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May 18, 2006 11:04 PM

recipe for authentic albondigas

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  1. Which country's version do you want? Albondigas is just the Spanish word for meatballs (the 'al' part suggests term is of Arabic origin). They are popular throughout Latin America, and possibly Spain itself.


    5 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      mexico please....actually id be intrested in the variations.

      1. re: alex

        Here's a Spanish version that I'd expect to see on a tapas menu:

        Here's another Spanish version, with claim that name derives from an Arabic word for hazelnuts.

        The best known Mexican version is served in a soup, as in
        The soup ones seem to be simple, using rice as filler, and flavored with cumin and oregano

        Here's the widely available canned version:

        Here's a more highly spiced mexican version


      2. re: paulj

        Just a little correction... albóndigas can also be made from fish.

        philological digression: The word comes from Greek--via Arabic--for póntica (an area around the Black Sea/also the name of a nut).

        1. re: butterfly

          In fact the only albondigas recipe I find in Rick Bayless's original book (Authentic Mexican) uses shrimp.

          1. re: butterfly

            I've had wonderful albondigas de camarones at a restaurant in La Paz, Baja....still dream about those, even though the meat ones are my first love....

        2. I have D. Kennedy's recipe - with rice in meatballs and mint. It's certainly authentic - doubtless one of many. If you're interested, I'll post it tonight.

          I LOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVE Albondigas. A restaurant near my house when I lived in LA had great albondigas. Haven't found one up here in the Bay Area yet. Make my own using DK's recipe but not often enough.

          1. There is a delicious recipe for Sopa de Albondigas at the SF Chronicle's website. Here's the link -- you'll have to scroll down a bit -- it's the third to the last recipe:


            2 Replies
            1. re: Nancy Berry

              That article stresses the small size and mint flavoring of the Mexican albondigas.

              The article supports the observation in SciFi series from the 1990s, Babylon 5, that:
              "In the Babylon 5 universe, every intelligent species in the galaxy has, apparently on its own, developed the food that we call Swedish meatballs. Each species has a different name for it (the Narn call it "breen"). This is reminiscent of a phenomenon reported in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: every intelligent race has a drink called "gin and tonic" - but only the name is the same, and the actual drink is unique to each species. "

              1. re: Nancy Berry

                Thanks for the reminder that I have to try this recipe soon!

                however, it is telling (and sad but all too true) that the list of places to eat meatballs in SF doesn't list any Mexican places! (well, unless one counts meatballs 'Moroccan' style, in tomato sauce rather than in soup, at Tamal). (and yes, of course I am trolling here, so if I am wrong and there are good places in SF proper that regularly have sopa de albondigas on the menu, *please* post on the SF Board!! :-))