Jakarta Beef Soup (Soto Betawi)

Well, if New York has it’s cheesecake, Jakarta has it’s beef soup 😉 .  This one is my edition of the soup,  which I used ONLY meat of the cow ??! ( the original contains beef intestines too) 😀 .

The great thing about Indonesian dish is it has a lot of exotic spices and herbs. Cooking  it, is like formulating your own “love potion”, as cheesy as it sounds but really … you can almost just smell it in the air if your dish is done or has the perfect combinations of ingredients.

I’m sending this for Waiter There’s Something In My… Indonesian  over at the Spittoon Extra


  • 1 kg sirloin beef (trancher)
  • 1/2 kg small potato (cut in halves)
  • 2 big tomatoes (diced)
  • 500 ml coconut milk-liquid or 1 cup coconut milk powder
  • 2 cups of water (if you are using liquid coconut milk) or 3 cups of water (for powder)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Juice of 1 big lemon
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • 2 lemon leaves
  • 2 (Indonesian) bay leaves
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 knuckle of ginger
  • 1 candle nut
  • Salt


  1. Make paste out of the onion, garlic, ginger and candle nut.
  2. Heat the oil and saute the paste until soft.
  3. Add the meat, and saute  again until the meat changes its colour.
  4. Add the coconut milk, stir, add water , stir the add the lemon grass, lemon leaves and bay leaves.
  5. Add the potatoes, season with salt.
  6. Cook for 30 -45 minutes, stir every once a while.
  7. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and fresh tomatoes.
  8. Serve hot with minced green chillies (optional 😉 ), melinjo crackers and  steamed rice.
    • kat
    • September 19th, 2008

    I have a cold right now & I’m betting that would be the perfect cure

  1. I haven’t made soto for a long time, Zita. Not the beef kind. This looks delicious. Just a perfect dish to break the fasting 🙂

  2. We’ll all be ready for winter with that hearty soup! Must be so fragant with the lemongrass!

  3. that looks delicious 😀 especially with bitter bean (melinjo) crackers (emping). oh….

  4. yum yum….soto always reminds me of winter. Kalo winter yg dimasak soto2an muluk bow :D.

  5. I CAN smell the aromas of this soup over here in LA. Wow, your photos are drawing me in.

    • Dee
    • September 22nd, 2008

    We have Soto Ayam in Malaysia. Probably borrowed from Indonesia and now claimed as our own 😉 I love it with Nasi Impit (compressed rice) – do you have that in Indonesia too. Or did we pinch that too?

  6. @ Kat : hope you’re feeling better now 🙂

    @ Arfi : Soto is perfect for any weather, very good to brek the fast 🙂

    @ Clumbsycookie: I’ll be ready too, though I don’t want summer to end 😦

    @ Regina : I ate the crackers more than the soto … 😉

    @ Dita : iya neh udah mulai masuk winter, dah mulai dingin hawa disini 😦

    @ Lori : Thank’s

    @ Dee : I think we just have to share the heritage, instead of claiming or fighting over it ;), Indonesian has chicken soto too, nasi impit = lontong, usually wrap in banana leaves… yum…yum…

    • Dee
    • September 25th, 2008

    No fighting, for sure 🙂
    Zita, I’d like to say how amazing I think your blog is. I have an award for you on my blog.

  7. I’ve never tasted indonesian food but this looks really tasty!!

    I also prefer your version without cow intestine despite the fact that one of the most famous dishes of my hometown is made of pork intestine…

    Well done!!!

    • ichaawe
    • September 29th, 2008

    mmmhhh…ngillleeeerrr…. secara disini mah gw cuma bs ngandelin indomie rasa soto mie…hiks

    • doro
    • September 30th, 2008

    hmm this sounds delicious
    a friend from indonesia told me to look for this recipe 🙂
    gotta try (despite the fact that hubby likes neither coconut milk nor lemongras) he’s going to suffer lol
    can i just ask for your permission as well to share it with my cooking groups on care2.com?
    if you don’t like it no offense is taken.

  8. Many thanks for the entry Zita; looks gorgeous. And I trust as delicious as your picture implies as I’m going to have a go at this one.

    • Suzi
    • May 20th, 2009

    MMMMMMM my mother in law makes the best beef soto you can ever imagine, it’s my favorite Indonesian dish, alongside bubur and satae

  1. September 24th, 2011
  2. May 4th, 2015

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