Sop Buntut: Indonesian Oxtail Soup

Recipe for a healthy, clear oxtail soup cooked with carrots and potatoes. found in restaurants across Indonesia. A great one-pot meal.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Sop buntut, or oxtail soup, is an extremely popular dish throughout the island of Java, and is found in virtually every hotel restaurant. Unlike its European counterparts, Indonesia’s version of the oxtail soup is clear and light, and is cooked with carrots and potatoes to make it a perfect one-pot meal on a rainy day.

It’s also a great introduction to Indonesian food, because sop buntut is agreeable to most palates and doesn’t contain Indonesian ingredients that take getting used to, like shrimp paste or anchovies. For the lazy cook, sop buntut is also a good dish to try out; even though it takes approximately 3 hours to prepare and cook it, most of the time is spent leaving the soup to boil while you Netflix away.

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Sop Buntut: Indonesian Oxtail Soup

Sop Buntut: Indonesian Oxtail Soup

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


A healthy, clear oxtail soup, commonly found in hotels and restaurants across Indonesia. Cooked with carrots and potatoes, it makes for a great one-pot meal and is also a good first dish to try if you’re new to Indonesian cuisine.


  • 1 kg oxtail, cut into small pieces and washed thoroughly
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into small pieces.
  • 2 carrots, peeled, washed, and cut into small pieces
  • 2 spring onions, cut into small pieces (about 2 cm long)
  • 1 medium tomato, quartered
  • 8 shallots, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled.
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cm cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2.5 ltr water


  1. Put the oxtail into a pot. Add enough water to cover the oxtail, and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn off the heat immediately after the water boils. Drain the water and rinse the oxtail with cold water.
  3. Add another 2.5 ltr of cold water to the pot containing the oxtail. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat. Add salt.
  4. Using a blender or food processor, blend the shallots and garlic into a fine paste.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan and then shallow fry the paste until fragrant, around 4 minutes. Add the fried paste to the soup.
  6. Add the white pepper, nutmeg, cloves and garlic.
  7. Continue cooking until the oxtail is tender, around 2 hrs. Adjust the seasoning.
  8. When the oxtail is tender, add the potatoes and carrots, cook for around 7 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
  9. Add the spring onions and tomato, and turn off the heat immediately.
  10. Serve with white steamed rice and sambal.

Keywords: Soups & Stews, One-pot meals, Common ingredients, Beef, Boiled, Oxtail

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