Macassan variety-meat soup

Macassan variety-meat soup

Soto Macassar

South East Asian Food

A great dish for the offal lover. It is not dissimilar from the soto daging madura of Javanese hawkers, though richer. Soups made with offal are popular all over South East Asia, although this recipe can be made using shin beef on its own.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg mixed shin beef, unblanched beef tripe, intestine, and lung, (optional)
1.5 litres water, or to cover
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised with a cleaver
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons yellow soya bean paste
2 chicken stock cubes
3 green shallots or spring onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Paste spices

Quantity Ingredient
2cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
4cm piece galangal, peeled and chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
6 shallots, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, roasted in a dry pan and ground
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted in a dry pan and ground
2 tablespoons raw peanuts
or 5 candlenuts, roasted in a dry pan, then crushed


Quantity Ingredient
Chilli-shrimp paste condiment, served on a small sauce plate with a spoon
2 green limes, cut into wedges
2 cups small round raw peanuts complete with skin, fried in 1 cup oil in a wok until brown, drained thoroughly
Compressed rice
a bowl acar


  1. Prepare the offal by thoroughly cleaning and washing it. To clean the beef tripe pour on boiling water and scrape with a knife until all the black parts come off. Trim the intestine of its skin and adhering fat.
  2. Cut the intestines into 2 cm lengths and all the other meats into 1 cm thick slices then into 2 cm squares. Put the water on to boil and add the meats, the lime leaves and the lemongrass and simmer for half an hour.
  3. In a mortar or a food processor attachment, grind the spice paste ingredients to a paste, omitting the coriander and cumin if using shin beef only. Heat the oil in a wok and fry them until they smell cooked. Add 1⁄2 cup water and blend thoroughly. Add this to the soup with the yellow bean paste, if you are using it, and the chicken cubes. Simmer until the meats are half cooked (about another half hour), then add the green shallots and cook for a further hour.
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls, mix in the sambal, squeeze lime juice over the top and add crunchy peanuts on the side. On separate small plates place rice and some acar, and take a bite of rice followed by a spoon of soup and occasionally a spoon of acar for fresh, sharp contrast.
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