Soto and the influence of foreign dish
Indonesia as an archipelago nation has various traditional dishes and Soto is one of Indonesia’s traditional dishes which considered as National dish since a hundred years ago. It is a simple effort for everyone who came to Indonesia to find restaurants, traditional food stalls and even a modern food court which offer Soto as their special dish.
This is the main reason why Soto is very popular from Sumatera to Papua and some people (especially food expert) believes that Soto was influenced by foreign culinary tradition. Well, from its appearance surely it is similar to soup which very popular in Europe but the recipe is originally developed in Indonesia. Some food experts also gave another opinion that Soto was influenced by Caudo (the Chinese culinary which came to Indonesia along with the immigrants) and as a result, Soto was born as a traditional dish from Indonesia which can unite multi-race that lives in Indonesia.
Soto dishes from Sumatera to Papua
For me, Soto is one of my favorite dishes and some of variants of Soto surely can boost up your mood plus energy and gives another shot while exploring the beauty of Indonesia. Here are some of Soto dishes which can be found across Indonesia.
1. Soto Betawi, This is a traditional Soto dish from Betawi (Jakarta). Lots of beef as ingredients and cooked with white cow milk or coconut milk. Served with fried potatoes, Crackers (Kerupuk) or Emping (Crackers/Chips that made from Gnetum Gnemon Fruit).
2. Soto Banyumas, This soto varian is from Banyumas, Central Java. Usually served with Ketupat and Peanut Sambal. This one is great if you like spicy menus.
3. Soto Kudus, This one also come from Central Java. Main ingredient is water buffalo meat as substitution of beef which taboo for local people. Soto Kudus is served in small bowl complete with rice and Tempe, Tahu or Egg Satay. We can choose the food compliment as we like since all compliments will be served along with the main dish.
4. Soto Lamongan, This one is from Lamongan, East Java. We can find lots of traditional stalls which offer this soto varian especially in big cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya. This soto variant also considered as street food “king” along with other local dish such as Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice). Main ingredients of Soto Lamongan are Rice Vermicelli, bean sprouts (tauge), and chicken.
5. Soto Makassar, This variant is from Makassar, Sulawesi. Beef and offal boiled in water which used to wash rice and served with fried peanut. Food compliments such as Tempe, Tahu and Perkedel (Smashed Potato) also served with main dish.
More than 30 variants of Soto available in Indonesia and the best way to know the Soto variant is come to Indonesia and order the dish whether at Restaurant or Traditional food stalls. There is also Gerobak Soto (Soto Cart) which has certain route in residential area and you can buy Soto from the Soto Cart.
Common price for Soto Dishes
No need to worry about the price of Soto dish, it is very affordable for most people. Although the price is very affordable but we must be careful to choose the correct Traditional Food Stall to get the original taste of certain Soto recipe, otherwise we only get plain Soto experience.
Yes, one bowl of Soto Kudus usually sold at IDR 5.000 – IDR 10.000. A complete dish of Soto Betawi is around IDR 12.000 – IDR 15.000 while Soto Lamongan is sold around IDR 10.000 – 12.000 at street food stalls. So, if you have plans to explore Indonesia, don’t forget to explore Soto Dishes as well.
By Amar Pujo Wicaksono
(Contributor at visitingjava.com)