How to Make Mee Bakso (Indonesian Meatball and Noodle Soup)

Mee Bakso (Indonesian Meatball and Noodle Soup)

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
3216 Calories
209g Fat
75g Carbs
252g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 3216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 209g 267%
Saturated Fat 77g 386%
Cholesterol 981mg 327%
Sodium 2122mg 92%
Total Carbohydrate 75g 27%
Dietary Fiber 17g 59%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 252g
Vitamin C 27mg 133%
Calcium 660mg 51%
Iron 36mg 199%
Potassium 4478mg 95%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Named by CNN as among the 40 best Indonesian dishes, bakso is essentially a street food and American President Obama loves it. 

What is bakso? Bakso is Indonesian meatball. When served with noodles and broth, the dish is mee bakso. But meatballs are ubiquitous in Asian noodle soups—what makes the Indonesian bakso different? Bakso, whether meat, seafood or chicken-based, are denser and richer because of the paste used to make them. The paste is called surimi.

Like laksa, there is no definitive recipe for making mee bakso. The soup can be made from meat, seafood or chicken, or a combination of all of them. The meatballs can have beef, pork, chicken, fish or other seafood.

In Asia, a wide array of meat and fish balls are available in groceries. That's not always the case outside Asia. While bakso can be bought in Asian stores if you're lucky, if you're wary about not knowing what exactly is in them, it is easy enough to make bakso at home. Grind ground meat or seafood with seasonings and spices until the mixture acquires the texture of a tacky paste. A food processor is convenient but not essential. Form the paste into balls and cook in boiling broth.

Once you have your meatballs, it is easy to assemble a bowl of mee bakso. What takes time is making the broth which you really want to be good and rich and tasty. And that takes long and slow cooking.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones

  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled

  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick

  • 3 pods cardamom, lightly pounded

  • 3 teaspoon cloves

  • 6 whole peppercorns

  • 18 medium meatballs

  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced

  • 4 cups spinach, or bok choy

  • 3 cups cooked egg noodles

  • 1/2 cup crisp-fried shallots, store-bought or homemade

  • 3 large hard boiled eggs, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mee Bakso (Indonesian Meatball and Noodle Soup) ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Place the beef bones in a pot. Cover with water.

    Place the beef bones in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Bring to the boil; skim off any scum that rises.

    boiling beef bones in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. Simmer for at least two hours.

    Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns to the bones in the pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Strain the broth and pour back into the pot; discard the bones and aromatics.

    broth in a pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Heat the broth until simmering. Drop in the meatballs.

    add meatballs to the broth in the pot

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Using a ​kitchen spider, blanch the sliced carrot and spinach separately in the hot broth.

    add carrots to the meatballs and broth

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Divide the noodles among three bowls.

    Divide the noodles among three bowls

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Divide the carrot slices and spinach into three portions and put in the bowls next to the noodles.

    Divide the carrot slices and spinach into three portions and put in the bowls

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Ladle the hot soup and meatballs directly into the bowls.

    Ladle the hot soup and meatballs directly into the bowls

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  11. Top each bowl with crisp-fried shallots and split hard-boiled eggs, if using.

    Mee Bakso (Indonesian Meatball and Noodle Soup)

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Recipe Tags: