Daily Cooking Quest

easy Indonesian recipes

Soto Betawi - Jakarta Beef Soup

Jakarta is the birthplace of soto betawi, where it can be found everywhere, from side street food carts, hole in a wall places, food courts in malls, up scale restaurants, all the way to five star hotels. Each place will have their own way of preparing soto betawi, with 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 - Jakarta Beef Soup

Soto Betawi - Jakarta Beef Soup

Soto Betawi - Jakarta Beef Soup

5.0 from 1 reviews



Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves: 8 to 12


  • Soto
  • 1 kilogram beef shank (Indonesian: daging sengkel)
  • 500 gram beef tripe (Indonesian: babat sapi)
  • 5 stalks lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 3 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 1 liter fresh milk
  • 1 liter water
  • 500 ml thick coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 5 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah) (*)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 2 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 5 candlenut (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • Garnishes and accompaniments
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and fried
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon deep fried shallot flakes (Indonesian: bawang goreng)
  • emping (a.k.a. melinjo crackers)
  • 10 kaffir limes (or about 3 regular limes)
  • sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • steamed white rice
  • acar (Indonesian pickle)


  1. Boil together beef shank, beef tripe, lemongrass, 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. 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.
  4. Turn off the heat, discard the lemongrass and bay leaves.
  5. 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.


  • (*) Use 100 gram if using standard shallot instead of Indonesian shallot.


  • Ronald G Lau says:

    Anita, Drawn to your web site in search of the 'health tonic' soups that my Grandmother always insisted we drink a bowl of before dinner. We were back at her house for dinner on all of the Chinese Buddhist Calendar feast days. It is great to preserve the centrality of the food experience and sense that formed the invisible core of your early family life, which so many of us appreciate retrospectively. Will try my hand at the Chinese Herbal Soup. If you have other variations on this recipe or other soups served as 'health tonics' why not a section of your blog devoted to medicinal foods. It seems that my Grandmother prepared a bitter soup from dried dandelion roots or leaves (tuu gung ung' which was prescribed for general health. There was another that in Cantonese sounded like 'gaw gee tong' which was good for improving the health and sight of the eyes etc. Will also try my hand at Soto Betawi described above. Best, Ron

  • Anindya says:

    Ummmm... what happen to the spice paste??

    • Anita says:

      Hi Anindya, in the 1st step, the spice paste is cooked together with beef, lemongrass, bay leaf, and milk. :)

  • Feny says:

    Anita, thank you for recipe! I have tried this one, it was as good as the original one in Indo. This surely satisfied my craving of Soto Betawi while living in Oz.

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Feny :)

  • Seth Ochieng says:

    I fell in love with this dish in Jakarta, sadly I only got to eat it on my last evening in Indonesia. I was sitting at Oh La La Cafe at Jakarta Theatre and asked the waitress to surprise me.....bless her. Mow I can't get the taste of this dish off my mind. Thanks for the recipe Anita, I'm gonna struggle making it....hopefully it will be as delicious.

    • Anita says:

      Hi Seth, that is such a sweet story to go with the dish :) I hope the recipe will be as delicious as the soto Betawi you have in Jakarta.

  • Paul says:

    So I cannot eat tripe or other offal, nor can my wife. Is there a suggestion for substitutes for the tripe? Thanks in advance!

    • Anita says:

      Yes, just substitute with the same amount of beef :)

  • Ruthie says:

    I've tried 4 of your recipes since I found your blog, and the food has turned out perfect each time. This Soto Betawi is divine. So many layers of flavor, yet so simple to make. My husband (raised in Jakarta, a picky eater, and doesn't give compliments freely) absolutely loved it! Please keep your recipes coming. I am using your recipes EXCLUSIVELY now when cooking Indonesian foods. Your recipe blog is a godsend for a Jakarta-born Indonesian raised in the USA, who unfortunately gets too confused trying to follow a recipe written in Bahasa. Haha. Thank you, Anita!

    • Anita says:

      You are very welcome Ruthie. You lovely comment makes me so happy :)

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