What are keftedes?
Keftedes are Greek meatballs. They are multi-purpose foods and the Greeks eat them as a starter, as part of mezze meals, in soup (youvarlaka avgolemono) or as a main dish baked in tomato sauce and served with pasta (keftedes giouvetsi).
Every family has their own keftedes recipe and you will be amazed at how many variations can be encountered in the types of meat, seasonings and portions. Nevertheless, the base is always the same: minced meat and spices rolled into balls and fried in a pan.
Did you know?
The oldest description of a meatball can be found in a Chinese recipe that dates from 200 B.C and was called “four joy meatballs”.
How to prepare keftedes
The meatballs start with minced meat. Depending on the region and availability, beef, lamb, or a mixture of the two may be used. The minced meat is then mixed with white bread that has been soaked in water or milk and egg. Onion, garlic and dried mint are also added. The variations come in here; some chefs also add oregano, parsley and even allspice.
Balls are rolled from the minced meat mixture and dusted with flour before being baked in oil.
How to eat keftedes
Meatballs are popular worldwide and if it is your favourite dish, you can travel around the world without ever needing to eat anything else! In addition to Greek keftedes and souzaki, there are, for example, Turkish kofte, Canadian meatballs and Italian polpette. In Vietnam, meatballs are often served in a noodle soup, such as pho.
Serve with rice and a Greek salad and you can nibble on it for the rest of the day.