A recipe for Oopsies, or Oepsies, a South African Braai Appetizer



A classic braai staple, the sweet, savory with a hint of tart appatizer known as an Oopsie, or Oepsie has a  myriad of forms. Either on a long skewer, also called a sosatie stick in Afrikaans, or as bite size appetizers. Because I made these for a potluck, and not for a braai, these are made as bite sized appetizers. They are equally delicious either way, but the bite size ones pack more punch.

Most of my recipes are thrown together, and often not measured. So feel free to adjust the measurements based on the taste you prefer.

I am not sure about the origin of this dish, or where the name came from, but I assume it is because they are originally made wound around a skewer stick, fastened with a cherry at each end. When braai’d, and a cherry falls off… well, oops then.

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • YieldAround 50 pieces
  • Serving Size5 pieces...or 10. Who cares.
  • Cuisine
    • South African
  • Course
    • Appetizer
  • Cooking Method

For bites

  • 2 Packs of streaky bacon
  • 1 Jar of Marachino cherries – I got mine at Wallmart

For the sauce

  • Keep the sauce of the cherries
  • ½ cup Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ cup dark Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce (you can get it at Target)
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup Oil
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1½ cup Doctor Pepper (USA) or Coca Cola (South Africa)
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • ½ cup cool, NOT COLD, water

Other needed items

  • Toothpicks

How to make 'em

Preparing the bites


This part is dead easy. Cut the long bacon strips in half.

Roll up a cherry with half a strip of bacon.

Secure them, by piercing the cherry and bacon to ensure as little as much of a flabby bacon bit.

Preparing the sauce


Add the Cherry’s Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Honey, dark Brown Sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Soy Sauce, Oil and Lemon Juice in a pot, stir over a medium heat. When combined, at the Doctor Pepper or Coca Cola. Stir to combine, and put the heat up a bit, but not full volume. As soon as the sauce comes to a boil, and turn the heat down a bit. Simmer for about 7 minutes, just so that all the flavors combine.

While that is thickening, in a bowl, or cup, add the half a cup of water, add the cornstarch after. Mix with a fork to make a slurry.

Once that is done, take the sauce off the heat and add half the cornstarch slurry. Stir the sauce immediately to fully incorporate. It will not make the sauce milky. 

If the sauce thickens immediately, then you’ve added enough cornstarch. If not, put the pot back on the heat, and have it cook just a bit more. Not too much, or you’re going too have candy 🙂

Let the sauce cool down for 15 minutes

Putting it all together


Arrange your Oopsie bites in a Pyrex bowl, and pour the sauce over.

You can refrigerate over night, or braai them immediately. I prefer to refrigerate over night, and then give them a good toast.

Braai them


Make a lekker fire in your braai. That’s South African for make a fire in your BBQ, for my American friends.

Take your Oopsies out of the fridge and made sure they are all covered in sauce.

Braai your Oopsies over medium heat until crispy (not burnt), turning them often. The sauce is syrupy and sweet, so expect them to burn easily because of the sugar content.

You can serve them immediately, or heat them up in the oven later for potluck.

If you want to bake them rater, put the oven on 180°C/360F, and bake them until crispy on one side, and then turn them all around to get them crispy on the other side.

Personally I always prefer a braai for these yummy morsels.

You can put these on a long skewer too, and add a cherry on either end. Use the same sauce and the same cherries, just twist one strip of bacon around a skewer stick, securing on each end, and afix a cherry at each end. If they fall off during the braai.. well, oops!


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