Recipes

Indonesian Meatballs (Bakso) with Faux Green Papaya Salad

Serves 4-6

| Prep Time: 25 mins

| Cook Time: 10 mins

| Total Time: 35 mins

You may need: Indonesian Satay

Discover The Recipe

Chewy, satisfying and packed with flavor, Indonesian meatballs (Bakso) are one of the most popular street foods in Indonesia, and can be found in all corners, with many flavors and styles. Influenced by a dish brought by Chinese immigrants, Indonesians quickly embraced the texture and modified the recipe to include the warm and bright spices found throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Bakso is often served in noodle soups and is ideally suited for a fresh, bright, and crunchy green papaya salad on a scorching summer day, which is one of our favorite ways to serve it. 

Our Bakso with Faux Green Papaya Salad pays homage to the multitude of varieties of bakso developed in Indonesian gastronomy over the centuries. We use our proprietary Indonesian Satay spice blend to imbue the meatballs with an unmistakable Indonesian flavor profile with elements of coriander, nutmeg, cumin, paprika and other warming spices. The beef is mixed together with either tapioca or cornstarch to achieve that singular bouncy texture, which pairs perfectly with the sweet, spicy and tangy crunch of the salad. Since green papaya can be difficult to source in Western markets, we opted to use green apples as the next best crunch, but don’t hesitate to use green papaya if you can find it. Alternatively, serve your bakso in a brothy soup with chewy noodles and plenty of fresh vegetables and greens, or atop rice or noodle stir-frys. Find traditional Indonesian Satay skewer recipes on our website.

Ingredients

  • Indonesian Meatballs (Bakso):

  • 1 lb ground beef (85% lean)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 Tbsp Piquant Post Indonesian Satay spice

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 cup tapioca flour or cornstarch

  • ⅓ cup ice water

  • Faux Green Papaya Salad:

  • 2 medium green apples

  • 1 birds eye or jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

  • 1 clove garlic

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½ cup shredded or matchstick carrots

  • 2 Tbsp crushed peanuts (optional)

  • Fresh parsley and cilantro, for garnish

Notes

To ensure the bakso is well combined, we recommend using your hands to mix.

Here is a video tutorial on how to cut matchstick apple slices.

Birds eye chilis are very spicy! Remove the seeds to slightly reduce the heat, use deseeded jalapenos for less heat, or omit to remove the heat..

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.

Instructions

Make the meatballs: In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, garlic, Piquant Post Indonesian Satay spice, salt and egg. Add the cornstarch ⅓ cup at a time, adding the ice water a few tablespoons at a time to keep the mixture moist enough to combine well. Using the palms of your hands, form 12 meatballs, slightly larger than the size of golfballs. 

Bring 4 quarts of water in a large pot to a boil. Add meatballs and continue cooking until meatballs float, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove meatballs.

Next, make the faux green papaya salad: Peel and cut the apples in quarters. Thinly slice to create matchstick slices. In a small bowl, combine the  chili, garlic, salt, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice into a dressing.

In a large bowl, toss apple matchsticks, cherry tomatoes, and carrots with the dressing. Garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh parsley and cilantro. Serve with warm meatballs (bakso).

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Bakso is commonly served in soup, called Mee Bakso. Serve bakso in beef broth with noodles, bean sprouts and bok choy.

  • Try our satay spice blend in traditional Indonesian Beef Satay and Chicken Satay. This will also work fantastic with grilled  Shrimp Satay

  • For vegetarians, try our satay blend in Tofu Satay Lettuce Cups or a Lemongrass Tempeh Satay.

  • Craving something warm? Try this Satay Beef Noodle Soup by substituting our spice blend for the satay sauce.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

Indonesian Meatballs (Bakso) with Faux Green Papaya Salad

Serves

4-6

Prep Time

25 mins

Cook Time

10 mins

Total Time

35 mins

Piquant Post spice you’ll need: Indonesian Satay

Ingredients

  • Indonesian Meatballs (Bakso):

  • 1 lb ground beef (85% lean)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 Tbsp Piquant Post Indonesian Satay spice

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 cup tapioca flour or cornstarch

  • ⅓ cup ice water

  • Faux Green Papaya Salad:

  • 2 medium green apples

  • 1 birds eye or jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

  • 1 clove garlic

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½ cup shredded or matchstick carrots

  • 2 Tbsp crushed peanuts (optional)

  • Fresh parsley and cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the meatballs: In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, garlic, Piquant Post Indonesian Satay spice, salt and egg. Add the cornstarch ⅓ cup at a time, adding the ice water a few tablespoons at a time to keep the mixture moist enough to combine well. Using the palms of your hands, form 12 meatballs, slightly larger than the size of golfballs. 

  2. Bring 4 quarts of water in a large pot to a boil. Add meatballs and continue cooking until meatballs float, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove meatballs.

  3. Next, make the faux green papaya salad: Peel and cut the apples in quarters. Thinly slice to create matchstick slices. In a small bowl, combine the  chili, garlic, salt, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice into a dressing.

  4. In a large bowl, toss apple matchsticks, cherry tomatoes, and carrots with the dressing. Garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh parsley and cilantro. Serve with warm meatballs (bakso).

Notes

  • To ensure the bakso is well combined, we recommend using your hands to mix.

  • Here is a video tutorial on how to cut matchstick apple slices.

  • Birds eye chilis are very spicy! Remove the seeds to slightly reduce the heat, use deseeded jalapenos for less heat, or omit to remove the heat..

  • Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.

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