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Soto Betawi

A creamy beef broth enriched with coconut milk, herbs and spices. Enjoy this dish as is, or with a bowl of rice. 

Serves 6 - 8


  • 800 gr quality stewing steak or beef skirt in bite sized chunks

  • 500 ml coconut cream

  • 1.5 litres beef stock or water

  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3 lime leaves

  • Small bunch of celery leaves or Chinese parsley

  • I finely chopped spring onion

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into small cubes

  • Juice of two limes

  • Crunchy fried shallots

  • 5 birds eye chillies, ground finely

For the paste

  • 75 gr shallots

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 4 roasted candlenuts (cashew or macadamia nuts will do)

  • 1 tbsp roasted whole coriander seeds



  1. Using a blender, with a touch of water, blend all the paste ingredients and set aside

  2. Season the cubes of beef with salt and pepper

  3. Heat a large pot with the coconut/vegetable oil and brown the beef in batches, adding a little more oil if needed. Set the beef aside

  4. Using the same pot add the paste and cook for 4-5 minutes, until fragrant

  5. Return the beef to the pot, stirring for around a minute

  6. Add the beef stock (or water), the lime leaves and grated nutmeg, then simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until the meat is tender. Season with salt 

  7. Add the coconut milk, add the lime juice and taste; add more salt if necessary

  8. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with the tomatoes, Chinese parsley, spring onions and crispy shallots (sliced fried and seasoned earlier). Serve immediately with fresh chillies and sliced lime leaves on the side.

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