Sup Buntut Rempah Recipe (Indonesian Spiced Oxtail Soup)

Sup Buntut is one of popular soups in Indonesia. I used to make it with Indonesia instant seasoning “Munik”.

The original recipe uses beef oxtail, carrots, chinese celery leaves, potato, shallots, garlics, ground nutmeg, cloves, white/black pepper, salt, and sprinkle with slice of green onion and
tomato. We, Indonesians love to eat this with steamed rice, emping nut crackers, add some chilli sauce (it’s made from ground chillies) and don’t forget to drizzle with lime juice over the soup.

Here, I made it from scratch and a bit different with the original recipe. I added ground star anise, cardamom, celery stalks. I omitted potato and celery leaves.

Soups & Stews
600 g beef oxtail
2400 ml water to make broth
1 large carrot, cut into 3 cm length
3 celery stalks , cut into 3 cm length
4 shalots, sliced
cloves garlic, sliced
3-4 cloves
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp star anise powder
ground white/black pepper, salt and sugar as desired to season

Other Condiments
slice or dice of tomato
slice of green onions
emping nut crackers
chilli sauce


  • Cut oxtail into round shapes. In a large pot, add beef oxtail and water, bring to boil until the oxtail very tender. This method could take up to 4 hours of boiling time. If you want to reduce the cooking time, use a pressure cooker. Make sure that you have enough broth, If it’s not enough, add more water into the pot. You can make the broth ahead so the next day you can discard the fat layer.
  • Bring to the broth a boil. Meanwhile, saute slice of shallots and garlics until fragrant. Add the saute mixture to the oxtail broth.
  • Add cardamom, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, black/white pepper and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Add carrot and celery stalks, bring to a boil again untill the vegetables done.
  • Taste the soup, add a small amount of sugar instead of MSG.
  • Remove from heat. Sprinkle with slice of green onion and dice/slice of tomato. Serve with steamed rice, emping nut crackers, chilli sauce and drizzle with lime juice over the soup.

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives in Winnipeg, Canada for more than a decade and decided to move a bit west. Edmonton is now where she is based on. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.