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East Java Beef Soup Recipe (Rawon)

Updated on March 20, 2015
Nasi Rawon (Rawon soup with rice)
Nasi Rawon (Rawon soup with rice) | Source

Rawon - Tender beef slices in rich black broth, a native East Java dish, is a traditional soup made of beef and kluwak nut (black nut or nut from Pangium Edule tree).

It is usually served in a bowl with baby bean sprouts, salted duck eggs, chili sauce and warm steamed rice. Kerupuk udang (shrimp crackers) and perkedel (potato cakes) are sometime prepared at the top. The rice can be served in separate serving plate or add to the soup or known as nasi rawon (rawon with rice).

The soup is full of flavors. It's warm, savory and earthy. Probably the color of the soup is not attractive, but do not underestimate, this is one of the most delish soup ever.

If you are visiting Surabaya, East Java, "Rawon Setan" (Devil's rawon) is a must to try but if you like to fix it at home, here is rawon recipe.

What You Need

Serves 4


1 1/2 lbs beef

2 daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves)

5 kaffir lime leaves

1 lemongrass, cut into 3, bruised

1 piece galangal (1 inch), sliced

4 cups water

3 cups beef stock

1/4 tsp ground pepper

2 tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp sugar

Spice paste:

4 Asian shallot

4 cloves garlic

4 pcs kluwak (black nut), cracked, peeled and soaked in warm water

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp coriander seeds

5 kemiri (candlenut)

1 1/2 tsp salt


fried shallot flakes

lime wedges

1 cup young bean sprouts (short)

hard boiled salted dug eggs

3 spring onions, chopped

sambal ulek (chili paste)

How to Fix

  • In a pot, put beef and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the beef for about 5 minutes.Then dump the water and beef into the sink. Clean and scrap the pot from any residue. Rinse the beef under running water. Drain.
  • Put the beef, 4 cups of water, 3 cups of beef stock, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, galangal and ground pepper in the pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Then lower the heat to simmer. Skim off any scum. Simmer about 45 minutes. Remove the beef from broth then cut into cubes. Return the beef into the broth. Continue to simmer.
  • In a food processor, put shallot, garlic, candlenut, kluwak, turmeric powder, ginger, coriander seeds and salt. Grind the spices into paste.
  • Heat a wok over high heat. When hot add cooking oil and spice paste. Stir-fry the spice paste over medium heat until fragrant. It will take about 1 minutes. Transfer the spice paste stir-fry into the broth.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the broth. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the beef is tender. Taste and adjust the flavors. Add salt, pepper or sugar if necessary.
  • To serve: put beef pieces in the bowl and pour over the boiling broth. Garnish with bean sprouts, spring onions, lime wedges and fried shallot flakes. Enjoy with steamed rice, salted duck eggs and sambal (chili paste).

Rawon Recipe - in Indonesian


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