Indonesia – Soto Betawi

by Fauzan Anandika

Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, has many delicious culinary, especially soup or Soto in the local language. Soto Betawi is one of the popular foods in Jakarta. Using coconut milk and topped with beef and innards makes Soto Betawi have a creamy and savory taste. Soto Betawi also become part of the Jakarta city history from the colonial era until Indonesian Independence Day. Jakarta itself becomes the center of Indonesian independence activity.

Soto Betawi History

Betawi is the origin of Jakarta city today, a big harbor city and international trading center in Southeast Asia. Betawi has a strong bond with Chinese and Netherland culture that influence their tradition until now. In 1740 many immigrants from Chinese comes to Betawi and start to rebellion against the Netherland government colonialism in Betawi. During that time cultural mix happen between the Chinese and Betawi culture. 

You can see the cultural mix in the spice used in Betawi culinary. Soto Betawi start to be sold in 1977 and popularized by Lie Boen Po, one of the Chinese migrants. Before using the Soto Betawi name, people use the owner’s name as part of the food name. 

Soto Betawi uses beef broth from boiling beef and innards. After the boiling process, beef and innards are cut into a bite-size and use as Soto Betawi toping. For the spice, Soto Betawi uses garlic, shallots, chili, ginger, clove, and pepper. All of these spice grind with a food processor and stir-fried with ay leaves and lemongrass. Soto Betawi served with sliced tomato, celery, scallion, and fried onion as the garnish. If you do not like to eat innards, you can substitute it with sliced beef. 


Soto Betawi

  • 500 gram of beef shank, cut into bite-size
  • 200 grams of beef lungs boil and cut into 2 x 2 cm size. 
  • 200 gram of beef tripe boil and cut into 2 x 2 cm size. 
  • 3 tablespoon of sweet soybeans sauce. 
  • 3 cm of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder
  • 4 pieces of clove
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass, crushed
  • 5 sheet of lime leaves, remove the bone, and sliced 
  • 2 cm of galangal, crushed
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 sheets of bay leaves.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper powder
  • 500 ml of coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 2 liters of water.

Ground spice

  • 12 pieces of shallot
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 pieces of candlenut, roasted
  • 2 cm of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder


  • 2 pieces of tomato, diced cut.
  • 2 pieces of scallion, thin sliced
  • 100 grams of fried shallot
  • 50 grams of fried emping (gnetum gnemon chips)
  • 4 piece of lime juice, sliced into two

How to cook

  1. Boil beef until tender and cut into 3 x 3 sizes.
  2. Strain the broth and boil again with beef lung and tripe.
  3. Use another frying pan, fry ground spice, clove, cinnamon, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, and bay leaves until fragrant.
  4. Pour the spices into the beef broth and cook until boiling.
  5. Add coconut oil, sweet soybeans sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar.
  6. Prepare a serving bowl and top with garnish. Soto Betawi is ready to be served with a side of warm rice.
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