook the other side till they evenly golden brown.

Try not to press on the meatballs and keep them in a round shape as much as possible.

Once the meatballs are browned, place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chuck them into the preheated oven. Bake at 180ºC for 5 to 10 mins, depending on the size of your meatballs.

The meatballs are done when clear meat juices trickle out of them.

While the meatballs are cooking, you can make a sauce. You can make a tomato salsa or use chutney to serve with the meatballs if you would like to skip this step. Or just use heated pasta sauce in a jar. It’s your own preference.

I like to make a brown gravy with Bisto. It’s my good friend for steaks, meatballs and stroganoff. It’s cheating, but I don’t like to spend too much time making everything from scratch.

Add 1 heaping teaspoon of Bisto gravy mix into a bowl.

Add 1 cup of water and mix well.

Add the Bisto mixture to a saucepan and heat till it simmers. Stir occasionally.

Add 2 tablespoons Shaoxing huatiao wine or any cooking wine.

Add 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce.

Add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix well.

The sauce is ready once it has thickened.

Serve the frikkadels with the brown sauce, mashed potatoes and some steamed vegetables.


The printable version of this recipe is here –
Frikkadels on FoodistaFrikkadels

Main Blog – Story of Bing


  1. Bing, if i replace the beef with pork or chicken, do you think it’s still taste good ?

    • Frikkadels are traditionally made with minced beef, but I’m sure you can substitute with other kinds of meat and it’ll be just as good. =)

  2. My eyes tear uncontrollably and it really hurts especially when chopping big white onions.

    Wearing contact lens does help but not quite enough. I also switch on the fan, and now my best method is to wear swimming goggles. o_O

    Please tell me you have a more sensible solution?

    • I don’t have good tricks. I hold my breath. Hahaha.. and I chop quickly. With every half an onion, I would move my head away, take a deep breath and then come back and chop some more holding my breath again. That works for me. Hahahaa… and if I’m chopping ALOT of onions, I get the men to do it. Haha!

  3. Hi Bing,
    My mum teaches me a no tears cutting onion method. Peel the skin away then soak the onion into hot water b4 u cut.

    Try it! ^^

    • Wow.. thanks for the tip, Annie! =)

  4. hi karen…the bread it japanese bread crumbs or the normal bread crumbs?

    • Normal regular breadcrumbs. Not Japanese panko.

  5. hi karen…the bread it japanese bread crumbs or the normal bread crumbs?



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