|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 41g||52%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||63%|
|Total Carbohydrate 58g||21%|
|Dietary Fiber 11g||41%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 21mg||107%|
|*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.|
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.
"A delicious take on the traditional broth used in Mee Bakso, the Indonesian meatball and noodle soup. The rich beef broth is seasoned with whole cloves, cardamom pods and peppercorns, which add a lighter note to what is traditionally a simple beef broth. Add egg noodles and your favorite Asian meatballs to complete the dish." —Joan Velush
5 pounds beef bones, such as marrow bones and beef hind shank
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled
8 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
6 pods green cardamom, lightly crushed
6 whole cloves
12 whole peppercorns
1 small carrot, very thinly sliced crosswise
4 cups lightly packed baby spinach, or bok choy
18 store-bought or homemade Asian-style meatballs
3 cups cooked Asian-style egg noodles
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade crisp-fried shallots
4 large hard boiled eggs, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Place the bones in a large pot. Cover with water, about 4 quarts. Bring to the boil over high heat. Skim off any scum and impurities that rise to the top.
Reduce the heat to low. Add the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. Simmer, stirring occasionally, at least two hours.
Strain the broth. Return the broth to the the pot. Discard the bones and aromatics. Heat the broth over medium heat until it comes to a lively simmer.
Using a kitchen spider, blanch the sliced carrot and spinach separately in the hot broth. Remove from the broth and place carrots and spinach in separate bowls.
Drop in the meatballs into the broth. Cook until the meatballs are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if the meatballs are raw, cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 F, about 10 minutes.
Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Divide the carrot slices and spinach between the bowls next to the noodles. Ladle the hot soup and meatballs directly into the bowls.
Top each bowl with crisp-fried shallots and split hard-boiled eggs, if using. Serve immediately.