Bakso is such a staple food in Indonesia, though this food was influenced by the Chinese. In Indonesia, it’s sold mostly at street food vendors or hawkers. In several cities in East Java, such as Probolinggo, bakso is a meatballs soup that is served with lontong (rice cake), and soun (mung bean noodles). In Malang (East Java), bakso Malang or bakwan Malang usually has fried filled wonton (pangsit goreng), steamed filled wonton (siomay), steamed/fried filled tofu, noodles, fried meatballs, meatballs, fried/steamed innards (such as cow lungs, chitlings, tripes) etc. In West Java, I found a different style of bakso, it is a meatballs soup that is served with bihun (rice noodles), noodles, blanche yuey choy and bean sprouts.
As I remember there is a bakso street vendor in my city, they are served bakso with mung bean noodles and as condiments they put fresh limes in small bowls and small knifes on their tables. So we can cut and squeeze the lime over the bakso by ourselves. They use fresh limes instead vinegar which I believe it’s healthier. Bakso vendors usually have variety of condiments such as sambal (chili paste), ketchup, fried shallots/onion, vinegar or lime, chinese chives, green onion, etc.
Since I have been living in Canada, I have to make my own bakso if I really crave. It means I need sambal as condiment. I used to add Indonesian hot sauce, but since I can find sambal bakso for purchase which is packed in a jar, so I don’t have to make my own sambal bakso (chili paste for bakso) or add Indonesian hot sauce. According to the package noted, it is made from fresh chilies, salt and sugar, then blend together. This is really tasted just like sambal bakso when I was in Indonesia. Sambal Bakso “Megahsari” is manufactured by PT Megahsari Howardy, Jakarta Indonesia.