Bakso | Indonesian | Week 34

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Bakso | Indonesian | Week 34

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I've been on an Asian kick lately, especially with the weekly challenges consisting of Indian cuisine last week, and Indonesian this week. Plus, I've been having fun with some Avatar: The Last Airbender themed recipes lately too, which takes a ton of influence from ethnic cuisines - so be on the lookout for those popping up on the blog in the very near future!

Bakso is a common street food across Asia, but apparently is especially popular throughout Indonesia and it's capital, Jakarta. While there are many varieties of bakso, and different ways to prepare it, every bakso recipe includes meatballs, broth, and noodles.

One day I hope to travel across Asia to get an authentic taste of these flavors for myself so I'll truly be able to recreate them back at home. But for now, extensive research on the culture and country helps when I want to get as close as I can to the real deal.

Bakso can come in many combinations of beef and other meats such as shrimp or chicken. I decided to mix mine with some veal, because I was running out of beef and just happened to have some on hand.

I mixed my meat together with the eggs and corn meal until I was able to form one inch balls that held their shape. While preparing the meat, I brought four cups of beef broth to a simmer on the stove, and tossed in some cardamom pods to soften.

Then I formed the meatballs and dropped them into the broth in batches of 8-10.

The meatballs should initially sink to the bottom of the broth, but will be ready when they start bobbing around on the top.

The meatballs will be relatively firm and shouldn't crumble when gently pressed upon. If your meatballs are crumbly, let them cook a few minutes longer. Then remove from the broth and onto plates to cool.

While the meatballs are cooking, in a separate skillet, saute the onions, celery, ginger, and garlic until fragrant and the onions have softened. At this point, I also quickly poached a couple eggs in the beef broth, then removed the eggs to an ice bath while I finished up the bakso.

Cook up the rice noodles in the broth, add the onion mix to the broth, and bring to a boil until the rice noodles are cooked.

When I plated my dish, I used a ladle to scoop up extra broth and poured it over the meatballs and poached egg to reheat them. I then just sprinkled on the fried onion and green onions.

This is hands down one of the most delicious dishes I have ever made. It's full of crazy awesome flavors and is so simple, I could easily make this after a long day at the office or on a cold winter night (not that it isn't just as amazing on a summer evening!). Selamat makan!


Tags: Indonesian , Soup , Bakso

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Bakso | Indonesian | Week 34


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  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground veal (or chicken or shrimp)
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Here's How:

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  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 package rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 cup red onions or shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

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Toppings (Optional)

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  • french fried onions
  • green onions
  • poached egg (or scrambled)
  • sambal (Indonesian chile paste)
  • cilantro, for garnish

Here's How:

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Here's How:

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  1. Combine the beef and veal with the egg whites and baking powder. Add the corn meal until a thick meat can be rolled into a ball that holds it shape. Mix in salt and pepper and green onions. Let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Bring a beef broth to a simmer in a saucepan over medium high heat. Toss in the cardamom pods to soften and flavor the broth. In a separate skillet over medium, heat the butter and saute the onions, celery, ginger, and garlic until fragrant and softened.
  3. Create 1 inch meatballs and plop into the simmering broth. Cook in batches of 8-10, or as many as your pan can hold in one layer under the broth. The meatballs will start bobbing to the top when they are almost ready. Gently stir and remove firm meatballs with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining meatballs until all are cooked through. They should not be crumbly if they are cooked through.
  4. In the broth pan, poach two eggs, or one at a time depending on the size of your pan. Remove eggs to an ice bath.
  5. Using the same broth, add 1/2 cup of water (if significantly reduced) and bring to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook until al dente. Add the onion and celery mix to the saucepan with the noodles and stir.
  6. Serve by creating a noodle base, topped with the meatballs and poached egg. Use a ladle to pour the broth over the meatballs and poached egg. Sprinkle french fried onions and green onions. Selamat makan!

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