Rawon, Beef Black Soup

Written by on June 13, 2012 in Java Culinary with 0 Comments

Rawon, Beef Black Soup




  1. 500 gr beef, brisket or silverside, cut in diced
  2. 2 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  3. 2 cm or 1 tbsp galangale, bruished
  4. 5 kaffir lime leaves
  5. 2 spring onions, chopped
  6. pepper (to taste)
  7. palm sugar (to taste)
  8. salt
  9. 2 Liter water

Spice Paste:

  1. 10 pcs asian shalllots or 6 pcs western shallots, chopped
  2. 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  3. 5 candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  4. 5 fresh kluwek or 10 gr dried kluwek block
  5. 2 cm or 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  6. 1 cm or 1 tsp lesser galangale ( fresh or dried rhizome)
  7. 1 cm or 1 tsp ground turmeric
  8. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  9. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  10. 1/2 tsp tamarind
  11. 1/2 tsp roasted shrimp paste/ terasi (optional)


  1. beansprouts
  2. fried onions
  3. shrimp cracker / kerupuk udang
  4. sambal terasi

Beef Black Soup

Place of origin: East Java

Source: My Grandmother

A small note…

Rawon is a special dish which originated from East Java Province but now has become a well known dish across the country. What makes this dish so special & unique is it’s BLACK colour!! Yes it is really black, as if the soup has been made with Asphalt 😉 And this black colour comes from Keluak, the special & most important ingredient which gives it’s character!! Without Keluak, Rawon is not Rawon ha hah.. What about the taste? Hmmm..it’s so completely delicious!! But honestly many people in the west (that also includes my husband) are pretty skeptish to see it’s strange “exotic” appearance. Not so appetizing, he said ;-( So I should convince him many times that the black colour comes from Keluak not from anything else. So how do I convince you?? Well all I can say is you never know until you’ve tried ;-


  1. Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  3. Boil 2 liter water in a deep saucepan.
  4. *) Once it’s boiled adjust the heat into medium, add the beef meat and cook until well cooked.
  5. (If necessary skim off and discard the fat that floats to the water surface).
  6. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a fryingpan. (Don’t add oil if already added in a blender).
  7. Stir fry the paste, lemon grass, galangale & kaffir-lime leaf and bay leaf. Stirring all the time until fragrant.
  8. Transfer the paste to the deep saucepan where the meat have been boiled.
  9. Add the pepper, palm sugar and salt. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  10. When the meat is already well cooked add the chopped spring onion.
  11. Prepare the soup in a individual serving dish, garnish with beansprouts & fried onions.
  12. Serve with kerupuk udang and sambal (if preffered).
  13. Rawon tastes best at the following day after cooking.
  1. *** Add in the meat into boiled water then cook on the medium heat to preserve it’s best taste.

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