I can`t believe this is happening. I haven`t blogged (and shared any food with you) for 2 weeks straight? No, this is unforgivable. I have a presentation to do tomorrow (to make my Monday perfect of course), but this post just can`t wait. In fact, I`ve been delaying to write about it since last month and I don`t even know why!
So, this soup is an Indonesian style beef soup with a quite strong accent of turmeric. As much as I wanted to call it "spicy beef soup", I think calling it yellow soup can somehow describe it better, as it literally is yellow and NOT spicy. Really, this soup is not spicy at all, unless you add sambal to it, which what Indonesian usually does.
You can serve this with rice or vermicelli. I used Japanese vermicelli called "soumen". Like other noodle, soumen is usually bland. But, the soumen I always buy have sesame oil and dashi in it and they make great extra flavors.
Alright, back to the soto. Cube the beef and boil. In a pressure cooker, please. But if you don`t have it, just regular pot will do fine, although it will take much longer time (and patience) to make the beef tender. That`s okay too, you can watch TV or do some blogging while waiting anyway.
Pressure cooker or regular pot, make sure to skim off the scam to make a cleaner soup. It`s almost impossible to get rid the scam completely with a (1 dollar) skimmer, though.
If you use a regular pot, keep boiling on a medium heat until you get the beef texture right. If it`s tender enough for you, turn off the heat, and set it aside.
If you are using a pressure cooker like I did, close the lid after the skimming. With the lid on and locked, I cooked it for 30 or 40 minutes. The beef turned out beautifully tender despite the stiff square look.Set it aside and let`s continue with the spice.
Here`s what I used: garlic, onion, ginger, lemon grass, and turmeric powder...
..also salam leaves (Asian bay leaves) and kaffir lime leaves. Keep stirring the spice and you`ll notice how the turmeric will give a distinct fragrance to the spice mixture aside from the gorgeous yellowness.
Pour in the beef stock you made to the spice. Or you can do the other way of course, if it`s more practical for you. In that case, rinse the pan once the spice was in with the soup to make sure you don`t leave any good stuff there.
Stir the soup with spice in and adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Sugar? Well, a pinch of it won`t hurt. When it tastes alright, drink it.
Or not. Set it aside, please. We need some self control here.
If you are serving the soto with rice, then you can skip this step. But if you choose vermicelli, boil them according to the instruction on the pack. Mine only needs 2 minutes in boiling water.
If you serve the vermicelly right away, then you won`t have any problem. But if you will eat it later, place the soumen in a bowl of (cold) water to avoid clumping.
Place the soumen in an individual bowl.
Add washed raw bean sprouts.
And pour over the beef soup. How much? As much as you like, dear. You deserve it.
Garnish with some greenie (spring onion, parsley, celery, etc) and fried onion, spritz in lemon juice (or kalamansi for the originality), and drizzle kecap manis over. If you`re more into the spicy version, get sambal too. I recommend a non-sweet sambal as the kecap manis is already sweet.
And if you want some more festivity (and calories), add boiled eggs too.
Have a nice Sunday!
Kaffir lime leaves
Salt and pepper
Vermicelli or soumen, boiled