The Greek word for fennel, marathon, is thought to be named after the site of the famous Greek battle against the Persians in 490BC. The Ancient Greeks believed fennel increased longevity, strength and courage. Marathokeftedes is considered the specialty of Tinos.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (36 votes)


  • 4 baby fennel bulbs, washed, trimmed
  • 8 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • extra virgin olive oil, to shallow-fry
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Remove and discard outer layers of fennel. Chop fennel fronds and place in a large bowl. Finely slice bulbs, separate and add to bowl with onions, parsley and dill. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well to combine.

Combine flour and 125 ml water until a sticky mixture begins to form (add extra water if ecessary). Shape mixture into 12 patties.

Place enough oil in a large frying pan to coat the base of the pan and heat over medium heat. Working in 3 batches, cook patties, turning once and pressing gently with a spatula to flatten, for 4 minutes each side or until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel and serve with lemon wedges.


Photograpy by Chris Chen