Meatballs, who doesn’t love them? Especially if they are super juicy, packed with flavor, seared to get that crunchy outside but juicy inside, and then the whole thing is dunk in sweet and spicy gochujang cranberry sauce.
These meatballs are out of this world folks, the ultimate comfort food, and also the best thing to serve as a party appetizer. Be prepared to double or triple the batch and watch them disappear into thin air, or more precisely, your guests’ tummies.
Use leftover cranberry sauce to make the gochujang glaze
The glaze in the recipe that I based this on was made with apricot jam, but I don’t have it at home. Instead, I have a couple of jars of cranberry sauce/preserve that I made for Christmas and they are still sitting in my fridge, so I use that instead, and it turned out to be surprisingly delicious. And since I use cranberry instead of apricot, the glazing has the color of dark maroon, a rather sexy shade I think 🙂
For this lovely gochujang cranberries glaze, you will need:
cranberry sauce, if you have some leftover from Thanksgiving or Christmas, that will be perfect for this
soy sauce, preferably low sodium so it is not overly salty
This lovely glazing sauce is very easy to prepare, simply combine all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepot, and cook on a medium heat while stirring until it thickens. Set the sauce aside while we prepare the meatballs.
Use an ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs
I use an ice cream scoop to portion the meatballs. If you don’t have one, I would say each portion is about the size of a golf ball.
But seriously you can shape the meatballs as tiny or as huge as you like, just make sure to adjust cooking time, which for beef, this means the internal temperature should reach about 70 Celsius (160 Fahrenheit) once cooked. An instant thermometer is useful for this.
Once they are cooked, brush the meatballs with the glazing sauce, and you can further garnish them with toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions. If you are serving them for a party, it looks nice and is super convenient to stick a toothpick to each meatball.
Bakso goreng or fried meatballs is one of Indonesian most beloved food. Bakso (meatballs) come in all sort of variety, fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, and many combinations such as fish shrimp combo, chicken shrimp combo, pork chicken combo, e.t.c.
Once the meatball mixture is ready, it can be deep fried into bakso goreng (fried meatballs), or boiled into bakso kuah (meatballs soup).
Today, I am going to share my beloved bakso goreng ayam (fried chicken meatballs) recipe.
Bakso goreng secret #1: high fat content
Meatballs are best when made with meat with high fat content, as such I would suggest using chicken thigh with skin on and don’t remove any of the fatty bits to ensure a higher fat content.
Use a food processor to grind the chicken thigh and skin. Transfer the ground meat into a mixing bowl. Season with grated garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, chicken bouillon (or use more salt), and sesame oil. Mix well.
Slowly pour in ice cold water while stirring the meat mixture to incorporate. Add one chicken egg and mix again. Finally, add in tapioca starch and baking powder, and fold into the meat mixture.
Bakso goreng secret #2: ice cold bakso mixture vs. hot oil
One of the trick to get a crispier meatballs is to ensure the meat mixture is cold while the oil for deep frying is hot. As such, I like to chill the meat mixture in the fridge first for 1 hour at least prior to deep frying.
When you are ready to deep fry, prepare a pot of hot oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, remove the meat mixture from the fridge, and drop tablespoonful of meat mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes total.
Repeat this step until all the meat mixture is used up. These fried chicken meatballs are best serve piping hot, with some chili sauce, such as sambal lampung or garlic and chili sweet sauce, and/or tomato ketchup.
Today I have another great okara recipe for those who make their own soy milk at home, okara pork meatballs with sweet and sour sauce. Okara is the soy bean pulp leftover from making soy milk. Though very high in nutrients, okara is sadly considered a waste. And that is just too sad, isn’t it? So, let’s not throw away those soy bean pulp the next time you make some soy milk.
To prepare the meatball mixture, mix together okara, ground pork, scallion, corn starch, and egg. Then season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, and ground pepper. Since the water content of each okara batch will be slightly different, add only as much corn starch as needed to easily shape the meatballs. I use about 2 tablespoon of mixture per meatball, and I also dust each meatball with some corn starch.
To cook the meatballs, you can choose to either pan fry or deep fry. I choose the panfrying option since it means I end up using only one frying pan for both cooking the meatballs and the sauce to make my life easier.
Finally, it is time to prepare the sauce. In the same frying pan, add some oil and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add chicken stock, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, and continue cooking until the sauce boils. Give it a quick test to see if you need to add salt, then thicken the sauce with corn starch slurry. Once the sauce is thick, return the meatballs into the pan to coat with sauce. I like to serve the meatballs immediately with some toasted scallions and nanami togarashi (or toasted sesame seeds).
Spicy food lovers rejoice! Today I am sharing this wonderfully umami loaded bakso sapi saus Padang – Indonesian spicy meatballs with you. There are two parts of the recipe, making the meatballs, and the amazingly delicious saus Padang (spicy tomato and chili sauce). I get it that some don’t eat beef in their diets, like my Mom, so feel free to sub with ground chicken or ground pork for the meatballs. Regardless of your meat choice, I promise it will come out ah-may-zing!
Bakso Sapi (Beef Meatballs)
There is nothing exceptionally different in making Indonesian style meatballs (bakso) compared to its Western counterpart. The main different lies more in cooking process. There are two main ways in cooking the meatballs, either we boil them in plenty of water, or we deep fry them in super hot oil. We are going to go with the first method for this recipe.
Saus Padang (Umami Rich Tomato and Chili Sauce)
Padang cuisine is famous for its spicy and savory dishes and is one of the most beloved in the country. There is a saying that no matter where you are in Indonesia, there will be at least one Padang restaurant to satisfy your craving. But saus Padang, literally Padang sauce, has nothing to do with the distinguished cuisine. Instead, this sauce is basically a super spicy tomato sauce consists mainly of tomato ketchup, chili sauce, and oyster sauce, with aromatics such as onion, garlic, and ginger. I’m guessing it starts as some signature sauce in a restaurant that somehow gets adopted widely around the country.
The most traditional rendang is made with beef stew cuts, but I love to shake things up a bit, and sometimes I will use other meat (like chicken or pork), and even meatballs to make my rendang. Today, I am going to share my recipe for rendang bakso sapi – meatballs rendang.
If you have never tried rendang before, you have no idea what you are missing out. This food has been consistently ranked as one of the most delicious food on the planet. So, if you happen to walk into an Indonesian/Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant, do yourself a favor and order a portion of rendang. Once you are sold by how good a rendang can be, you need to learn to make this at home, so you can eat as much as you can without going to a restaurant 🙂
Meatballs are universally loved, and this easy tender baked meatballs recipe is just about the easiest and the most reliable way to produce juicy tender meatballs with your oven. I like using a mixture of 50% beef and 50% pork to make my meatballs, but the great thing about this recipe is that you can use any meat mixture of your choice. You can try with all beef, all pork, a combination of beef/pork/turkey/chicken, or even veal if you are feeling luxurious.
Browned first (or not)
I tend to simply stick my meatballs directly into the oven since it is the easiest way. But if you fall into the camp of people that must have crispy outer skin for your meatballs, you can brown your meatballs first in a frying pan prior to baking them. If you choose to brown your meatballs, you will need to reduce the baking time to about 15 minutes instead of the stated 30 minutes.
Obviously you can use whatever meat you have at home. But what about the rest of the ingredients? Here are my two cents. For a more scrumptious meatball, feel free to add some sliced mushrooms when you sauté your onions and garlic. If you are out of mayo, you can use cream cheese or yoghurt (greek preferably). You can use regular bread crumbs instead of Japanese panko. Sriracha or hot sauce instead of Dijon mustard. Just play around with what you have at home and hopefully you will always be able to produce great tasting meatballs 🙂
Nothing is better to warm up the body from rainy season and a bit of cold weather than a bowl of piping hot sup bakso ayam (chicken meatballs soup). Those that have visited Indonesia probably have experienced the many sup bakso sellers scatter in the many side streets around the country. Back when I was still in school, a bowl of sup bakso is definitely among my favorite food. 🙂
Bakso ayam (chicken meatballs)
We like our bakso (meatballs) bouncy and juicy. If you have access to Asian markets, you probably notice that the frozen aisle is usually stocked up with a variety of meatballs, from fish, shrimp, beef, chicken, pork, cuttlefish, e.t.c. You cand definitely buy them ready made, but if you are feeling adventurous, making your own bakso (meatballs) is not difficult and you can give my bakso ayam (chicken meatballs) recipe a try.
Make a noodle bowl
I usually enjoy my bowl of sup bakso ayam with steamed white rice, but I have to admit that it is much more common for people to boil some noodles and add into the bowl of soup to make a complete meal. The most popular noodles we use is rice noodles (Indonesian: bihun), followed with flat rice noodles (Indonesian: kwetiau), and finally egg noodles (Indonesian: bakmi). You can even try using udon, soba, or ramen. 🙂
Indonesia was under Dutch colonial rule for a long time, and many Dutch recipes are now common in everyday Indonesian life. Among the many Dutch-influenced foods, bitterballen is easily at the top of my favorites.
Bitterballen has a crunchy golden brown skin encasing a soft and flavorful potato and beef mixture. You can serve them as a side dish, an appetizer, or as a snack to go with your afternoon tea or coffee. They are always served piping hot with a side of mayonnaise and chili sauce. ♥
For the bitterballen itself, we will need butter, onion, white button mushroom, ground beef, all-purpose flour, milk, mashed potato, nutmeg, salt, ground white pepper, sugar, cheddar cheese, and Chinese celery.
You can also use regular celery instead of Chinese celery, but choose the thinner one with plenty of leaves.
For the coating, we will need bread crumbs (preferably panko) and eggs.
We usually serve bitterballen with a simple sauce by mixing mayonnaise and bottled chili sauce. You can use Sriracha, though I prefer Indonesian bottled chili sauce.
Part 1: Prepare bitterballen dough (ragout)
1. Sauté onion in butter
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent.
2. Add mushrooms and ground beef
Add mushroom and cook until wilts. Then add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add all-purpose flour and milk
Add all-purpose flour, and stir until the mixture clumps together. Slowly pour the milk, and keep stirring until the sauce is thick and smooth.
4. Add celery, cheddar, seasonings, and mashed potatoes
Add mashed potato, nutmeg, salt, ground pepper, sugar, cheddar, and celery leaves. Mix well, and cook until the sauce is dry with no standing liquid. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Part 2: Shape the meatballs
1. Shape into balls
Once the dough is cool enough to handle, shape it into round balls.
For appetizer/snack size meatballs, use a #60 cookie scoop (~ 1 tablespoon) to get about 40 meatballs from one recipe. I find that these are easier to serve as finger/party food.
Coat each meatball with bread crumbs, followed with lightly beaten egg, and finally, another coat of bread crumbs.
I love using panko breadcrumbs for its crispy finish, but you can use regular bread crumbs too.
If you don’t have enough breadcrumbs, you can use all-purpose flour for the first coating, but please use bread crumbs for the final coat.
Part 3: Fry the meatballs
Fill a pot with at least 2 inches of oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 170 Celsius (340 Fahrenheit).
Once the oil is hot, gently fry coated meatballs until golden brown and crispy. Please don’t crowd the pot to maintain the oil temperature. You will most likely need to fry the meatballs in batches.
Remove fried meatballs with a slotted spoon and drain over a wire rack/stainless steel strainer to remove excess oil.
Serve bitterballen immediately with mayo and chili sauce.
Storing and reheating bitterballen
Store any leftover bitterballen in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
For longer storage, arrange fried meatballs on a lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer into a freezer-safe ziplock bag. You can store frozen bitterballen for up to 3 months.
To reheat, bake bitterballen in a 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) preheated oven or a toaster oven to return them to a just-fried state of crispy goodness. It should take about 5-8 minutes for non-frozen meatballs, and about 10-13 minutes for frozen meatballs.
Please do not reheat bitterballen in a microwave since they will lose all the crispiness.