Perkedel - Indonesian potato cakes

Fried potato cakes make great snack anytime. Perkedel I think is an Indo-Dutch fusion. There are various spellings all mean the same potato cake if you ever come across them.
perkedel = berkedel = bergedel = bergedil

This is home cooking make perkedel with any mixtures you like. Other than the potato there are no strict rules what else can be added. Tinned corned beef or minced beef is common, but you can also use chicken, tinned tuna, tinned sardine or even pork mince for non halal version. For a vegetarian version, just leave out the meat use more spring onion or sub meat with corn kernels, when adding more vegetables make sure they are rather dry or cakes can be very soft.

For the potato, some people like to deep fried first then mashed I find this too greasy. I like mine steamed a lot healthier. Do not use peeled and boiled potato, this may absorb too much liquid can lead to very soft cake. Waxy potato binds the mixture better. You can also use leftover roast or baked potato.

The cakes are dipped in beaten egg before frying, there are several advantages by doing this:
  • The egg will form a coating preventing the potato cake falling apart during frying.
  • This egg coating is non stick making frying a lot easier
  • This coating is not supercrunchy but rather nice and nutty flavoured.

This is my version of perkedel if you like to give it a try. It is nice hot or cold. Measurements are all agak agak (Malay saying for approximate). No need to be precised as long as the cake mixture is rather dry or firm. 

This qty will make about 18 - 24 cakes.

about 800g - 1kg of potatoes
about 250g minced (ground) beef
1 medium large onion
1 medium carrot (optional), if you like just beef can leave this out
1 - 1.5 tbsp curry powder (any brand or mix you got in your cupboard), if not just use 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp chilli powder and pinch of ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp ground pepper
1.5 - 2 tsp salt
some cooking oil for frying the meat mixture
some chopped spring onion and/coriander (I used only spring onion about 3 - 4 stalks)
few tbsp crispy fried shallot or onion (optional if you have some), I did not add this
some plain flour (optional), I did not add this
3 eggs, beaten

about 2 cups of oil for deep frying 

Cakes before frying

  1. Finely chopped the onion and carrot.
  2. Add some oil to a pan/wok, fry the onion till softened then add curry powder, ground pepper and salt, stir till fragrant. Add beef stir till beef is browned then add carrot. Stir fry for a while till mixture is quite dry. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Steam the potato with the skin on. When cooked leave to cool then peel. Mash or crush the potato. I like my potato still quite chunky. 
  4. Before chopping the spring onion or coriander, make sure to give it a good squeeze to remove any moisture. Moisture can lead to soft cake. 
  5. Now ready to make the cake mixture. Mix together potato, meat mixture, spring onion/coriander, half the beaten egg and crispy shallot or onion (if using)
  6. If the mixture is soft add 2 - 3 tbsp plain flour. I did not add flour. 
  7. Take a lump of mixture give it a light squeeze and form into a cake. Continue doing this till finished. 
  8. If you have time leave the cakes to chill in the fridge, this will help to firm them up a bit. If not can fry right away. 
  9. Heat oil till medium hot. 
  10. Coat one cake at a time with the remaining beaten egg then drop into hot oil right away. Fry till golden brown. Do not crowd the pan/wok, fry the cakes in batches. 
  11. For a more crunchy skin, place the cakes on a rack and heat in oven (medium heat) while you are busy frying the rest of the cakes. 
These cakes can be served hot, warm or cold. The cake texture is soft inside but not mushy. if you like a firmer texture add some plain flour. 

You can experiment by adding any vegetables or meat/fish you like. Just make sure the mixture is firm before shaping into cakes. If not add some flour. 

If you are fat conscious, you can shallow fried with less oil or pan fried with just few tbsp of oil. Alternatively can bake at a fairly high oven, just brush the top of cakes with egg.

I had this cakes with an instant sweet and sour chilli dipping sauce by mixing a good squeeze of hot chilli sauce, some lime juice, some sugar and some fish sauce. For an authentic Indonesian touch you can make Kuah Cuko which is also a spicy sweet and sour sauce, with fresh minced/ground chillies and garlic, salt, vinegar, sugar and a little boiling water. Another sauce which is good is sambal oelek. 


  1. Nice recipe. I am a great fan of this delicacy.
    Saw you on Sarawakiana's blog. Decided to pay you a visit. You have an interesting blog.

  2. yummy yummy..will love to try it with chicken

  3. Hi
    This recipe looks very interesting. Would like to try it out. Just wondering when u mash the potatoes after steaming, do u remove the skin or do u leave the skin on?

    Bee @EEWIF

  4. It's up to you with skin or without. I like to peel mine.

  5. Thank you for this recipe! i'm going to try it tonight, me and my partner both loved perkedel when we were in indonesia and i hope i can make it as good with the help of your recipe!

  6. Thank you this looks great! I will try it tonight!

  7. Tried the recipe for dinner and it was fantastic. I reduced the amount of potatoes to 500g but kept everything else the same. It's by far the best perkedel I've ever tasted.

  8. Replies
    1. Excellent recipe. We live in Chiang Mai, Thailand and there are no Indonesian and or Malaysian Restaurants here. Also difficult to get some spices (aside from Thai of course.) My 13 y.o. daughter loves making this dish. Many thanks!


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