Soto Betawi - Jakarta Beef Soup Recipe

Soto Betawi – Jakarta Beef Soup Recipe

Soto Betawi - Jakarta Beef Soup Recipe

Soto (Indonesian traditional soup) is widely enjoyed throughout Indonesia and every region has its own specialty soto. In Jakarta, the de facto soto is soto betawi, where it can be found everywhere, from side street food carts, hole-in-a-wall places, food courts in malls, upscale restaurants, all the way to five-star hotels.

Each place will have their own way of preparing soto betawi, with a highly guarded blend of secret spices, and each with fierce die-hard fans touting theirs has got be the one offering the most original and most delicious soto betawi.

Soto Betawi is usually prepared with beef, which is boiled with aromatic herbs like lemongrass and Indonesian bay leaves, and flavored with candlenut, galangal, garlic, and shallots, and finally often a combination of both fresh cow milk and coconut milk are added to make the soup creamy. The soup is usually served in a bowl, topped with some crispy fried shallots, and eaten with a plate of rice, and some Indonesian pickles (known as acar). Eating Soto Betawi when I was in Jakarta was one of the culinary highlights for me. It’s truly an incredible dish that you can’t miss.

If you cannot source local ingredients like candlenuts or galangal, be creative and replace them with macadamias and turmeric. It’s worth the effort!”

Soto Betawi – Jakarta Beef Soup Recipe

Cuisine: Indonesian
Yields: 8 servings
Calories: 415 calories
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total: 3 hours
Keywords: beef, rice


  • 1 kilogram beef shank
  • 500 gram honeycomb tripe (Indonesian: babat sapi)
  • 5 stalks lemongrass, bruised and knotted
  • 3 Indonesian bay leaves
  • 1 liter fresh milk
  • 1 liter water
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 100 gram shallots (to be grind)
  • 4 cloves garlic (to be grind)
  • 1 inch ginger (to be grind)
  • 2 inch galangal (to be grind)
  • 5 candlenut (to be grind)
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (garnish)
  • 2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and fried (garnish)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (garnish)
  • 2 tablespoon deep fried shallot flakes (garnish)
  • emping (a.k.a. melinjo crackers) (garnish)
  • 10 kaffir limes (or about 3 regular limes) (garnish)
  • sweet soy sauce (garnish)
  • steamed white rice
  • acar (Indonesian pickle) (garnish)

How to Cook

  1. Boil together beef shank, honeycomb tripe, lemongrass, daun salam(Indonesian bay leaves), milk, and spice paste over medium high heat in a soup pot. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and continue cooking until the meat and tripe are tender, about 2 hours.
  2. Remove the meat and tripe from the pot to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces, about 1/2 inch cubes.
  3. Optional step: Strain the soup to remove any impurities and scums to get a clear soup, then return the strained soup to the soup pot.
  4. Return the pieces of meat and tripe into the pot, add water, coconut milk, salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, discard the lemongrass and bay leaves. Stir in kaffir lime leaves.
  6. Serve the soup (soto) in soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with tomato and fried potato cubes, and top with sliced scallions, shallot flakes, and emping. Let each person add as much lime juice and sweet soy sauce to their soup. The soup (soto) is traditionally eaten with steamed white rice and a side of acar.

2 thoughts on “Soto Betawi – Jakarta Beef Soup Recipe”

  1. Pingback: Pho Bo – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe – RecipeGuru

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