Abdul Halim Ahmad


It’s a trap, don't get confused! SOTO MIE BOGOR in a different perspective.

Source : Wikipedia

In Bogor, West Java right after comes out from the freeway, there are so many a Soto Mie hawker stalls at every corner of the city.

I remember when I was a kid, I went to primary school at SDN Semplak 2 Kota Bogor which is located in between city and districts, there was Soto Mie seller guy who made me realized that food in Indonesia was varied widely.

It was a lively corner of otherwise boring hawker stalls nearby the school and mosque construction. My mom was picked me up from school and decided had a quick early dinner at the hawker stall, it was Soto Mie which is noodles soup topped with veggies, boiled beef, fried spring roll and added with beef broth.


What does makes this dish so special? it was the broth after all. The smell of squeezed kaffir lime, the richness of the broth, the tenderness of the beef and combination between noodles and veggies, oh yes! I didn't know that adult food was crazy delicious. I forgot to mention that I don't eat elaborate dishes, as a normal kid we do love just bland fried food or some kind of fast food.

Later than my mom knew I was interested in the elaborate authentic Indonesian cuisine, and she started to introduce me to another tasty food. Soto Mie was my gate to the other world of cuisine. Let us start again, how do simply noodles soup is so crazy delicious? was it just me, or others have the same tastebud? I was not trying to make it out or creating an exaggeration statement, it’s just ugly delicious comfort food.

Based on history, the noodles itself was invented in China, some believed that noodles were brought by the traders from China to Indonesia. It becomes part of Indonesian culture that none of the Indonesian could resist any kind of noodles dishes, it is because of noodles are part of the culture themselves.

As I became who I am now, I studied that making mouthwatering Soto Mie is challenging yet satisfying. The secret is good noodles and the broth. Everyone might not agree with me, but I most likely won't like the noodles bought from noodles fabricate. The best Soto Mie is when the cook made the noodles by themselves, which is it seemed inconceivable.

It must first be said that the Soto Mie will not look the way you want them to, and perhaps, not even the way you ordered them. On a good day for once one enters the hawker stall of a Soto Mie seller, sometimes no matter what are you into, the Soto Mie taste too good to be true. On a bad day, the beef broth was not rich enough, and the beef did not cook enough with the occasional topping scattered across the bowl.

I guess the truth is also that this is not particularly about the Soto Mie, either. There is nothing wrong with the dish, it is about the cook. They are not able to be consistent with their standard recipe, it is rare to have a place serve food with constantly serving the same taste.

I get disappointed easily by that behavior, some people do not agree with this. Most of them tend to be careless and they don’t concern with this particular case, as long as the stock sold out then it is just fine. Sometimes we’re hungry and just don’t care about the taste, sometimes people don't bother to tell the truth in regards to the feeling of the cook or seller. Whatever the reason we held, in order to improve the quality of our culture especially in our traditional cuisine, criticize is so helpful and it won’t create any problem as long as we inform it in a good way.

Implementing in quality standardization recipe or adding food safety for every hawker stalls is a great idea and it might increase their sales. I believe today’s society loves the idea of professionalism and if the stakeholders willing to exceed customer expectations in the food industry then our quality of food business would significantly increase, whether small or big businesses. It will be splendid if we implement ISO 22000 in every food businesses, or at least share the knowledge about it. Build awareness is not as easy as it sounds, but hey? nothing to lose if the government or any non-profit organization could invest in the people related to this matter right? the result would be a great impact on high-quality living in our society.

Back to the first case with Soto Mie, if we can improve the quality of Soto Mie or any dishes sold at hawker stalls or a street food area, starting with the idea of understanding the importance of safety and the arts of creating the dish itself, the result may surprise us.

Making of tremendous dish like Soto Mie has a direction that needs to be followed by the cook, it isn't hard it’s just the art of how making this dish properly. When preparing the basic stock, the measurements of aromatic vegetables and spices have to be in the right amount so that is not having a bold flavor, and aside from the stock as the key of the dish, the alternative of buying noodles from the market is to make it by yourself. I was shocked when I made it from scratch, the taste was way better than you get from the market.


It must be said that Soto Mie real origin’s from Bogor, where you can just go into the Soto Mie Hawker stall at late-night. Beyond that, they are generally widespread because of the local people whose wandering outside the city and settled on that area, not only stretching along the Java island but also in many other places.

Depending on where you are, of course, the crowds change and the tone changes — both politically and generally — but the sentiment is the same. -Medium writer-

The best metaphor for Hawker stalls seller greatness is the food. I want to dine at the place that considers not fancy but only to fill a memory, eat with strangers together in one table, surrounded by strong aroma of the dish, greasy walls. But no, no more of that, let’s change the perspective of the seller of Soto Mie with a more comfortable dining area, good services, and cleanliness.

I insist you check this below! or be one of the poetry writers! looking forward to your art!!



Abdul Halim Ahmad

Food writer | Research & Development | Chef Consultant | Food culture enthusiast | Professional chef