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Weekend lazy lunch with a taste of home is incomparable. That’s how I describe my weekend.

Back when i worked in Jakarta, Soto Betawi (among many others) is one of my favorite lunch dish. The dish consists of thinly cut soft beef brisket, cooked together with the beef broth and coconut milk. It is usually served with tomato, fried potatoes, cracker and white rice. It is a hearty comfort food especially during rainy days. It brings back the old time memory where your mom was cooking and you were running around in the kitchen, then scolded by her because you distracted her.

It is a very easy dish to cook, with a very satisfying result.


Soto Betawi

Things you need:

  • 500 gr beef brisket


  • 10 shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 candle nuts
  • 1 tbs coriander powder
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 6 chili padi (optional)

For soup:

  • 3 cm galangal
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 2 lemon grass stalk – crush the stalk a bit
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced into cube , fried
  • 1 spring onion, cut into piece
  • sweet Indonesian soy sauce

Things you need to do:

Cook the beef with the pressure cooker for about 1 hour. Cut the beef into small thin cube. Set aside the beef, and take out the impurity (thin layer of fat on top of the broth) from the beef stock, then reserve it.

Grind the ingredients until it becomes paste ( i use my food processor, you can use mortar and pestle if you want a finer result). Put a little bit of oil in a big wok on a high heat, then fry the paste until fragrant, add in the beef into the wok, fry it together with the paste for a little while. Lower down the heat. Put in the lemon grass, bay leaves, lime leaves, and galangal. Fry it for a bit longer till you can smell all the ingredients blend together. Then add in the beef broth, bring to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for a while. Pour in the coconut milk, and stir to avoid the milk from splitting. Add in pepper and salt to taste.

In serving bowl, put in the the diced tomatoes and diced potatoes. Pour the soup into the bowl, garnish with spring onion and sweet soy sauce. Serve the soup with cracker and warm rice.

Happy lunching!


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