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Bakso Goreng Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

These bakso goreng ayam are crispy, crunchy, juicy, and tasty! Make sure to follow my tips and tricks to make proper Indonesian fried meatballs at home!

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 Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

Bakso Goreng Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

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 Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

Bakso Goreng Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

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.

Bakso Goreng Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

Bakso Goreng Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

Bakso Goreng Ayam - Fried Chicken Meatballs

4.7 from 11 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Serves: 48 meatballs

Print Recipe


  • 3 chicken thighs, skin intact, boneless (about 600 gram)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (white is preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (or salt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 250 ml (1 cup) ice cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 300 gram tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • enough oil for deep frying


  1. Grind chicken thighs in a food processor. Transfer ground chicken into a mixing bowl.
  2. Season chicken with garlic, salt, sugar, ground pepper, chicken bouillon powder, and sesame oil. Mix well.
  3. Slowly pour in ice cold water to the meat mixture while stirring until all the water is fully incorporated into the meat mixture (there shouldn't be any standing water).
  4. Add in egg, mix well, then add tapioca starch and baking powder to the meat mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Chill the meat mixture in the fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Heat enough oil for deep frying in a pot/wok over medium heat.
  7. Once the oil is hot, drop tablespoonful of chicken meat mixture into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Repeat until all chicken meat mixture is used up.
  8. Serve hot with chili sauce and/or tomato ketchup.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Christy Christy says:

    "...don’t remove any of the fatty bits to ensure a higher fat content." Best thing I've read in years. Finally someone who understands!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Sometimes the "bad" stuff is what's needed to make the food good ;)

  • Ika Ika says:

    Amazing recipe! Could I freeze the mixture?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Ika, I have never tried freezing this particular mixture Ika, so I cannot guarantee it will work. That said, if you want to freeze, I would suggest preparing the meatballs up to the point they have been shaped into balls. Then, arrange them placed slightly apart on parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen meatballs to a freezer bag (like the ones from ziplock). Before cooking, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Hope this helps :)

  • Jas Jas says:

    Anita, The pic looks so yummy. Do u think I can change the meat from chicken to pork? Pls advise. Thanks for all the easy and delish recipes ! I enjoy cooking it.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yes, you can Jas. Try using fattier cuts for juicier meatballs :)

  • Venny Venny says:

    Hi Anita... I think you forgot to put egg on the recipe.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Ooops, you are right Venny! Thank you for catching that mistake for me :) The recipe is now updated.

  • Nate Nate says:

    Wonderful recipe!

  • Meidy Meidy says:

    Excellent, Thank you so much for the recipe, Delicious and crispy... God bless you and all your family 😘

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yay! They are indeed delicious and crispy. We never have leftovers when I make this. :)

  • Jersey Girl Cooks Jersey Girl Cooks says:

    These look so good! I would make them as an appetizer or for dinner!

  • Deanne Deanne says:

    This looks delicious and I love all the options for variations!

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    I didn't think you could get better than just a standard meatball but you have proven me wrong. These sound absolutely amazing. This will be kicking meatballs up a notch for sure. Saving to make later.

  • Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says:

    I have only ever made baked meatballs, but this fried meatball sounds so good!! I will definitely give this a go over the weekend!!

  • Biana Biana says:

    I always bake my meatballs, so thank you for giving me the great idea to fry them!! Will be trying that soon.

  • Li Li says:

    Hi Anita, can you choose not to add egg in the recipe?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Li, I haven't tried making these without adding an egg in the meatball mixture. The egg is there to help bind the mixture together. But you can certainly try to omit the egg, and if the mixture is sticky enough without falling apart, you can definitely omit it.

  • Li Li says:

    hi Anita, can we omit the egg? and can we use plain flour instead of tapioca? Thank you so much for your recipes.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Li, the egg acts as a binder so I think this is a must, but you can try using yogurt or buttermilk (about 2-3 tablespoon) as your binder. I haven't tried using all-purpose (plain) flour, but I think it should work, though I expect the texture will be less bouncy ("q q").

  • Nita Nita says:

    Hi Anita, Do you know why my meatball shape changes as I took them from the hot oil? It was so beautiful shape while I fried it but then :( But the taste still good 👍🏻Thanks for the recipe

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Nita, try using a lower heat when frying the meatballs, such as medium-low. My stove is electric, and I believe it has less heat compared to a gas stove. Also, make sure there is plenty of oil in the pot so the meatballs are floating on oil and not sinking/touching the bottom of the pot. Be sure to also stir the meatballs during frying so all the surface cook evenly.

  • Claire Claire says:

    Hi anita is it possible to air fry these meatballs?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Claire, I don't think you can air fry the meatball mixture as is. I haven't tried it myself, but if you want, you can try boiling the mixture in a pot of boiling water to make boiled meatballs, then you can air fry them further in an air fryer.

  • Elly Elly says:

    Hi Anita, nice to know you. From the recipe, you only fry it for 4 minutes, is the meatball fully cooked ? Inside it still little bit wet. Is that okay ? Thank you.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Elly, I would say cook until the meatballs float, then another minute or two longer just to be sure. :)

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