Patatje Oorlog: Dutch “war fries” lead taste buds to victory

patatje oorlog war fries

Patatje oorlog (a.k.a. friet oorlog, war fries or war chips) are an Indo-Dutch street food primarily made of fries. “Patatje” is Dutch for “fries” and “oorlog” is Dutch for “war.” So, it directly translates to “fries war.”

What are war fries (patatje oorlog)?

They are fries covered in mayonnaise and Indonesian-style peanut sauce, then topped with raw diced onions. 

Why Indonesian sauce? We’ll have to take a quick look at Indonesian history to explain that. Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony for centuries (from 1605-1945). In the early 20th century, the importance of getting an education grew and many Indonesians migrated to the Netherlands for schooling. In the mid 20th century, the Indonesian Industrial Revolution catalyzed the migration of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians to the Netherlands. This large Indonesian population brought their food and flavors with them leading to many Indo-Dutch fusion dishes.

Different restaurants and eateries throughout Holland and the Netherlands have their own versions of war fries, many of them creating their own sauces in-house. However, the most traditional version only contains the three toppings listed above.

How do you pronounce patatje oorlog?

It’s pronounced pa-TA-che OR-loch. The 3rd syllable in the first word “-je” kind of trails off and the 2nd syllable in the second word “-log” sounds a bit like the “ch” in challah. If you’re still confused check out these audio examples.

Why are they called war fries?

The simplest explanation is that these fries look like a clash of different toppings and flavors as if they are fighting against each other at war. However, this is quite misleading because these flavors actually go quite harmoniously together.

How can I make patatje oorlog (war fries)?

Despite their intimidating name, war fries are actually very easy to make. Essentially, you just need to gather a handful of main ingredients and combine them. Check out this simple recipe to find out what you need to make this international street food at home.

patatje oorlog war fries indonesian dutch

Patatje Oorlog (a.k.a. war fries)

Indo-Dutch fries


  • 1 pack frozen french fries
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup peanut sauce
  • 1/4 cup diced raw onions


  1. Cook fries according to instructions.
  2. Top with mayonnaise, peanut sauce and onions.
  3. Enjoy!

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Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.
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