Learn to make your own version of this typical Dutch street food at home for deep fried fish that you can control.
by Ena Scheerstra
Kibbeling is typical Dutch street food, you can get it at almost all markets (at fish stalls) and in fish shops. It consists of bits of fish dunked in batter that are deep fried and served with a dipping sauce. Most of the shops also sell other deep fried battered sea food like whole fish fillets (lekkerbek), mussels, large shrimps and squid rings.
Originally kibbeling was made from cod cheeks, hence the name: ‘kabeljauwwang’ became ‘kibbeling’ over the years. Nowadays even cod fillet is too expensive, so other white fish like pollock, hake, whiting, haddock or even fresh water fishes like tilapia and pangasius are used. Also the bits and pieces that are left over after portioning fish fillets are used for kibbeling. Of course this has consequences for the taste of the kibbeling. Most of the time fish stalls and shop don’t disclose what kind of fish they use, and sometimes they use different fish for different bashes, so ordering a portion of kibbeling can be a bit of a gamble. The solution: either go to a reputable shop or make it yourself.
Common sauces that are served with kibbeling are:
- garlic (similar to aioli)
- remoulade (mayonnaise with mustard, lemon juice, herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon), capers and gherkins, sometimes also anchovies, garlic and boiled egg)
- ravigote (mayonnaise with parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, capers and onion)
- whiskey or cocktail (basically a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup, sometimes with a drop of whiskey)
Most stands don’t make their own sauces, so especially the remoulade and ravigotte don’t contain the ingredients as recognizable as they would be in a homemade sauce.
Although in the Netherlands kibbeling is mostly eaten as a snack, it is also delicious for dinner together with a sauce of choice, French fries and a salad.
Originally Published: August 14, 2013