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Betawi Beef Soup (Soto Betawi) Recipe

Betawi Beef Soup (Soto Betawi) Recipe

Betawi Beef Soup (Soto Betawi) Recipe

Forgotten by modern generations, the word “Betawi” is actually a version of the colonial name of present day Jakarta, once known to the Dutch as Batavia. Betawi refers to both the native people of Jakarta as well as this particular dialect of the Indonesian language. The Betawi people are an amalgamation of native Indonesian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, and Arabs that have long been local inhabitants of this vast nation’s capital. The soup named after them is no less a complex blend of ingredients, the result is a rich texture with full-bodied flavors. It has a smooth texture from the coconut milk but a hearty taste from the beef, which is why Betawi Beef Soup is so popular in Indonesia.

Ingredients :

    • 8 cups (1.75 liters) water
    • 2 lb (1 kg) beef chunks, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed and cut into 3 pieces
    • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
    • 6-8 garlic cloves
    • 4 shallots
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or maple sugar (or Indonesian palm sugar)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 2 cups (500ml) coconut milk
    • 7 bay leaves
    • 6 kaffir lime leaves or 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
    • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks


    • 4 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro), roughly chopped
    • 1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges
    • 4 tablespoons Fried Shallots

Method :

    1. Bring the water to boil in a medium sized pot over high heat. Add the beef chunks along with the smashed lemon-grass pieces and the ginger; simmer and stir occasionally.
    2. Grind the garlic, shallots, salt, ground coriander, dark brown sugar, and turmeric using a mortar and pestle or food processor into a smooth paste. Spoon the paste into the boiling stock and stir until thoroughly combined. Lower the stove to medium high heat.
    3. Pour in the coconut milk and toss in the bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves, stirring again until well mixed.
    4. Carefully add the chopped potatoes and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the beef and potatoes are fork tender. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves, tomato wedges, and Fried Shallots.