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Soto Betawi: Jakarta’s Soup of Secrets and Spice

Soto Betawi is one of my family’s favorite dishes!

Every time I make this for my husband and family, they absolutely love it.

Soto Betawi originates from the vibrant city of Jakarta and is now recognized as a delicious Indonesian beef stew.

Savory of soto betawi (Beef Soup)

The dish brings comfort to many people. You will find rich and aromatic broth filled with tender beef and tantalizing spices with the topping of creamy coconut milk in it.

If you also crave the extra kick of flavors like us, you must try it too. It is easy to make, and you have to follow simple steps. Let’s get to know how to make this mouthwatering dish!

Find my other top delicious recipes here:

Origin of Soto Betawi

The name obviously originates from its location, Jakarta. A long time ago, a soto seller introduced the name ‘Soto Betawi’ for one of his famous soto types.

Unfortunately, his cart does not cart exist anymore. So, it’s impossible that you can pay a visit to the original cart.

However, I was able to try out multiple ways to cook this dish and discovered the perfect recipe which gives the authentic flavor! You can cook the authentic taste by following this original recipe.

Why do People Love it?

People of all ages love this dish because of its connection with the heritage. The harmonious blend of aromatic spices, milk, and tender beef adds to daily flavors.

Besides being a cultural representation of Jakarta, the dish is comforting and nourishing. That’s why it is popular globally, especially in the cooler regions where it serves as a bowl of warm goodness. 

Another reason for its popularity is because of the personalization options.

I like to add different toppings every time I make this to give it a twist!

You can add toppings like fried potatoes, diced tomatoes, and crispy shallots, as per your taste.

So, whether you want to connect to your cultural heritage or are merely a fan of rich aromatic flavors, you must try it. 

Try our recipe to recreate the authentic taste!


Another great thing about this dish is that it can be reheated to enjoy later!

To store Soto Betawi, you need to cool it down. You can cook this dish about 2-3 days before.

Take a tightly lidded food container and keep it in the freezer. By doing it, you can keep it well for 6-8 weeks.

Don’t forget to label the container. Labelling it will help you to identify it among other containers in your refrigerator. 

To serve the refrigerator-stored Soto Betawi:

  • Reheat the soup until it boils.
  • Only reheat the required quantity.
  • Never refreeze the thawed food.

Not only may it lose its original aroma and taste, but it can also lose its nutritional value.


Soto Betawi is the symbol of Jakarta’s rich culinary tradition.

You can enjoy the strong flavors that permeate the country through this dish. With this genuine recipe, you can now replicate the essence of Jakarta in your own home.

To enjoy the heart and soul of Jakarta’s popular beef soup, gather your ingredients, summon your culinary skills, and set off on a tasty trip.

Give yourself and your family a healthy meal which will most likely become a family favorite.

Happy eating! 

Soto Betawi

Soto Betawi: Jakarta’s Soup of Secrets and Spice

Soto Betawi originates from the vibrant city of Jakarta and is now recognized as a delicious Indonesian beef stew.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4
Calories 219 kcal


  • 1 kg of fresh beef (cut into ½ inch pieces)
  • 2 vegetable oil
  • 3 leaves of bay
  • 2 leaves of kaffir lime
  • 2 stalk lemongrass (cut it into 2 pieces and bruise it)
  • 500 ml of Water
  • 300 ml of Fresh Milk
  • 100 ml of Coconut Milk
  • 1 tbsp salt (or as per your taste)
  • 2 tsp sugar (or as per your taste)
  • 1 roasted cinnamon stick
  • 2 roasted dried star anise (roasted together with cinnamon)
  • 2 large potatoes (peel them and cut them into cubes)

Ground Spices

  • 2 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 candlenut or macadamia nuts (roast them before grinding)
  • 1 tbsp of cumin seeds (roast them before grinding)
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cm galangal
  • 5 red chilies (you can add more if you are a spice lover and can skip if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed


  • 1 fresh scallion (thinly sliced)
  • Fried potato cubes
  • Fresh diced tomatoes
  • Fresh, dried shallots (or store-bought)
  • Emping or Melinjo crackers (or shrimp crackers)
  • Acar (Pickle)


  • In a big saucepan, heat 3/4 tbsp oil on medium heat. Add Lemongrass, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves. Then sauté the crushed spices till they are aromatic. For an additional 40 seconds, sauté.
    Stir ground spices
  • Add the meat and cook for an additional two to three minutes. Bring Water to a boil after adding it. Add the star anise and toasted cinnamon, cover the pot, and bring the soup to a boil over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
    boil beef soup
  • Turn down the heat and let the meat simmer until it is soft and well-flavoured.
  • Add the coconut milk, sour cream, and fresh milk. After one minute of boiling, taste and adjust the seasoning. Cut the heat off.
  • Serve the Soto Betawi hot with optional toppings such as emping or shrimp crackers, fried potato cubes, fresh tomatoes, sliced scallions, and fried dry shallots. For a filling supper, serve the dish over steaming rice.
    Soto betawi is ready to serve
Keyword Soto Betawi

Maya Sari

I'm Maya Sari, a passionate East Culinary food blogger here to share with you the secrets of the mouthwatering flavors of East Asian cuisine

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  1. 5 stars
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