My all time favorite food is always Indonesian style beef meatball in thick beef broth soup with lots of chili and sweet soy sauce. Add fried shallots, chopped celery, bean sprouts, bok choy, noodle and bee hoon in the same bowl and serve it hot and I can eat that almost everyday. The best meatball soup that you can find in Indonesia is not at the five stars restaurants, but the ones that sold by the traveling cart street vendors. Well, don’t talk about cleanliness, but that’s the art of eating meatballs soup in Indonesia. Most of the time, I find street food is better that restaurants ones (maybe because they use lots of MSG, hahaha………..but still good, so sometimes I just don’t care).
Since we are reducing our consumption on beef, I tried to find another suitable ingredient for making meatballs, and since I’m not a big fan of fish balls (or fish in general), I substituted the beef with chicken.
I never like store bought chicken meatballs………………..with so many reasons: too much starch that we can’t even taste the meat, we will never know if they use fresh chicken or not, contain MSG and preservatives, and the taste is just so bland. I hate serving store bought chicken meatballs for my family because of those reasons, so I made them myself.
I like the bouncy and spongy chicken meatballs without too much starch added into them, and I happened to find this recipe from this site: http://www.justtryandtaste.com/2012/06/membuat-bakso-daging-ayam-yang-kenyal.html
The downside was: it took so much time and energy to make these meatballs, so next time I will make in big batches and store them in the freezer. But trust me, they tasted so good that I couldn’t stop eating them.
The good companion for these tasty chicken meatballs is of course a good soup, sweet soy sauce, and extra hot chili sauce. These meatballs also go well with fried rice or fried noodle.
- 500 gr chicken fillet, cut into big chunks
- 125 ml ice cold water
- 1 garlic
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 big bowl of ice cold water
- Place 500 gr chicken fillet and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the meat is smooth, then add 5 tbsp of ice cold water (one spoon at a time) into the mixture (keep grinding the meat in the food processor at this time) until it looks like a paste
- Scoop the mixture into a big bowl
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ice cold water, fish sauce, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and corn starch
- Add the mixture in number 3 to the chicken paste and carefully stir and let the paste absorb all the water slowly
- Throw or slam the chicken paste onto the bowl. Repeatedly pound the chicken paste onto the bowl for about 15 times or until the texture of the chicken paste is smooth, shiny, elastic, and doesn’t stick to your hands
- Transfer the chicken paste into a smaller bowl, cover it with cling wrap, put in the freezer for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, prepare a stock pot and add 2 L of water. Bring the water to boil. Turn off the heat
- After 30 minutes, take out the chicken paste from the freezer. Take a spoonful of chicken paste, roll with your hands until it makes a round and smooth ball. Drop the chicken meatballs into the boiling water one by one
- Cook the chicken meatballs in low heat until they float. Turn off the heat.
- While waiting for the chicken balls to float, prepare a big bowl with ice cold water
- Transfer all the chicken meatballs into the ice cold water (to stop the cooking process) and wait until they are completely cool. Don’t throw the water left from cooking the meatballs, because we are going to make the soup from this water
- You can use the chicken meatballs to make noddle soup, fried rice, or anything else, or you can keep them in the freezer for further use
Making the soup:
- Bring to boil the leftover water for cooking the chicken meatballs
- Add the chicken meatballs. Add carrots, corn, bok choy, or any other vegetables that you like
- Add 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp sugar, or to taste. Turn off the heat
- Add 1 tbsp fried shallots and 1 tbsp chopped celery or spring onion. Cover the stock pot with the lid for 5 minutes
- Transfer the soup to a serving bowl