Perkedel Kentang (Indonesian Potato Fritters)

White peppercorns are the star of these crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fried potato snacks.

Perkedel Kentang (Indonesian Potato Fritters)

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Total Time:
55 mins
6 servings

These golden, crispy, white pepper–spiced potato fritters are Indonesia’s take on the Dutch frikandel, a pan-fried meatball. In this version from Lara Lee the potatoes are spiked with the earthy, sharp heat of white pepper and the sweet and aromatic crunch of fried shallots. A beaten-egg batter encases the fluffy, pillowy mash and keeps the perkedel’s exterior light and crispy. They’re served alongside a salty-sweet sauce. To make these vegetarian, omit the optional ground pork.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil (optional), plus more for frying

  • 4 small russet potatoes (about 1 pound 5 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

  • 4 small garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 2/3 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper, plus more to taste

  • 8 ounces ground pork (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion (from 1 small scallion)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 cup kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 to 2 small fresh Thai chiles (about 1/5 ounce), thinly sliced (about 2 teaspoons), plus more for garnish (optional)


  1. our oil into a medium Dutch oven to a depth of 2 inches; heat over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer registers 285°F. Carefully add potatoes and garlic; cook, stirring often, until potatoes are translucent, almost tender, and have formed a skin (with no color), 6 to 7 minutes. (Avoid overcooking potatoes to golden brown — they will be difficult to mash.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes and garlic to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Place cooked potatoes and garlic in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash just until potatoes are smooth and garlic is in small, soft pieces.

  2. Return oil in Dutch oven to 285°F over medium-high. Add sliced shallots; cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Remove Dutch oven from heat, and set aside. (Do not discard oil from Dutch oven.)

  3. If omitting pork, skip to step 4. If using pork, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high. Add pork, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and crumbled, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season pork with salt and white pepper to taste.

  4. Stir together potato mixture, cooked pork (if using), 1/4 cup fried shallots, scallion, cornstarch, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper until combined. Divide potato mixture into 12 equal portions. Using your hands, shape each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty, making sure each patty is smooth and free of any cracks. Transfer potato patties to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  5. Place beaten eggs in a shallow bowl. Return Dutch oven to heat over medium-high; heat oil until deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Working in 2 batches, place potato patties in beaten eggs, turning to fully coat. Shake off excess egg, and add to oil. Cook until patties are golden brown and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes per batch, turning once halfway through cooking time. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate using a slotted spoon, and let drain. Season lightly with salt and white pepper to taste.

  6. Whisk together kecap manis, vinegar, and chiles, if using, in a small bowl. Garnish fritters with remaining 1/4 cup fried shallots and additional chiles, if using. Serve fritters immediately with dipping sauce.


Kecap manis is a thick, molasses-like sauce made from palm sugar and soy sauce popular in Indonesia. Find kecap manis at Asian grocery stores or online at

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