Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup)

My old dear friend Agnes from college gave me this recipe when I moved to live in Australia with my husband.  At that time, I was zero in cooking knowledge.  In her recipe she says, boil the oxtail until tender.  I didn’t have a clue that tender in here means it will take about 1 – 1.5 hour to cook.  So after couple minutes I declared my buntut is cooked.  And…it turned out still hard and uneatable!  So….remember it need to be boiled about an hour or so, check occasionally with knife/fork, or until you can see the bones almost separated from the meats.  It’s easy to make, warm your tummy in the winter, quite light too for summer evening.



1 kg beef oxtail

3 or 5 shallots, diced

2 or 3 carrots, cut 2 cm

2 potatoes, cut 2 cm (i omit this as it will make the soup too ‘heavy’ for my taste) or 2 tomatoes, halved

3 or 4 spring onions, chopped

half of nutmeg

5 cloves

Boil the oxtail until tender, it will take about 1 until 1.5 hour.  If the water runs out,  add more water.

Once the oxtail is soft, add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, carrot.  Cook for about another 15 minutes or until the carrot is tender.  Add the tomato/potatoe and spring onions, cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Serve with fried onion on the top.



Bakso | Indonesian Meatballs

Being Indonesian, I can’t not like bakso.  Bakso or  meatballs in English, made from beef mince and eat it with egg noodles and vegetables.  In Indonesia bakso is often sold in the street on little cart.  In Australia you can find ready to eat bakso at the oriental supermarket, in frozen section.  Not knowing what kind of chemicals and preservative the ready one that sold in the market, I try to make home-made bakso.
My friend Aimee who lives in Dubai and expert in cooking Indonesian meal, gave me her bakso recipe and since then I always use this recipe.
to make the bakso/meatballs

-minced beef 500 gr
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-tapioka starch 200 gr
-salt and pepper, taste
-chicken stock, 2 tspn
-baking powder 2 tspn
-cold water (from the fridge) 1/2 cup

mixed all the ingredients above together, set aside for 15 minutes. then make a little ball one by one.

meanwhile, for the soup:

beef bone 1/2 kg
1 clove garlic
2 litres water

boil beef bones in 2 liter water for about 1 hours. then add the bakso into the boiling soup and cook until the bakso is firm.

serve with egg noodles, some green vegetables (bok choy/cut spring onion) couple boiled tofu, top with fried onions, and chilli sauce.

Sambal Matah ( raw chilli seasoning )

Sambals is rice’s little helper, as we called in Indonesia because not a meal goes past without some sort of sambal or fiery chilli condiment served on the side. Sambal makes the heart sing and warms the soul, comforting the weariest spirit — (fragrant rice by Janet de Neefe)

This sambal matah is the most popular sambals eaten in Bali and usually served with fresh grilled fish or fried chicken. It’s also a wonderful accompaniment to summer salad, grilled chicken and avocado.


3 small red shallots

1 tsp sea salt

3 tbspn oil

3 large chillies, trimmed and de-seeded

2-3 small chillies

3 tspn finely chopped lemongrass

1 tspn finely chopped or grated ginger

5 kafir lime leaves, shredded

1/2 tspn shrimp paste, grilled


Slice the shallots as finely as possible, slice all chillies finely.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly, making sure the shrimp paste is blended in. Add sea salt to taste.

note: to grill the shrimp paste, place it on a small piece of foil in the oven or under a griller for 30 seconds until slightly browned.