Kuah Bakso Sapi

Kuah Bakso Sapi is an Indonesian soup dish made with beef meatballs cooked in a rich clear beef stock served with vegetables such as cabbage and spring onions.

The last time I had something similar to this dish was when we visited Bali three years ago in a restaurant called Bakso Boedjangan, it was also the first time I realised why Indonesians crave for this dish a lot, it’s very comforting at the same time the texture of that meatball is out of this world, its rubbery but in a good way. I guess the rubbery texture does not sound nice but like I said on my many posts before a variety of texture not just flavour is quite important in Asian culinary culture. For most texture on dishes ends with a combination of crunchy and soft/tender but with Asian dishes the level of crunch can be on many different scales and that goes similar to the tenderness of ingredients, add to that textures that are slimy, gooey, lumpy, gritty then it’s a plethora of textures a certain chef can play upon, a balance of density, viscosity, surface tension of each ingredient.

The first time I had this dish it totally changed my perception with meatballs, for me meatballs before only have one texture, a texture like a burger but this Indonesian meatball is in a whole new level. Imagine fish balls but chewier but at the same time it’s not tough, it’s like eating tough tendons but it’s easy to cut through. When I make this before, I just but the readymade ones in the Asian grocery but this time I will make my own. Similar to the usual meatballs it contain minced beef but where it differs is the process in making them, do you remember that McDonalds pink goo, well the process is nearly similar where the beef is processed until it looks like a paste and to add some consistency to it cornflour and baking powder is also added.

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Kuah Bakso Sapi

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indonesian


Kuah Bakso Sapi is an Indonesian soup dish made with beef meatballs cooked in a rich clear beef stock served with vegetables such as cabbage and spring onions.




  • 2 kg beef leg bones
  • 500 g beef tendons
  • 1/3 cup fried garlic
  • 2 large red onion, quartered
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • thumb sized ginger, peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • juice of 1 lime
  • fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • water


  • 750 g lean minced beef
  • 150 g cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • handful fresh coriander, leaves and stalks


  • fried garlic
  • spring onions, chopped
  • bok choy


  1. In a large soup pot add the beef leg bones and tendons, fill it with water just enough to cover everything then bring to a boil and simmer in medium heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the pot, rinse the bones, tendons and the pot thoroughly removing all of the scum.
  3. Place back the bones and tendons together with all of the soup ingredients in the pot, fill it up with water until it completely covers everything. Bring to a boil and simmer in low heat for 3 hours.
  4. Using a sieve, separate the stock from the solids. Place the reserved stock in a large container then place in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Remove the container from the refrigerator, the fats should have solidified on top. Remove but 10% of the fat then place in a stove top over medium heat and let it slow boil.
  6. Prepare your meatballs, place all the Bakso ingredients in a food processor and process for a minute or until it’s all thoroughly mixed and you have a smooth mixture.
  7. Place the meat paste into a bowl, make the meatballs by scooping a small amount of the meatball paste in your hand, clench your fist, and push the paste between the hole between your thumb and forefinger. This is the easy way but if you have a small hand you can just make the meatballs the usual way by shaping them round.
  8. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the ball off your hand, set aside the meatball then do it with the rest of the meat paste. With the set aside meatballs you can further roll them with a wet hand to make it more rounded and smoother.
  9. Place each meatball into the hot broth earlier, make sure it is not doing a rolling boil as the meatballs might fall apart, if it starts to boil vigorously, lower the heat. Let the meatballs cook in low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, once done scoop out the meatballs then set it aside.
  10. Blanch bok choy in the beef stock then set it aside.
  11. Prepare serving bowls, place some meatballs into the bowl, add some bok choy and spring onions, pour hot soup into the bowl, top it with fried garlic then serve.


4 Responses

  1. A new soup for me…but anything with beef is a treat for me. Thumbs up for you making the beef balls from the scratch.

  2. Huge soup enthusiast here! 🙂 This is an absolutely unique soup to me. While, of course, it uses pretty common ingredients, there’s few interesting nuances (like spices of corn starch use) here. It looks and sounds splendid!

  3. suituapui says:

    My girl’s coursemate cooked this once and gave to us…and it was so so good!

  4. Sounds simply wonderful, Raymund! Your description of textures — these meatballs bring rubbery “in a dood way” — is perfect. I learn so much from you.

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