Bakso is a delightful dish that takes on many forms; these meatballs are made from chicken, beef, pork or some amorphous combination of them all. Its texture is similar to the Chinese beef ball, fish ball, or pork ball.


Beef Broth for Bakso (Soup)

  • 4 beef bones, weighing about 700 g (roughly 1.5 lb)
  • 2 litres (8 cups) water
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 5 cm (2″) ginger, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped in three piece
  • 1 star anise petal
  • 1 very small cinnamon stick
  • half tsp sugar
  • half tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 500 g extra lean minced beef
  • 100 g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced/pounded
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • half tsp ground white pepper
  • half tsp baking powder

To Serve

  • Noodles of your choice, amount, see explanation above
  • 4 small handfuls beansprouts
  • a large handful of any greens like pak choi or spinach
  •  chilli paste of your choice
  • sliced up red chillies in dark soy sauce
  • crispy shallots homemade or shop bought, click to read more

Also Read: Nasi Padang (Indonesian Receipe)


Beef Broth

  1. Place all ingredients in a large pan and boil.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for 3 hours, removing any foam that surfaces.
  3. At the end of the cooking time, place in a clean saucepan and measure the quantity.
  4. You need at least 1 liter of broth (4 cups). Add water if you need to.
  5. Set aside until you need to cook the bakso and the noodles.


  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix for 1 full minute, until everything is well mixed and you have a smooth mixture.
  2. Pour the meat paste into a bowl. If you are not ready to cook them yet, cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator until you need them.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, first do a taste test. Microwave a pinch of the meat pastry for about 30 seconds, then taste it. Add more salt if necessary.
  4. Let’s make balls! Take a small amount of meatball dough in your hand, clench your fist and push the dough between the “hole” made by the thumb and forefinger. Use a teaspoon to remove the ball from your hand.
  5. Continue until all the meatball dough is used up. Rinse your hands regularly to prevent the balls from sticking. At this point, you can roll them between your palms to create rounder, smoother meatballs, if desired.
  6. Again, don’t forget to dip your hands in the bowl of cold water to prevent the dough from sticking. Bring a pot of water or the beef broth to a boil. Lower the heat completely and slowly slide the meatballs into the simmering water.
  7. You want them to be roughly a single layer, don’t overfill the pot, so you may need to do this in 2 batches. Increase the heat to medium-high and keep an eye on the meatballs. As soon as the water begins to boil, lower the heat to medium-low or low and simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. This should be enough time for the balls to cook. Do not allow the water to boil as the meatballs may fall apart.
  9. The balls should also float on the surface when they are finished. When they are done, remove with a slotted spoon or slotted spoon and set aside.

To Serve

  1. Prepare 4 bowls. Cook the noodles in simmering water following the package directions. Dried noodles usually take about 1 to 2 minutes, but each brand will be different.
  2. If you have fresh noodles, it will only take about 1 minute. Drop the bean sprouts with the noodles in the last 30 seconds, just to scald.
  3. Drain and divide among the 4 bowls. Divide the bakso evenly and place over the noodles.
  4. Add the greens, you can blanch them in the broth or use them as is, the choice is yours. Now pour the beef broth over the bakso and the noodles.
  5. Sprinkle with fried shallots everywhere and serve immediately with the sambal and black soy sauce.

To freeze Bakso

  1. Cool to room temperature, place in a freezer proof bag and freeze for up to a month.