Bermondsey bomb

Bermondsey bomb

Laura Edwards

La bomba de la Barceloneta is one of the most popular tapas in Barcelona. It’s a big fried ball made with mashed potato and normally stuffed with spicy carrots or meat.

I’m not sure if it’s true, but La Cova Fumada is renowned as the birthplace of this dish. It is definitely worth a visit – it’s a lovely old-fashioned bar serving great food. Enjoy a vermut with your bomba – they cook a stunning local version with prawns and octopus, it’s very tasty.

La Barceloneta was badly destroyed during the civil war, as was the area in London where I have two of my restaurants, Bermondsey. We’ve used a little bit of irony here, and called this dish the ‘Bermondsey Bomb’ as it appears on my menu.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg desiree potatoes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2 good pinches chilli flakes
400g tin tomatoes
160g minced pork
75g plain flour
2 free-range eggs, beaten
100g dry breadcrumbs
olive oil, for deep-frying
1 quantity Patatas bravas, alioli, to serve


  1. Put the potatoes in a large pan with cold salted water and bring to the boil. When cooked through, drain and let cool. Peel and mash the potatoes. Season to taste and set aside. Keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan and add half of the onions. Cook over a medium heat until they start to caramelise (about 20–30 minutes), then add the garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes. Cook for another minute and then add the meat. Cook for 10 minutes and season to taste. Set aside.
  3. To make the spicy tomato sauce, heat the remaining olive oil in another pan and cook the rest of the onions over a medium heat until so€. Add a pinch of chilli flakes and the tomatoes and cook until reduced, with almost no juices le€. Season to taste.
  4. Make a ball of around 100 g mash. Use your thumb to press a hole into the centre. Fill the cavity with the meat mixture and cover with more mash to enclose the filling. Repeat with the remaining mash and meat mixture.
  5. Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. One by one, roll the balls first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs.
  6. In a deep pan heat enough oil to cover 2–3 ‘bombs’ to 180°C or until a cube of bread browns in 20 seconds. Fry the bombs until golden – use a thermometer to make sure they are hot inside. Spoon some alioli in the centre of a plate and place a bomb on top and spoon over the spicy tomato sauce. Serve hot.
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