Alternative names muise, vlermuise and pofadder
Type barbecued
Place of origin South Africa
Main ingredients lamb, caul fat, coriander, chopped onion, salt and Worcestershire sauce
Cookbook: Skilpadjies  Media: Skilpadjies

Skilpadjies is a traditional South African food, also known by other names such as muise, vlermuise and pofadder.

The dish is lamb's liver wrapped in netvet (caul fat), which is the fatty membrane that surrounds the kidneys. Most cooks mince the liver, add coriander, chopped onion, salt and Worcestershire sauce then wrap balls of this mixture with the netvet and secure it with a toothpick. The balls, approximately 80 mm (3.1 in) in diameter, are normally barbecued (grilled over an open fire) and ready when the fat is crisp.

Dishes such as skilpadjies had already been made by the ancient Romans[1] and the German recipe for calf's liver in caul fat appears in the book "Das Buoch von guoter Spise".[2]

The names skilpadjie (little tortoise), muise (mice), vlermuise (bats) and pofadder (puff adder) reflect its appearance. Pofadder is the largest version, the size of a man's forearm. It is made from minced lamb's liver wrapped in a large piece of netvet, and is usually served at parties where about 8 to 10 servings can be sliced from one pofadder when grilled.

It is a very rich, high cholesterol and fatty food; the consumers normally eat some starchy food in the form of mealie pap or toasted bread with the skilpadjies, so as not to attract some symptoms of over-indulgence.

See also


  1. Flower, Barbara; Rosenbaum (1958). The Roman Cookery Book; A Critical translation of The Art of Cooking by Apicius. London & New York: Peter Nevil LTD.
  2. Van Winter, Johanna (1976). Van Soeter Cokene. Recepten uit de romeinse en middeleeuwse keuken. Haarlem/Bussum.
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