clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Bakso: Indonesian Meatball Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Bakso is a meatball soup common throughout Indonesia, and is a comfort food for millions. This recipe uses frozen meatballs with a home-made broth that’s easy and delicious.



For the broth:

  • 500 gr a mix of beef bones and trimmings
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled.
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorn
  • 3 lt water
  • 1 cube beef stock or ¼ tsp MSG
  • 16 pcs ready to cook (frozen) meatballs
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

For the garnish:

  • 1 bowl of cellophane noodles/yellow noodles/rice vermicelli, or a mix of them. 
  • Few stalks bok choy, washed, chopped, and blanched.
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly chopped.
  • 1 stalk spring onion, thinly chopped.
  • Sambal sop/soto to taste.
  • Fried shallots (optional) to taste.
  • Vinegar or lime wedges to taste (optional)
  • Tomato ketchup to taste (optional)
  • Sweet soy sauce to taste (optional)


  1. Wash the beef thoroughly, and bring to boil with 3 lt of water. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to medium low. Discard any scum from the soup.
  2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic and peppercorns into a paste.
  3. Heat the cooking oil over medium flame, and saute the garlic paste until fragrant (around two minutes).
  4. Add the sauteed garlic to the soup.
  5. Add salt and the beef cube/MSG.
  6. Continue cooking soup for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs.
  7. 10 minutes before the soup is done, add the beef balls and cook until done.
  8. Turn off the heat.


How to assemble the bakso:

  1. First, prepare the noodles according to the instructions in the packet.
  2. In an individual serving bowl, put a little bit of noodles as a base.
  3. Add the bok choy.
  4. Add a few pieces of bakso and ladle the soup.
  5. Garnish with celery, spring onions and fried shallots.
  6. Serve the sambal sop/soto, vinegar, tomato ketchup and sweet soy sauce on the side.


  • Any bone can be used to make the soup, but my favorite is to use beef trimmings and leg bones.
  • Once cooked, the beef broth can be frozen for later use. I love to make a big batch of the broth, so I will have a yummy homemade bakso bowl anytime I want it.
  • When in Singapore, I like to buy Armiya beef balls. It has a good springy texture and tastes just like Indonesian meatballs. It’s available frozen in supermarkets.

Keywords: meatballs, beef balls, beef broth soup