Perkedel Aceh (meatballs from Aceh)

Meatballs are always great to make. Everybody loves them. This perkedel Aceh can be combined easily with a delicious Indonesian salad or vegetable dish.

The minced meat is mixed with grated and roasted coconut. That sounds lovely; let’s get started.

This dish is enough for 3 people and ready in 60 minutes.

Meatbals from Aceh (Perkedel Aceh) # 185 translated from Beb Vuyk Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 177.


1/2 kg of minced beef
5 tablespoons of coconut flour (grated coconut)
4 tablespoons of oil


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
2 teaspoons of sambal oelek
1 teaspoon of coriander (ketumbar)
1 teaspoon of turmeric (yellow root or kunjit)
3 tablespoons of asem (tamarind) water made with 3 tablespoons of water and a piece of asem the size of one walnut
1 lemongrass stalk

Rub onions, garlic, sambal, coriander and turmeric together to form a paste. Add the asem water and the lemongrass.

Roast the coconut flour. Stir it well in a wok or wadjan with 1 spoonful of oil until it turns yellow.

Mix the roasted coconut and the minced meat together until it is a homogeneous mass. Fry the herb mix in the oil. Make small balls of the minced meat mixture and fry until done in the oil. Put them in a bowl and cover them with the herb sauce.

I make double the amount because we’re having friends over for dinner. I use half pork and half beef meat. I think the meat is tastier this way and more juicy.

Ketumbar is coriander and tumeric is yellow root powder. Or in Indonesian: kunjit. I buy the spices at my supermarket or local Asian store. This goes for the lemongrass as well. I can get that at the vegetable section of the supermarket.

I live in Holland and I realise that not everywhere in the world it is easy to buy Asian spices.

The asem (tamarind) I buy at my Asian food shop. It’s been filtered, so you can use it straight from the jar. I mix 1 teaspoon of tamarind with 3 tablespoons of water.

I use my blender to make the paste (spice mix) because I have so much and the sauce becomes nice and smooth this way.

I add everything in a plastic jug so I can blend it quickly.

Sambal ulek is easy to make yourself, check here. A sambal ulek is a chili pepper and salt mix.

Beb never mentions what should be done with the salt and pepper.

I add 1,5 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper for my amount of meat (I use 1 kilo).

With my blender the paste is smooth in seconds. Now I add the asem water (tamarind) and mix it in with a spoon.

The lemongrass I cut in half and I hit it with someting heavy to open it up a bit.

Now part two. I use my wok (wadjan) to roast the coconut in two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Keep a close eye on it.

Coconut can burn fast. While in the pan I keep it moving all the time until it reaches the desired color.

Like this ;-). It is quite fast, so stay tuned.

Now I mix the roasted coconut through the meat. Beb does not explain what should be done with the salt and pepper in her recipe. I assume that the meat still has to be seasoned?

Therefore, I add 1,5 teaspoon of salt and pepper and mix well.

Next step: roll the meat in even sized (ping pong ball) meat balls.

I sauté them in my wok until brown and done. That takes a while, about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the balls. Check the inside before serving.

Now the spice mix must be sautéed in the hot oil. I stir-fry all over high heat and let it reduce a bit.

Taste the sauce, maybe it needs a bit more salt and pepper.

Now time to serve: I pour the sauce over the meatballs. I leave the lemongrass stalks in it because it just looks beautiful. ;-).

The balls are tasty, but I think they are also a little dry because of the coconut. The sauce makes it nice and juicy again, but for next time I will add less coconut to the mix.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *