Published March 10, 2015 by Ninik Becker

Bakso or Indonesian meatballs soup contain of delicious chewy meatballs, vermicelli noodles, lettuce in beef broth garnish with fried shallot, chopped parsley and sambal

Bakso recipe by Ninik Becker.

Bakso or Indonesian beefballs soup is the most popular street food in Indonesia, influence of Chinese immigrant in Indonesia since long time ago. The savoury piping hot soup, the meaty balls, the kick from the Sambal, the combination of flavour from tomato sauce and Kecap manis and all condiments mix into a single unit of delicious flavours. The seller is everywhere from vending cart to the level of restaurant.

This is my version of Bakso with ready-made meatballs. I added lettuce for the substitute of chai sim or green chinese cabbage.

Bakso is Indonesian meatballs soup contain vermicclei noodles, meatballs, lettuce, complete with sambal, fried shallot, chopped parsley in beef broth serve in silver mini wok

The meatballs itself is made from ground beef (there are some who use other meat)that can be made at home or can be ordered on special bakso maker. In Indonesia, available in the frozen section at every supermarket. Outside Indonesia, available in Asian store or China town market.The texture is different with the soft Italian meatballs.


Bakso/meatballs :

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 50 g tapioca starch
  • 5 cloves garlic, make into paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 6 ice cubes
  • a pinch of stock powder
  • 5 liters water for boiling

Method :

  1. Boil 5 liters of water in large pot.
  2. In food processor, put minced beef, egg, ice, white pepper, garlic and stock powder. Process to blend together.
  3. Add tapioca starch a little at time until all blended. Transfer into bowl, slightly knead the meat mixture by hand to get smooth texture.
  4. Take some mixture with one hand and squeeze the mixture to form a ball, then scoop with the other hand by using a spoon. Do it until finished.
  5. Throw in a low boiling water (after boiled before and then lower the heat). Boiling water over high heat will make the bakso expand and broken.
  6. Cook until bakso floating on the surface, about 10-15 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer into bath of iced water to create supple texture.
  7. Strain and ready for use as a star in bakso kuah/meatball soup of for other dishes.

At this point, you can use directly to make a dish or put in freezer for the next use. Or eat directly with the soup like this one.

Bakso. Indonesian beefballs soup serve in silver mini wok contains vermicelli noodles, lettuce, beefballs, chopped parsley, fried shallot, sambal



Soup base (beef broth) :

  • 1 kg beef bones (with a bit of meat stick on it)
  • 1 liter beef stock
  • 4 liters water
  • a bunch of spring onion, washed, discard the roots, left whole
  • 2 thumb-size ginger, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fried shallots
  • 1 tbsp oil

Spices paste :

  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt, or adjust to your taste
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • a pinch of nutmeg

Use food processor or blender or a mortar and pestle, process all ingredients mention above into smooth paste.

Method :

  1. In a large pot, bring water and beef stock to boil.
  2. In a pan with 1 tbsp of oil, sauté spices paste until fragrant delicious, then transfer into the boiling water in the pot.
  3. Add the bones, ginger, a bunch of whole spring onion.
  4. Cook in lower heat for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  5. Discard the bones, ginger and spring onion. The meat that stick on the bones will fall apart and they are very delicious ! Serve them as well.
  6. Strain the soup if necessary, throw the fried shallot in. Ready to enjoy as Bakso soup base.
  7. Throw some of beef meatballs into the soup before serving.

Complementary ingredients :

  • Indonesian Kecap manis
  • Tomato sauce/Ketchup
  • Blanched chai sim or choi sum or lettuce
  • Hot sauce
  • Sambal
  • Chopped parsley
  • Fried shallots
  • And kerupuk

Put one serving of rice vermicelli noodles in the bowl (or whatever you use), together with chai sim or choi sum if available but I used lettuce. Ladle the delicious hot piping beef broth together with the meatballs, complete with Indonesian Kecap Manis, tomato sauce, sambal, chopped parsley, fried shallots. In this photo I don’t yet add the Kecap manis and ketchup.

Bakso or indonesian meatballs soup contain vermicelli noodles, lettuce and meatballs in beef broth soup complete with sambal, chopped parsley, fried shallot, sambal, kecap manis and ketchup serve in mini wok

Selamat makan !


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