April 4, 2009

Goat Feet Soup

Sometimes I'm bemused by the hooplas surrounding the seemingly 'groundbreaking' trend of cooking with offals or 'variety meats' by noted chefs or restaurants in America. The simple fact is, in many other countries, including Indonesia, utilizing the animal from 'head to toe' as food is a normal part of everyday cooking (and it makes a lot of economical sense!).

Sop Kaki Kambing (Goat Feet Soup) is a prime example of this don't-waste-any-part cooking philosophy. Yes, the goat's feet (hooves intact) are parts of the ingredients, as well as its various innards and other organs (known collectively here as jerohan), as you can see from the photos below.

Recently my husband and I went with a couple of friends to try one of the most famous Sop Kaki Kambing in Jakarta. As with many other well-known food establishments in this city, 'Sop Kaki Kambing Dudung Roxy' is not a dine-in restaurant, but rather a roadside food stall of the amigos (agak minggir got sedikit) dining style. From what I've heard, this place has been very popular for decades, with the grown children of the original 'pak Dudung' now running the operation. (Roxy is the name of the neighborhood where it's located).

Upon entering the tent we saw a long table lined with large bowls containing miscellaneous goat parts. All of these 'parts' have been pre-cooked, with the exception of one organ (you'll see it later). Each of us was given an empty bowl and down the line we went picking and choosing the parts on our own (actually my husband did, I opted for something else).

A closer look at the contents of one bowl: babat or tripe/stomach lining (the grayish stuff on the lower left) and various segments of usus or intestines.

What my husband chose: a leg/foot (mostly bone and tendons) and a hoof (skin on) ... and the delicacy better known here with the nickname of 'torpedo' (that creamy pink blob on the upper right): goat's testis. He went on to add other parts, mostly gristly and bony, which I couldn't identify...

He then gave his filled bowl to this guy, who chopped up everything before cooking them briefly in a soup base.

The completed soup: the chopped parts were now swimming in a savory broth made of thin coconut milk and spices, then sprinkled with thinly sliced scallions, chunks of fresh tomatoes, crispy deep fried shallots and emping belinjo (padi oats crackers). Hot steamed rice and various condiments (house sambal, pickled veggies, sweet soy sauce, lime wedges) rounded off the meal.

I did have a taste of my husband's soup, including a tiny bite of the 'torpedo' (I gave the rest back to him...) and a chunk of chewy gristle with tiny fragmented bones (which I also returned to his bowl). He (and our friends) seemed to enjoy this very textural experience for a meal, but I simply couldn't. Gnawing and chewing my way through these goat parts isn't my definition of a good time (but I somehow love picking apart and devouring a whole fish down to the bone... but that's another story).

As I mentioned above, I opted for another dish: Soto Betawi, essentially the same with Sop Kaki Kambing, but it's made with beef instead of goat. I had mine made with regular beef cuts and chunks of tendon, although I could also have lungs, hearts, etc.

Dudung Roxy also serves other dishes using goat meat such as satay (nicely charred, bathed in peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce... delicious!) and fried rice, but for most Jakartans, that name is synonymous with Sop Kaki Kambing.

The scene immediately outside the tent, the street is also lined with other food stalls offering their take on Sop Kaki Kambing!

1 comment:

  1. I'll hide this post from my husband who is a fan of these stuffs. Great post!