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Pindang Iga: Sour and Spicy Beef Ribs Soup

Pindang Iga: Sour and Spicy Beef Ribs Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews, Beef & Lamb
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


A sour and spicy soup originally from Palembang in South Sumatra. Traditionally a fish dish, it is today cooked all over Indonesia with a variety of proteins. Our recipe calls for beef ribs, and is not spicy when served.


  • 1 kg beef ribs, cut into small pieces, washed thoroughly with cold water
  • 8 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 cm fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 pieces fresh turmeric (measuring 4 cm each), peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 salam leaves (Indonesian bay leaves)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, use only the white parts, bruised, knotted
  • 2 red tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 stalks of spring onion, cut in 2 cm pieces
  • 10 whole bird’s eye chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 ltr water

Pindang Iga ingredients


  1. Fill a large cooking pot with 2 litres of water, add the ribs, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. While waiting for the soup to boil: In a medium-sized frying pan, sauté the shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger and shrimp paste over high heat until fragrant, around 3 minutes.

  3. Add the sautéed spices to the boiling pot. Lower the heat to a small flame.
  4. Add the salam leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and salt.
  5. Cover the pot partially, to allow the steam to escape so the soup won’t overflow.
  6. Continue cooking for 1.5 hours or until the meat is tender.
  7. Adjust the seasoning.
  8. When the soup is done, add the whole bird’s eye chilies, spring onions and tomatoes, then turn the heat off.


  • Slowly simmer the soup over low heat to bring out the essence of the meat and the bones, for the best flavour.

Keywords: Non-spicy, One-pot meals, Clear Soup