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Soto Padang - Padang Beef Soup

Most Indonesian live within walking distance to a Padang restaurant no matter where we live in the nation, so even for a non Padang descent like me, most will be very familiar with the dishes. As with many other cuisines, Padang has its own distinct soto (soup dish), which is just as refreshing and as delicious as many others throughout the nation. Soto Padang is always served with perkedel kentang (potato fritters), so if you are in the mood to prepare soto Padang at home, it will be a great idea to also set aside the time to prepare some perkedel.

Soto Padang - Padang Beef Soup
Soto Padang - Padang Beef Soup

Soto Padang - Padang Beef Soup

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 1 kilogram beef tenderloin, cut into 4 long pieces
  • 2 liter (8 cups) water
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas), bruised
  • 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
  • 1 star anise (Indonesian: pekak/bunga lawang)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Spices for soup stock
  • 5 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (Indonesian: ketumbar), toasted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 6 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 2 red cayenne chilies (Indoensian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (Indonesian: bubuk kunyit)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • Chili sauce
  • 3 tablespoon oil (olive oil or canola oil is a good choice)
  • 6 red cayenne chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting), grind
  • 30 gram shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah), grind
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Garnish and accompaniments
  • 100 gram glass noodles (Indonesian: sohun), soaked in boiling water until soft, refreshed under cold water and drained
  • potato fritters (Indonesian: perkedel kentang)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • deep fried shallot flakes (Indonesian: bawang merah goreng)
  • lime wedges (Indonesian: jeruk nipis)


  • Soto Padang
    1. Boil together beef, water, and all the spices for soup stock. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the beef is fork tender, about 2 hours. Remove the beef, thinly slice, set aside. Strain the soup stock and return the strained stock to the pot.
    2. Heat 4 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the beef slices until browned. Set aside.
    3. Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and sauté spice paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the spice paste to the soup stock along with galangal, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, cloves, star anise, salt, sugar, and ground white pepper. Bring to a boil, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Chili sauce
    1. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté chilies, shallot, salt, and sugar until fully cook and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • To serve
    1. Place some glass noodles and fried beef in a soup bowl, and top with the soup. Serve with perkedel kentang (potato fritters), chili sauce, scallions, fried shallot flakes, and lime wedges.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Tommy Hart Tommy Hart says:

    Hi Anita, selamat pagi! I love your blog! Usually I consult Charmaine Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook but her Indonesian section is rather limited. Having lived in Surabaya and Bali myself some 30 years ago, I still love Indonesian cuisine and your blog is a fantastic reference work, particularly when it comes to 'not-so-common' Indonesian recipes. Yesterday, I was looking for Soto Padang and apart from yours, there are only recipes in Bahasa on the web for this dish. I am writing a blog as well here in Germany and in German language and I would like to post your recipe for Soto Padang there. Is it okay if I give credit for the recipe to you and include a link to your blog? Not all of my readers may be able to read recipes in English but some will and those for sure will be grateful to have this source of inspiration. Best wishes Tommy

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Tommy, selamat pagi! Sure, go ahead and reference my recipes, and keep up the good work with your blog :)

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