This frypan favourite comes in many guises, from a classic meat patty to fancy fish cakes.
19 Jan 2021 - 10:48 AM  UPDATED 19 Jan 2021 - 10:54 AM

--- See Sarah Graham cooking two kinds of rissoles in Sarah Graham's Food Safari, weekdays at 4pm and then via SBS On Demand --- 


We could spend years debating what a rissole is, but one thing's for sure: a good rissole is a thing of beauty, Juicy, tasty and easy to make. Australia has loved them for a long time and they have a long history around the world too.

For the purposes of this recipe-led homage to the humble rissole, we're defining it as a flattened patty, often fried but also baked or barbecued, sometimes stuffed or coated but more often just rolled, flattened and cooked. 

From frypan classics to some of our other favourite twists, say hello to a world of rissoles, from Persian to South African!

Lamb and potato rissoles (kotlet-e gousht)

These tasty patties are perfect wrapped up in fresh flatbreads with pickles and tomato sauce. 

Grilled pork patties

Is it a rissole if it's on a stick? Maybe not quite, but we couldn't leave this one out. Firstly, because you could easily make them bigger and cook as individual rissoles. And second, because of the interesting secret ingredient. These juicy grilled pork patties contain an ingredient that One World Kitchen host Lisa Nguyen says makes them reign over other pork patties: caramel sauce.

Grilled pork patties

Fish frikkadels with pineapple salsa

“Frikkadels … is an Afrikaans South African word for meat cakes. And normally they’re meat that’s either baked or fried but you can also use fish,” says Graham of her recipe, made with fish, mashed sweet potato, peas, various spices, fresh herbs and chilli, which she cooks up while visiting Zambia in Sarah Graham's Food Safari. “You can completely change the flavour profile of these fish cakes as well. They are so versatile.” And you can make them ahead: “Another favourite kitchen trick of mine is to make a whole tray of these, a double batch, pop some ready-made ones onto a tray and stick it in the freezer. then when you need a speedy supper you can take the tray from freezer into the oven and bake them until they are nice and golden.”

Frikkadels stuffed with camembert

Sticking with the deliciousness of frikkadels, here's another version, this one from Peter Kuruvita. It's more a meatball than a rissole, but the boundaries are pretty fluid when it comes to naming all these variations of meat patties and this one is stuffed with cheese, so it's a welcome cousin to the rissole family.

Frikkadels stuffed with camembert

Maltese chicken rissoles 

Rissoles are a very popular dish in Malta and here Karmen Tedesco share her recipe using chicken. You could also use  pork, beef or even turkey mince. These are just as delicious served cold as they are warm, so make great snacks the day after. The rissoles in Tedesco's recipe are cooked in the pan along with the rice, for a hearty meal, but you could always pan-fry the mixture instead. 


Miroslava Markovic shared the recipe for these Serbian meat patties in My Family Feast. They are made with beef and pork mince along with grated onion and grated potato.  

Greek beef burgers (mpiftekia)

This recipe from Maria Benardis is a great way to use up some day-old bread. Mpiftekia can be shaped into patties, wrapped around a skewer or shaped into ovals and grilled, baked or fried. Serve with a simple salad, tzatziki and lemon, or pack into pita bread and eat like a souvlaki.

Pork and fennel meatballs

Meatball or rissole? This great recipe from Donna Hay could go either way, and the frypan + oven cooking method yields up a juicy interior and a crisp exterior, which makes them a winner no matter what you call them. 

Pork and fennel meatballs

Lemongrass ginger sliders 

Naomi Duguid says it's worth taking the time to hand-chop the meet for these Burmese patties, which can be made with beef or pork.

Lemongrass and ginger-spiked sliders.

Prawn rissoles with sweet chilli sauce

And to show you the extreme versatility of the rissole, let's finish with this, another recipe from Sarah Graham's Food Safari. Whilst for Aussies a rissole is a burger patty, in Africa it can be a deep-fried pastry filled with meat or seafood. This version, which Sarah cooked up while visiting Mozambique, is filled with fresh prawns, made for dipping in the homemade sweet chilli sauce.

Looking for more ideas? Check out our burger and meatball recipe collections for more patties to fry, bake or barbecue. 

more to try
Cypriot keftedes

I used to make these often, especially when George (Calombaris) was little. They’re really nice served simply with a rice pilaf, chips and salad, or bottom of the salad oils and vinegar, and George used to love the leftovers the next day wrapped in crusty bread. Take care that you don’t fry the keftedes too hard – gentle is the way to go. 

Cracked wheat and beef patties (trakht)

Traditionally, the Malkasians fill one or two patties with a gold coin or a carrot slice as 'treasure', hence the name trakht meaning 'treasure’ in Armenian. They also mince their own beef topside; we have used store-bought for convenience.

Pork and buffalo patties with sticky rice

You could make these patties with beef mince instead of buffalo meat, if you like. Here, Luke serves with sticky rice and a dipping sauce, but you could also use them to make a sandwich or burger.

Octopus patties (keftedes)

When making these, use the largest octopus available, avoid using small imported varieties. Use a good-quality vegetable oil for frying.