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Bakso Ayam

Making homemade Indonesian chicken meatballs (bakso ayam) at home. You can enjoy the meatballs as is, or use them in many other Indonesian recipes.

Bakso is definitely one of Indonesian most favorite food. Popular meatballs include bakso ayam (chicken meatballs), bakso sapi (beef meatballs), and bakso ikan (fish meatballs). The method of making meatballs are more or less the same, so I will just share how to make bakso ayam (chicken meatballs) and hopefully you can experiment with other meat of your choice.

Ingredients to make your own homemade bakso ayam (Indonesian chicken meatballs): chicken breast, garlic, salt, sugar, baking powder, tapioca starch, and oil.

Ingredients to make your own homemade bakso ayam (Indonesian chicken meatballs): chicken breast, garlic, salt, sugar, baking powder, tapioca starch, and oil.

What you need to make homemade bakso ayam

There isn’t a whole lot of ingredients needed when you want to make your own homemade bakso ayam. These are what I usually use in my bakso:

  • chicken breast meat, I ground it myself in my food processor, but you can buy ground chicken too
  • garlic, grated
  • salt
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • tapioca starch or corn starch
  • oil
  • plenty of ice-cold water, best if you can use just melted ice cubes
Bakso ayam mixture, chilled and ready to be cooked.

Bakso ayam mixture, chilled and ready to be cooked.

Preparing ground chicken mixture for bakso ayam

It is very simple to prepare the ground chicken mixture for bakso ayam. The first secret to getting juicy and bouncy meatballs is the use of ice-cold water when mixing the ground chicken. Here’s what I do:

  1. Place ground chicken in a large mixing bowl, slowly add 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring until fully incorporated with each addition.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together grated garlic, salt, sugar, baking powder, tapioca starch (or corn starch), oil, and another 4 tablespoons of ice-cold water. Slowly pour this solution to the ground chicken, stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Wrap the bowl with a saran plastic, and chill the chicken mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Now you have your ground chicken mixture that is ready to be turned into bakso ayam.

Bakso Ayam - Indonesian Chicken Meatballs

Bakso Ayam - Indonesian Chicken Meatballs

Boil ground chicken mixture to make bakso ayam

The second secret to creating juicy and bouncy bakso is cooking the meatballs in a pot of just barely simmering hot water. Here are the steps:

  1. Boil water in a large pot.
  2. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice-cold water and plenty of ice cubes. Make sure you have plenty of additional ice cubes to add to the mixing bowl as needed.
  3. Once the water boils, reduce the heat until water is just barely simmering. Drop tablespoonfuls of ground chicken mixture into the pot of hot water. Wait until meatballs float to the surface, then wait for another 30 seconds and then scoop out from hot water and plunge into the prepared mixing bowl filled with ice-cold water and ice cubes.
    TIPS: You may want to keep adding ice cubes as more and more cooked meatballs are added into the bowl to keep the temperature as cold as possible.

At this stage, our bakso ayam is fully cooked. You can enjoy them as is if you want, but my favorite way to enjoy my homemade bakso is to make sup bakso ayam (chicken meatballs soup).

Bakso Ayam - Indonesian Chicken Meatballs

Bakso Ayam - Indonesian Chicken Meatballs

Freezing bakso for longer storage

If you don’t plan to eat/use the bakso ayam straightaway, you can freeze them and use them later. I usually simply arrange the cooked bakso in a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer the frozen meatballs into a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Other than soup, I also love adding my own homemade bakso when I cook some ramen or other instant noodles. I simply add the frozen meatballs directly into my ramen/instant noodle soup and cook until they become soft again.

Originally published on August 8, 2018. Updated on November 25, 2019 with new photos.

Bakso Ayam


5.0 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: ~ 3 dozens meatballs

Ingredients

  • 500 gram boneless skinless chicken breast, ground
  • 5 tablespoon ice-cold water
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 tablespoon ice-cold water

Instructions

  1. Place ground chicken in a large mixing bowl, slowly add the 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time, stirring until fully incorporated with each addition.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together grated garlic, salt, sugar, baking powder, tapioca starch, oil, and 4 tablespoons of ice-cold water. Slowly pour this solution to the ground chicken, and stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Wrap the mixing bowl with a saran plastic, and chill the chicken mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  4. Boil water in a large pot. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice-cold water and plenty of ice cubes.
  5. Once the water boils, reduce heat until water is just barely simmering, then drop tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture (I shape with 2 tablespoons into roundish shape) into the pot of hot water. Once the meatball floats to the surface, wait another 30 seconds, then scoop it out from the hot water and plunge in the prepared ice cubes and cold water bowl. You may want to keep adding ice cubes as more and more cooked meatballs are added into the bowl to keep the temperature as cold as possible.
  6. The chicken balls are fully cooked at this stage, and you can definitely enjoy them as is if you want, but my favorite way is to use them to prepare sup bakso ayam (chicken meatballs soup).
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Jolanda Legiman Jolanda Legiman says:

    Dear Anita, thank you very much for this quite well explained recipe. I tried it and it came out very well! Kind regards Jolanda

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome Jolanda. I am very happy you like the recipe and the resulting bakso. :)

  • Bella Bella says:

    Delicious! Add more salt about 1/4 tsp. Thank you! Salam dari Brisbane.

  • Jessica Jessica says:

    This sounds seriously amazing! Can't wait to try it!

  • Jere Cassidy Jere Cassidy says:

    This is so interesting using all the ice to create these meatballs. I have never heard of this technique.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Most Asian meatballs are made this way, Jere. From chicken meatballs all the way to fish balls and fish cakes. :)

  • Beth Beth says:

    I love how it only takes a few simple ingredients! Followed the step by step exactly and it came out great!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I'm happy the instruction is easy to follow, Beth. :)

  • kim kim says:

    Love this recipe! So easy and flavorful! Definitely one that I will make again and again!

  • Megan Ellam Megan Ellam says:

    I am loving the look of this recipe. Now I am totally checking out the soup. Thanks for the delicious inspiration.

    • Anita Anita says:

      The soup is super easy Megan. Though I usually serve the soup with rice, you can totally add noodles/vermicelli/ramen/e.t.c. and turn it into an Asian chicken noodles soup. :)

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