Soto Bandung: Traditional Beef Brisket Soup, Bandung-style

A traditional Indonesian beef brisket soup recipe from Bandung — Soto bandung is a clear soup cooked with radish, served with fried soybeans.

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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.

Soto is a traditional soup found in many regions in Indonesia. There are many variants of soto, depending on where it comes from. Each comprises slightly different ingredients and spices that define its origins. To distinguish them, each soto is often named after its city of origin, such as soto Padang, soto Bandung, soto Betawi, soto Lamongan, soto Kudus, etc. Sometimes, a soto is named for its main ingredient as well, such as soto ayam (chicken soto) or soto mie (noodle soto).  

Some historians suggest that the Chinese brought soto to Indonesia around the 17th century, and then localised it according to local tradition, using available ingredients. Thus, each region has developed their own soto recipe, using their unique cooking methods and ingredients. Some soto are clear and simple, and others are very complex. The only similar things they have in common are, they’re all a form of soup and are served with sides such as sambal, lime wedges, etc. 


This recipe is for Soto Bandung, which originates in the city of Bandung, West Java. This soto has a clear broth and the ingredients used are simple. What makes it different is the addition of radish during cooking. And that it is always served with fried soybeans on the side.

To really have the perfect Soto Bandung dining experience, please read the instructions in the notes section carefully. It would be wise to adhere to those rules when eating all kinds of soto! Of course you have the liberty to add more celery, if you like, or even omit the sweet soy sauce! The most important thing, when faced with a multitude of side dishes, is, just don’t panic. Stay calm, and eat soto.

A bowl of warm rice is generally optional, but compulsory if you’re Indonesian.

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Soto Bandung: Bandung-style Traditional Beef Brisket Soup

Soto Bandung: Traditional Beef Brisket Soup, Bandung-style

  • 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


This recipe is for soto Bandung, a traditional Indonesian beef brisket soup from the city of Bandung in West Java. Soto Bandung is a clear soup cooked with radish, and served with a side of fried soybeans.


  • 500 gr beef brisket, cut into small chunks
  • 200 gr white radish, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 7 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tbsp white pepper corn
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised, knotted
  • 3 cm galangal, peeled, bruised
  • 4 cm ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves (daun salam)
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lt water
  • 1 small lime, cut into wedges
  • Sambal soto 
  • Fried soybeans
  • 1 stalk small celery, sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onions, sliced
  • Sweet soy sauce


  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, blend shallots, garlic and white peppercorns into a fine paste.
  2. Put the beef and water in a medium-sized pot and cook on high heat until it boils, then lower the heat to medium low.
  3. Using a small frying pan, saute the spice paste until fragrant, then transfer it to the soup.
  4. Add the lemongrass, galangal, ginger, salam leaves and salt.
  5. Simmer the soup for about 1 hour.
  6. Add the sliced radish and simmer the soup for another half an hour until the meat is done and the radish turns translucent.
  7. Ladle the soup to a serving bowl and sprinkle with fried soybeans, sliced celery, spring onions and fried shallots.
  8. Sprinkle with sweet soy sauce and lime juice and add some sambal soto for extra heat.


  • Scoop the soup into a bowl, making sure to have a good quantity of meat and radish.
  • Sprinkle the soup with chopped spring onions, celery, fried shallots and fried soybeans.
  • Squeeze some lime, add enough sambal soto and drizzle a little bit of sweet soy sauce.
  • Mix everything thoroughly. Enjoy the soto!

Keywords: Non-Spicy, One-pot meals, radish, soybeans

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