Daily Cooking Quest

Sup Baso Ikan dan Tahu - Homemade Fish Balls and Tofu Soup

Baso (meat balls) and tahu (tofu) are two of the more commonly found ingredients used in Indonesian cooking originally introduced to the country by the Chinese immigrants. Most Indonesians are probably unaware of such origin since there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes in Indonesia using these two ingredients. Some of the recipes are more Indonesian than Chinese, but I am almost 100% sure that the following recipe is closer to Chinese than Indonesian, though I would welcome a firm confirmation from a culinary expert :)

Sup Baso Ikan dan Tahu - Homemade Fish Balls and Tofu Soup

Sup Baso Ikan dan Tahu - Homemade Fish Balls and Tofu Soup

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 8


  • Fish Balls
  • 450 gram spanish mackerel fillet (Indonesian: ikan tenggiri)
  • 75 ml cold water
  • 125 gram tapioca powder (Indonesian: tepung sagu)
  • 3 egg whites (Indonesian: telur putih)
  • 6 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), grated
  • 1 tablespoon deep fried shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah goreng), crushed
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Soup
  • 8 cups (2 liter) fish stock (or 8 cups water + 1 1/2 tablespoon fish bouillon)
  • 2 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2 inch sections
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 150 gram fresh wood ear mushroom (Indonesian: jamur kuping)
  • 75 gram dried lily bulb (Indonesian: bunga sedap malam), soaked until soften, knotted and remove the tough bits
  • 300 gram firm tofu, cut into triangular wedges
  • salt, to taste
  • sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Garnish and accompaniments
  • lime wedges
  • thinly sliced scallions
  • deep fried shallots
  • sambal (chili sauce) of your choice, I prefer sambal oelek for this


  • Fish Balls
    1. In a food processor, grind together mackerel fillet and cold water into a paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl, along with the rest of the fish ball ingredients. Mix until well combined.
    2. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. With two spoons (or hands if you prefer), make 1 tablespoon balls from the fish paste and drop into the boiling water. The fish balls are cooked when they float to the top. Remove the cooked fish balls and set aside.
  • Soup
    1. Boil fish stock, ginger, and scallion in a soup pot.
    2. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant. Pour into the soup.
    3. Add white pepper, nutmeg, wood ear, lily bulb, tofu, and fish balls and bring to a boil. Season with salt and sugar, and adjust the taste to suit your preference. Drizzle with sesame oil, then turn off the heat.
    4. Served hot in serving bowls along with the accompaniments.


  • the lousy cook wife says:

    Hi Anita, if I don't have the bunga sedap malam, is it possible to make this recipe without it? Thanks!

    • Anita says:

      Hi Stephanie, yes it is okay to leave out the bunga sedap malam if you don't have them, but you may want to increase the amount of wood ear mushrooms.

  • Berton says:

    It is the real photo? I seldom found something like this before.. It looks simple, but i think the taste is nice! Can I have a chance to try your cooking?

    • Anita says:

      Hi Berton, it is the real photo :) I tend to prepare simple food myself, kinda lazy when the steps are too complicated.

  • CeCe says:

    How many fish balls does this make approximately?

    • Anita says:

      Around 40 if using tablespoon (for eating, not the measuring one).

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