Chicken Meatballs (Perkedel Ajam)

Ajam perkedel

Chicken meatballs: crispy from the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. This perkedel ajam is not difficult to make but you need some time to prepare.

Beb Vuyk uses chicken breast. Apparently, they used to sell chicken breast with the bone still attached because she explains in her recipe to cut out the bone.

I try to keep it simple and buy half a kilo of chicken filet. That I think is equal to the amount Beb uses.

This chicken meatball recipe is enough for 3-4 people and is ready in 45 minutes.

Chicken Meatballs (Perkedèl Ajam) #303 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 257.


  • 3/4 kg of chicken breast
  • 2 large boiled potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • bread-crumbs
  • oil

herbs and spices

  • 3 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • pepper
  • salt
  • nutmeg
  1. Cutaway the meat from the bone. You can make a chicken broth from the bones.
  2. Mince the meat two times in the grinder.
  3. Add the potatoes to the grinder as well.
  4. Mix the potatoes with the minced chicken, onion, garlic, pepper, salt and nutmeg.
  5. Shape into balls with two dessert spoons.
  6. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
  7. Roll the balls through the breadcrumbs, then through the egg and then through the breadcrumbs again.
  8. Fry the chicken balls in hot oil.

Chicken meat

I can buy minced chicken meat at the butcher shop, but because my mother recently got me an old meat grinder, I want to try it now. Nice!

Quite a job to grind this much chicken. I cut the filet into medium-sized chunks, push them one by one into the grinder. I do not grind the meat twice as Beb suggests. It doesn’t really need it.

Chicken minced meat with potato

Mine is already pretty fine and tender enough to mix in the potatoes and spices. I do not grind the potatoes either. They are boiled and easy to mash.

In almost all Beb’s recipes she never explains how much nutmeg should be added. She’s quite meticulous with half teaspoons of galangal or turmeric, but the amount of nutmeg is up to us.

I know that quite a lot of nutmeg can be used without the dominating taste. It just gives a very warm undertone in flavor.

For my 500 grams of minced chicken, I definitely use a tablespoon of nutmeg and it is delicious. So be generous ;-).

Indonesian chicken balls

In Beb’s recipe, she does not explain what to do with the celery. It seems to me that it needs to go through the meat, like the garlic and the chopped onions. Do not forget salt and pepper. I add about a teaspoon of both.

Indonesian chicken dish

I make balls the size of a ping pong balls and set up the production line for frying now ;-).

For a nice crispy exterior, the balls must go through the breadcrumbs, then the beaten egg with water and then again through the breadcrumbs. I treat them gently, they have to have nice round shapes.

chicken meatballs frying

I heat up the oil and let the balls bubble away in the oil. Leave the pan on medium heat. The inside of the balls needs some time.

chicken meatballs

I wait until one side is nicely colored and turn them gently. I want to fry them until golden brown. I fry the balls for about 5-6 minutes. But it will vary by size. Keep your eye on the right color and they will be fine.

The chicken is nicely done inside and still juicy. The outer layer keeps the juices inside. The celery is still crisp and tasty. I think these chicken meatballs are delicious. I serve Beb’s chicken meatballs with some sweet soy sauce, white rice and a sayur.

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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