From the other side…

Bakso is quintessentially a dish from our neighbouring country on the other side, Indonesia.

The name intrigued me as bak in Chinese (Hokkien) is meat…as in the name bak kua (barbecued pork slices) so I googled it up and this was what I found on Wikepedia:  “…The name Bakso originated from bak-so (肉酥, bah-so), the Hokkien pronunciation for “shredded meat”. This suggests that bakso has Indonesian Chinese cuisine origin…” Well, I don’t know whether it is due to the territorial differences or what but here, we call minced meat bak chor and that’s pretty close, I guess. Of course, in Indonesia, being predominantly a Muslim country, they use beef and at times, chicken as well.

The first time I tried it was at a cousin’s Hari Raya open house…

Cousin's bakso
*Archive photo*

…though I would not say that it swept me off my feet.

Sometime later, I spotted a stall selling it

Bandong bakso stall
*Archive photo*

…right beside the ayam penyet place at Bandong that we do frequent quite a lot. I wouldn’t know whether it was because we already had our dinner earlier that evening but I thought it wasn’t all that great either…

Bandong bakso
*Archive photo*

…plus I felt there was a bit too much msg for comfort.

Not too long ago, I was invited to this food tasting session at the food court beside the Sibu Bowling Centre and I had the bakso from one of the stalls there…

BBCCafe bakso
*Archive photo*

…and I really enjoyed this one. However, somehow or other, I have not had the opportunity to go back there since to have more of it.

Anyway, recently, my niece, working in Singapore, went to Bali and when she came home, she gave us a packet of instant bakso. I did not take a photograph of the packet as it did not look all that attractive and I was feeling somewhat skeptical – I did not think it would be all that nice and at best, it was going to be something like all the rest, the multitude of instant noodles on the shelves in the shops and supermarkets here, there and everywhere. Nonetheless, one morning, I thought I would just cook and have it for breakfast.

I had some udang galah (freshwater prawns) in the freezer and I threw two of those in…

Instant bakso noodles 1

…and I did garnish it with some chopped spring onions from my garden before I started eating it.

Everything else came from inside the packet – the little meatballs and the garnishing, the bumbu (seasoning) and the chili powder and even a bit of fried onion oil…

Instant bakso noodles 2

I tried it and good golly, it was VERY nice!

Unfortunately, my niece only gave me one solitary packet and that was all that I had…and I don’t think anybody else is hopping over to the other side anytime in the near future. I don’t know if it will be the same or not but I suppose I can always cook my own…or be happy with those that I can get at the stalls around here.

Well, I’ve tried cooking my own but I did not really go full swing as I was afraid that it would not turn out nice. I used these beef balls…

Marina beef balls

…that we enjoyed a lot but I only used a few of them, just in case! They turned out to be a whole lot nicer than those fishball-like ones that they use in the shop as they still have that texture of minced meat in them.

Well, since what I managed to dish out was really good and was well-received by all, I certainly would want to go all the way the next time around – the complete works. No holds barred! Watch out for my blogpost on that!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

21 thoughts on “From the other side…”

  1. Oh, i’ve seen that brand before, the meat balls. I’ll try it out next time 😀

    It’s nice. Maybe not exactly like own made minced beef balls…but good enough. Taste great too. I love their other products as well.

  2. the marina beef balls are really nice… it’s selling around rm8.90 here but sometimes promotion can get below rm8 🙂

    Cheaper, RM1 more here but I guess that covers the shipment. Very nice, I love them!

  3. surely those giant head a.k.a bamboo prawn made the noodle tasty even more…
    bakso is a staple here in Indonesia, along few of christian bataknese and menadonese there’s also pork meatball too…

    Yes, can’t go wrong with prawns – anything will taste great. Oh, pork too eh?

  4. I have heard of bakso but never tasted before. Your version of bakso really looks good especially with the 2 udang galah added. Have a great weekend & long holidays with your loved ones.

    Dunno where the good ones are in Kuching but yes, it’s nice. Something along the lines of beef noodles or sup tulang with noodles or bihun.

  5. Your bakso looked more appetizing than those sold at the Malay stalls. ^^

    Tasted bakso once in Kuching. Dont really like the taste.

    The one at the bowling centre food court here in Sibu is very nice. Take my word for it. Not crazy about the one at Bandong, dunno the rest in town.

  6. Oohh bakso.. I know..I’ve only eaten once, when I was in Bandung many years ago.. It’s noodles in plain soup with some fishballs or assorted balls, forgotten.. My mum also gave me a packet of Marina beef balls last month! I cooked it with my leftover Ikea meatball sauce. Yummzzz

    Yes, the beef balls are great! Better than all the rest. Love their Salisbury beef too
    …and also their sardines.

  7. You are right, bakso is an Indonesian Chinese cuisine. I’ve had it a few times but every time taste differently, so I don’t even know how an authentic one tastes like. Maybe this dish is like our laksa, the taste varies according to region.

    I guess it is simple beef ball clear soup with noodles…and the taste may vary according to what ingredients you throw in…and of course, the more you add, the better it will be. Will blog about it when I cook it again.

  8. I have heard of bakso but never had a chance to taste it. So I have no idea what it is like. Well, I would certainly be on a look out for your bakso cooking post!

    I would say it is a variation of our beef noodles. 🙂

  9. Oh I love bakso!

    I first had it in Indonesia, have tried a lot of different versions there – the classic ones, handmade ones and a popular one a couple of years back called bakso tennis e.g. the meatballs are the size of a tennis ball!

    Since it’s so big, it has to be scored twice on the top so it’s a bit like a flower and the middle is perfectly cooked. Had that in Denpasar and Jakarta, very nice. The noodles there are mostly rice vermicelli though (differs by region though) but all very little, the meatballs are the highlight, which I found was nice.

    Never had that particular brand though, it seems very delicious with the two large prawns inside! 😀

    Yes, it all boils down to the meatballs. Most here will just use the frozen ones that has the same texture as fish balls…plus the soup is rather diluted or heavily saturated with msg. Not to my liking. I liked the one at the bowling centre food court but I haven’t had the chance to go back there since.

    1. Yeah, it must be fresh to be good!

      I like how each stall makes their own in Indonesia, sometimes it’s just a wooden shack in the middle of nowhere and there’ll be a few plastic chairs outside in a bar seating and a kitchen inside where the people would roll the huge tennis ball sized bakso from meat from a meat grinder.

      Oh that sounds good, we can head there next time. I haven’t been there in a long time too, and a friend of mine has a stall there (her dad’s).

      Ya, would love that very much.

  10. Never eaten bakso before. I am not convincing enough to try because of the soup taste.

    If you like beef noodles, you’ll love this…but must be thick and flavourful to be nice.

  11. I’ve never tasted Bakso before. Looks very flavourful like the beef noodles. I think I will like it.

    Nice. I will cook it again, that’s for sure…with extra ingredients, sure will be nicer.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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