Boudin balls are not your average appetizer. These delectable treats, hailing from the South, consist of boudin sausage rolled into meatballs, coated in crispy Panko breadcrumbs, and fried to a golden brown perfection. And when served with a side of Comeback or Remoulade sauce for dipping, they become an irresistible snack that will leave you craving for more.
If you’re not familiar with boudin, don’t worry! Let me introduce you to this mouthwatering delight. Pronounced “boo-dan,” boudin is a sausage made with cooked rice, ground pork, onions, green peppers, and a medley of seasonings. It’s a Cajun version of peasant food that originated from the communal pig slaughters known as boucheries.
In the past, Cajun families would gather around to butcher a pig and process the meat into cured items, as refrigeration was not available. To stretch the meat further, they added rice to create boudin. Thankfully, today we have easier access to boudin without having to participate in a pig slaughter. You can find pre-made boudin at your local grocery store or try making your own with a simple recipe that doesn’t involve any pig slaughtering.
Now that you have your boudin ready, let’s dive into the process of making these delectable boudin balls.
How to Make Boudin Balls
If you managed to get your hands on pre-made boudin, making these boudin balls is a breeze. Start by removing the meat from the casings and breaking it into smaller chunks. Mix in two lightly beaten large eggs to help bind the sausage together while it cooks.
Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat until it shimmers. In a shallow dish, whisk together two large eggs, salt, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce. Spread Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Panko breadcrumbs, known for their crunchier texture, can be found in the same aisle as regular breadcrumbs.
Now it’s time to form the boudin into 1 ½ inch balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. Working in batches, roll the balls in the egg mixture and then coat them evenly with the breadcrumbs. Place the balls in the hot oil and fry them until they turn light brown, which should take around 3-5 minutes. Once done, drain them on paper towels.
Everything needs a dipping sauce
Boudin balls are like fried meatballs, and who can resist that? For the best experience, serve them hot and crispy with a side sauce for dipping. In Louisiana, remoulade sauce is the go-to choice. However, here in Mississippi, we have our own special sauce called comeback sauce. It’s said to be a delightful combination of Thousand Island salad dressing and remoulade.
If you want to prepare in advance, you can make boudin balls up to two days before serving them. If you’ve coated them in breadcrumbs but haven’t fried them yet, place them on a baking sheet lined with paper towels or parchment paper to absorb any moisture. Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to fry.
Alternatively, you can freeze the uncooked boudin balls. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the balls are frozen solid. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag. They will stay good in the freezer for up to three months. Before frying, it’s recommended to thaw the boudin balls overnight in the refrigerator.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating
If you happen to have any leftovers (which might be unlikely!), you can store fried boudin balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To freeze them, use an airtight container or plastic freezer bag, and they will keep well for up to three months.
When it’s time to enjoy your leftover boudin balls, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the balls in a single layer on a baking sheet. If they are frozen, bake them for 15-20 minutes until heated through. If they are unfrozen, bake them for 10 minutes until heated through.
Now that you have all the details on how to make and enjoy these delectable boudin balls, it’s time to gather your ingredients and start cooking. Trust me, once you take a bite of these crispy, flavorful treats, you’ll understand why boudin is a beloved Southern delicacy.
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- Remoulade Sauce
- Mississippi Comeback Sauce
- Crawfish Beignets with Cajun Dipping Sauce