Soto (food)

Soto ayam.JPG
Soto ayam or chicken soto. Note the transparent yellow broth, the emping and fried shallot
Alternative name(s) Sroto, Coto, Tauto
Place of origin Indonesia
Region or state Nationwide
Creator(s) Indonesian cuisine
Dish details
Course served Main course
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s) Various traditional Indonesian chicken, beef, or offal soups
Variations Rich variations across Indonesia

Soto, sroto, tauto or coto is a common dish, found in many regional variations of Indonesian cuisine. It is a traditional soup mainly composed of broth, meat and vegetables. There is no clear definition of what makes a soto, but normally many traditional soups are called soto, whereas foreign and Western influenced soups are called sop. Soto is sometimes considered Indonesia's national dish, as it is served from Sumatra to Papua, in a wide range of variations. Soto is omnipresent in Indonesia, available in many an open-air eateries and on many street corners.[1]



Soto Ayam sold in Bukit Batok, Singapore

Many metropolitan areas have their own regional versions of soto, so sotos can be classified by regional style:

  • Ambon soto, It is made of chicken and broth, flavored and colored with turmeric, ginger, galangal, garlic (the three g's), lemongrass and loads of spices. Served with rice, the add-ins and toppings are blanched bean sprouts, shredded chicken, glass noodles, chopped celery leaves, golden fried shallots, fried potato sticks, kecap manis, hot sauce, and tiny potato croquettes. A healthy squeeze of lemon china, a really fragrant citrus, really brightens up the soup.
  • Bandung soto, a clear beef soto with daikon pieces.
  • Banjar soto, spiced with lemongrass and sour hot sambal, accompanied with potato cakes.
  • Banyumas soto or sroto Banyumas or sroto Sokaraja, made special by its peanut sambal, usually eaten with ketupat.
  • Betawi soto, made of beef or beef offal, cooked in a whitish cow milk or coconut milk broth, with fried potato and tomato.
  • Kediri soto, a chicken soto in coconut milk.
  • Kudus soto, made with water buffalo meat due to local taboos of the consumption of beef.
  • Lamongan soto, a popular street food in various Indonesian metropolitan areas, a variation of the Madura soto.
  • Madura soto or soto Sulung/soto Ambengan, made with either chicken, beef or offal, in a yellowish transparent broth.
  • Makassar soto or coto Makassar, a beef and offal soto boiled in water used to wash rice, with fried peanut.
  • Medan soto, a chicken/pork/beef/innards soto with added coconut milk and served with potato croqutte (perkedel). The meat pieces are fried before being served or mixed.
  • Padang soto, a beef broth soto with slices of fried beef, bihun (rice vermicelli), and perkedel kentang (fried mashed potato).
  • Pekalongan soto or tauto Pekalongan, spiced with tauco (a fermented miso-like bean paste).
  • Semarang soto, a chicken soto spiced with candlenut and often eaten with sate kerang (cockles on a stick)
  • Tegal soto or Sauto Tegal, almost same with Pekalongan soto spiced with tauco (a fermented miso-like bean paste). Sauto can be chicken soto, beef soto, or even beef offal.

Other sotos are named based on their chief ingredient:

  • Soto ayam is chicken in a yellow spicy broth with lontong, nasi empit, ketupat (rice compressed by cooking wrapped tightly in a leaf, then sliced into small cakes), or vermicelli, commonly found in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Soto babat is a cow's or goat's tripe, served in yellow spicy coconut milk soup with vermicelli, potato, and vegetables, usually eaten with rice. It is commonly found throughout Indonesia.
  • Soto kaki (lit. "foot soto") is made of beef tendon and cartilage taken from cow's feet, served in yellow spicy coconut milk soup with vermicelli, potato, vegetables, and krupuk, commonly eaten with rice. It is Betawi food and can found in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Soto mi is a yellow spicy beef or chicken broth soup with noodles, commonly found in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Bogor, Indonesia, is famous for its soto mi made with beef broth, kikil (cow's cartilage), noodles, and sliced risoles spring rolls.

Common Condiments

Chicken soto with eggs and tripes satay

The following accompaniments are often eaten alongside soto.

  • Stewed quail eggs or chicken eggs
  • Cockles on a stick (sate kerang)
  • Skewered grilled tripes (sate babat)
  • Skewered grilled chicken giblets, such as intestine, gizzard and liver satay (sate ati ampela dan usus)
  • Fried chicken giblets
  • Prawn crackers, sometimes crushed and mixed with crushed fried garlic as koya in Madura or Lamongan soto
  • Gnetum seed crackers (emping)
  • Fried tofu or tempeh
  • Mashed potato patties (perkedel)
  • Hot chili sauce (sambal)
  • Sweet soy sauce
  • Fried shallot (bawang goreng)
  • Spicy fried grated coconut (serundeng)
  • Lime juice, sometimes replaced with vinegar


The meats that are most commonly used are chicken and beef, but there are also variations with offal, mutton, water buffalo meat and pork. The soup is usually accompanied by rice or compressed rice cakes (lontong, ketupat or buras). Offal is a very common ingredient in soto, and is considered as a delicacy: the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe), omasum (book/bible/leaf tripe) and the intestines are all eaten.

Other ingredients of soto include soon alternatively spelled as sohun (rice vermicelli), mung bean sprouts and scallion.

Soto spices include shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, ginger, coriander, salt and pepper.

Soto can have a clear broth, a yellow transparent broth (coloured with turmeric) or a milky coconut-milk broth.

Soto in Malaysia and Singapore is the clear chicken broth type. Like many dishes, it may have been brought into the country by the many Javanese migrants in the early 20th century.

Gallery of soto variants

See also


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