As we delve further into the realm of cooking and baking, we’re turning our attention to local dishes and recipes.
I’ve always found that one of the barriers to entry when it comes to whipping up local dishes is this: if I can get it for less than S$5 at the hawker stalls, why would I bother making it on my own?
Well, while that line of thought is certainly true, as I believe trying out recipes gives us a deeper appreciation of the food we enjoy. If we don’t take a closer look at how our local favourites are prepared, can we truly say that we know our food heritage?
I hope it also helps us appreciate how truly affordable food is on our sunny island; where else in the world can you get a full meal for under S$5?
Now, let’s take a look at today’s local recipe, Homemade Bergedil—you can make this in 15 minutes if you’re quick. This may be a staple at most Muslim food stalls, but do you know how it’s made?
- 4 potatoes
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp of dried shrimp (I used belacan instead as I didn’t have dried shrimp on-hand)
- 1 tbsp of chopped spring onions, or more as you wish
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt to taste
- White pepper powder to taste
- Fork OR Food processor
- Mixing bowl
- Peeler OR Paring knife
- Frying pan
Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 5 minutes
Feeds three to four
- Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces.
- Deep-fry potatoes until golden-brown and cooked through.
- Using a fork or food processor, mash the potatoes.
- Put mashed potatoes into mixing bowl.
- Add in belacan, chopped spring onions, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Mix well, then shape into patties.
- Coat the patties with beaten egg.
- Deep-fry over medium heat until golden-brown on both sides.
Recipe (In Pictures)
Step 1: Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces. Try to cut them into 2cm cubes, so that the frying process is a little faster.
I sliced the potatoes and quartered them, which was actually still quite large—it took quite a while to make sure the potatoes chunks were cooked through.
Step 2: Deep-fry potatoes until golden-brown and cooked through.
Step 3: Using a fork or food processor, mash the potatoes. I would highly recommend using a food processor if you have one. Mashing the potatoes by hand took way longer than I anticipated, and gave me quite the arm workout.
Step 4: Put mashed potatoes into mixing bowl.
Step 5: Add in belacan, chopped spring onions, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Adjust the amount of salt and pepper to your preferences; taste a little of the mixture in between additions so that you don’t over-salt your mixture.
Step 6: Mix well, then shape into patties. I recommend using a spoon to scoop up around 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons-full, then using your hands to compress the portion.
Flatten the portion, then push in the edges so that they aren’t too thin—you wouldn’t want the edges to crisp too much and end up burning.
I ended up making 10 patties, though depending on how big you make each patty, you may have more or fewer.
Step 7: Coat the patties with beaten egg. I found that for 10 bergedil patties, one egg’s worth of egg wash was a tad too much. Feel free to scramble some eggs with your leftover beaten egg.
Step 8: Deep-fry over medium heat until golden-brown on both sides. I’d recommend letting the bergedil patties rest on a paper towel right after frying, so you blot off some of the oil from deep frying.
And there you have it, your very own homemade bergedil! To be fair, you can get these tasty potato patties in frozen form, but sometimes it’s just a little more fun to make it on your own.
Besides, going the DIY route means that you can adjust the ingredients and seasoning according to your preference. To spice things up, I actually tried this recipe with barbecue salt instead of regular table salt. And guess what? It really jazzed up this recipe and added a meaty, smoky flavour.
If you’re still unsure as to what bergedil actually is, here’s a little information you can digest as you munch on your homemade bergedil.
Known as Perkedel Kentang in Indonesia (where it originated), it’s also said to be an adaption of Danish frikadeller. Considering Indonesia’s history with the Dutch, this isn’t the most surprising. In Singapore and Malaysia, these deep-fried potato patties are commonly served as a side dish for nasi padang, which is where I usually encounter them.
Tasty, simple, and quick—depending on how many you’ve made, you can easily keep the remaining bergedil patties for a few days if you freeze them. If you decide to try out this recipe for Homemade Bergedil in 15 minutes, let us know how it goes!
Expected Damage: S$3 – S$4 per portion (feeds 3 to 4 pax)