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Bakso mi bihun.jpg
Bakso served with bihun (rice vermicelli) and fried wonton.
Place of origin Indonesia
Region or state Singapore and Indonesia
Creator Indonesian Chinese
Main ingredients Ground beef, tapioca, noodle, rice vermicelli, beef broth, kailan, celery, salted vegetables, fried shallots
Cookbook:Bakso  Bakso
Travelling bakso vendor on bike.

Bakso or baso is Indonesian meatball or meat paste made from beef surimi and is similar in texture to the Chinese beef ball, fish ball, or pork ball.[1] Bakso is commonly made from beef with a small quantity of tapioca flour, however bakso can also be made from other ingredients, such as chicken, fish, or shrimp. Bakso are usually served in a bowl of beef broth, with yellow noodles, bihun (rice vermicelli), salted vegetables, tofu, egg (wrapped within bakso), Chinese green cabbage, bean sprout, siomay or steamed meat dumpling, and crisp wonton, sprinkled with fried shallots and celery. Bakso can be found all across Indonesia; from the traveling cart street vendors to restaurants. Today various types of ready to cook bakso also available as frozen food commonly sold in supermarkets in Indonesia. Slices of bakso often used and mixed as compliments in mi goreng, nasi goreng, or cap cai recipes.

Unlike other meatball recipes, bakso has a consistent firm, dense, homogeneous texture due to the polymerization of myosin in the beef surimi.


The name Bakso originated from bak-so (, Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-so·), the Hokkien pronunciation for "shredded meat" (Rousong). This suggests that bakso has Indonesian Chinese cuisine origin.[2] Today most of the bakso vendors are Javanese from Wonogiri (a town near Solo) and Malang. Bakso Solo and Bakso Malang are the most popular variant; the name comes from the city it comes from, Solo in Central Java and Malang in East Java. In Malang, Bakso Bakar (roasted bakso) is also popular. As most Indonesians are Muslim, generally Bakso is made from beef or is mixed with chicken.


  • Bakso urat: bakso filled with tendons and coarse meat
  • Bakso ayam: chicken bakso
  • Bakso bola tenis or bakso telur: tennis ball sized bakso with boiled chicken egg wrapped inside
  • Bakso gepeng: flat bakso
  • Bakso ikan: fish bakso (fish ball)
  • Bakso udang: shrimp bakso
  • Bakso Malang: A bowl of bakso dish from Malang city, East Java; complete with noodle, tofu, siomay and fried wonton
  • Bakso keju: new recipe bakso filled with cheese
  • Bakso Kotak: Bakso shaped like a box, cube.
  • Bakso Bakar: Burnt skewered bakso like (Sate).
  • Bakso Cuanki: A famous bakso in West Java.

Health issue[edit]

In Indonesia, borax is often added into beef surimi mixture in order to preserve the produced bakso, also to made bakso more chewy (from borax induced myosin cross-linking) with less usage of meat.[3] As a result, bakso is often listed by Indonesian Food and Drug Administration as an unhealthy foodstuff. The country's Directorate of Consumer Protection warns of the risk of liver cancer caused by high consumption over a period of 5–10 years.[4] Therefore, frozen bakso being sold at supermarkets and also traditional markets in Indonesia are required to be borax free.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The soup Obama loved as a child
  2. ^ No Money, No Honey: A study of street traders and prostitutes in Jakarta by Alison Murray. Oxford University Press, 1992. Glossary page xi
  3. ^ Boraks Ada dalam Makanan Kita, Suara Merdeka
  4. ^ Staff writer (2006). "Watch Out For The Food We Consume". Directorate of Consumer Protection, Jakarta, Indonesia. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-10.