Soto Padang; a bowl of warmth for lazy Sunday morning


Weekend is finally come again!

After grueling week, one thing that will make my weekend morning perfect is a bowl of Soto Padang (Padangnese style beefy soup).

If you look at the bowl, it would seem humble, like nothing special. But one bowl of good Soto Padang will cost approximately three bowl of mediocre ones. For the common, this dish seemed unworthy the extra cash, since the fillings are the same: sliced aged beef (dendeng kering), glass noodles, potato fritter, spring onion, celery leaves and sambal.

The secret of Soto Padang is in the broth. Like Anthony Bourdain always said, the broth will make or brake soupy dish. The layered flavor of saltiness, umami, beefy and mild spices are so different between the great bowl and the regular ones.

Don’t believe me? Go ¬†and find the nearest Soto Padang restaurant, or visit my family’s favorite by H. St. Mangkuto at Pasar Baru area in Jakarta. When you got your bowl, don’t winch on the small size bowl because you will eat them with a plate of rice. First thing to do is slurping the broth only with your eyes closed before adding anything to it.

Same bowl different taste

If you buy Soto Padang anywhere in Indonesia, this is the normal serving size and style. Relatively smaller bowl compared to other Soto dish. But somehow always this is the correct portion for such an intense soup.

What's in it?

See what I meant? Anywhere you go for Soto Padang, the filling always similar. Sliced beef, glass noodles and sliced potato fritatas.

This is how we eat it

This is how we eat it, add sambal and plain rice. That’s why, the test will be the first slurp of naked broth.

Extra crunch

Extra crunch can’t be bad, right? Keripik balado (spicy cassava chips), Emping or any tipe of rice crackers usually lying around the table. Or ask for Keripik Paru (beef’s lung sliced and processed then deep fried to crispy) for bold flavor.

Sweet tooth?

If you still got enough space in the gut, don’t miss traditional rice flour based cakes. Crave healer for the sweet tooth.

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta


Soupy breakfast


For most of Asian, we have this urgency to eat rice or its derivative (porridge, rice cake, rice noodles) for breakfast. It’s won’t be a meal if there weren’t with rice. That’s the common phrase in javanese community.
Rice (and its derivative) is staple, even more, it’s a religious must for breakfast just like eggs for westerners.
Rice noodles in Laksa Singapore or rice cakes in Katupek Gulai padang are just example. If we eat rice on its original form, then it would be dry breakfast like Fried rice. But when we ate its variance, usually we choose the soupy ones. Although we may have fried rice noodles whom is less soupy for lunch, but we certainly will choose the one with light warm broth for breakfast.
We need to fill our tummy to the fullest and enjoy the warm sensation after eating hot and spicy broth.

Singapore: Soupy breakfast by hradcanska
Singapore: Soupy breakfast, a photo by hradcanska on Flickr.

Katupek Gulai Paku Jo Randang
If you observe the huge chunks of meats and vegetables on Katupek Gulai Padang, I’m sure it’ll more suitable for lunch than breakfast. But we like our hearty, filling breakfast to start our day (sometimes).