This thick beef stew originated from East Java, specifically Surabaya.
Rawon’s strong flavor derives from black nuts called kluwak, mixed with turmeric, various herbs and spices, making the stew look black and intense, a suitable representation of its strong, luscious taste.
Inside the stew are chops of beef, baby bean sprouts, an optional squeeze of lime, salted egg, and condiment, eaten with a plate-full of rice.
Rawon is a special dish that originated from East Java Province but now has become a well-known dish across the country.
What makes this dish so special & unique is its 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 its character!! Without Keluak, Rawon is not Rawon/
What about the taste?
Hmmm..it’s so completely delicious!!
Ingredients for 3-4 persons:
500 gr/1 lb 2 oz beef, brisket or silverside, diced
2 stem lemongrass, outer leaves discarded, brushed
2 cm or 1 tsp galangal, brushed
5 kaffir-lime leaves
2 spring onions, chopped
pepper (to taste)
palm sugar (to taste)
2 lt/ 4 pints water
Spice for the paste:
10 pcs/100 gr Asian shallots or french shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 candlenuts, roughly chopped or crushed
5 fresh keluak or 10 gr dried keluak block
2 cm or 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 cm or 1 tsp lesser galangale ( fresh or dried rhizome)
1 cm fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp tamarind
1/2 tsp roasted shrimp paste/ terasi (optional)
shrimp cracker / kerupuk udang
- Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessary add a little bit of oil to help the blending process).
- Boil 2 litres of water in a deep saucepan. *) Once it’s boiled adjust the heat to medium, add the beef meat and cook until well cooked. (If necessary skim off and discard the fat that floats to the water surface).
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. (Don’t add oil if already added in a blender).
- Stir fry the paste, lemongrass, galangal & kaffir-lime leaf. Stirring all the time until the paste well cooked & fragrant.
- Transfer the paste to the deep saucepan where the meat has been boiled. Add the pepper, palm sugar and salt. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- When the meat is already well cooked add the chopped spring onion.
- Prepare the soup in an individual serving dish, garnish with beansprouts & fried onions.
- Serve with kerupuk udang/shrimp crackers and sambal rawon (if preferred). Many Indonesians like to have their Rawon with hard-boiled salted duck egg for a condiment.