Do not underestimate rawon, the Indonesian blackish beef stew! Its appearance might seem dubious, but once you taste it, you’ll be surprised and find yourself asking about the components of the rawon recipe. It offers a completely different taste compared to dishes like kalio daging, semur daging, or gudeg from Yogyakarta.
If you are new to rawon and interested in making one, make sure to follow through with the recipe to make it right away!
The Perks of Rawon from Indonesia
Tasty Atlas included rawon in their 2020 edition as one of the best soups in Asia, alongside sayur asem and gulai cincang. But actually there is a story that fills Indonesians with pride regarding rawon.
According to the Times Indonesia, the Taji inscription in Ponorogo, East Java, Indonesia, reveals that the dish already existed during the 910th century, in the era of the Majapahit Kingdom in the archipelago. It was known as rarawwan back then. Some believe that rawon was initially reserved for nobles and served only during royal or special occasions.
Over time, there have been modifications in the cooking process and ingredients used. However, rawon still carries the culinary heritage that originated from East Java, Indonesia. With its iconic black color and aromatic fragrance, rawon has become a delightful meal enjoyed by Indonesians throughout the country.
Nasi Rawon Recipe That You Definitely Should Try
Indonesian cuisine consistently revolves around condiments that highlight the use of spices. In the rawon recipe, a particular nut from the kepayang tree plays a vital role in making rawon exceptional. Let’s follow the recipe to prepare each ingredient and spice, and get ready to serve this delicious dish!
- 500 gr of beef brisket
- 1 liter of water
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, pounded the lower parts
- 5 -7 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 cm of galangal, bruised
- 3 cm of ginger, bruised
- 1 teaspoon of tamarind water (made from a tamarind paste diluted in water, ratio 1:1)
- 3 pieces of Indonesian salam (bay) leaves
- Sugar and salt according to your taste
- 5 tablespoons of cooking oil of your choice (coconut, canola, sunflower oil, olive, or ordinary vegetable oil)
Condiment Paste Ingredients
- 10 pieces of shallots, peeled, roughly diced, or chopped
- 7 cloves garlic
- 5 – 7 kluwek or keluak nuts, crash the shell, clean the black seeds, boiled or soaked in pure water for around 30 minutes
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 5 pieces of candlenuts, chopped roughly
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
Regular Rawon Side Dish
- 2 pieces of salted eggs, split into two
- 2 stalks of scallions, finely chopped
- 100 gr of bean sprouts, blanched in hot water with sprinkled salt
- Crispy fried shallots to taste
- 2 kaffir limes, split into 4
- Indonesian shrimp or tapioca crackers to taste
- Indonesian sambal to add a kick of spiciness
Stove, wok or large stock pot, cooking knife, cutting board, mixer or blender, spatula, strainer.
How to Execute the Easy Rawon Recipe?
Note that rawon is known for its tender beef texture. There are two different ways to cook it. The first method involves simmering and boiling the beef separately from the spice paste before cutting it. This way, you’ll use the beef stock for cooking.
The second method is to cook the beef together with the spice paste using cooking oil. This recipe provides instructions for the second method.
1. Prepare the spices. Wash, peel, soak, bruise, and/or pound them as required. Put the spices in a blender and mix until you have a smooth and fine condiment paste.
2. Now, prepare the beef. Remember to tap it dry before cutting it into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
3. Heat cooking oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the spice paste, pounded lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, salam leaves, galangal, and ginger. Stir until fragrant.
4. Next, add the chunked fresh beef to the spice mixture and stir until the beef is cooked through.
5. Pour water and tamarind paste water into the wok with the cooked beef. Add sugar, salt, and/or bouillon powder to taste. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, allowing the beef to tenderize further.
6. Serve the rawon with plain white rice (nasi putih). You can also enjoy it with red or brown rice. In Indonesia, it is common to put the rawon soup with beef in a bowl and add bean sprouts to taste. Sprinkle chopped scallions and crispy fried shallots on top. The combination with rice and salted egg will enhance the flavor.
Interested To Try Rawon Recipe?
The kluwek nut is highly poisonous if consumed raw. However, it also contains some nutrients that your body needs when properly prepared. Therefore, it requires extra effort to carefully select the black nut seeds, clean them, soak them, and boil them to neutralize the poison. Never skip these steps when cooking with raw kluwek nuts.
If you find it difficult to source the ingredients, particularly kluwek nuts, you can consider using a box of instant rawon seasoning instead! Nyah Tewel has prepared this seasoning using fresh, high-quality Indonesian spices to help you achieve the traditional taste in a short amount of time.
- How do you eat rawon?
Indonesian people always eat it together with plain rice. But the authentic nasi rawon recipe usually includes Indonesian salted egg, bean sprouts, sprinkled minced spring onion, and crispy shallot with the infamous sambal and shrimp or tapioca crackers.
- What ingredients make the rawon taste rich?
Yes, rawon has that rich and particular taste you may not find in other Indonesian cuisines. In addition to Indonesian regular spices, kluwek or keluak nut (pangium) is the specialty that brings that peculiar taste. It comes from the Kepayang trees that are originally from Indonesia, grown in the highland, 3200 feet above sea level.
The nuts can not be eaten raw. It should be cleaned, and better be soaked for about 24 hours and boiled before utilization.
- What makes rawon’s color black?
It is because of keluak or kluwek nuts that are being used as ingredients. In fact, after soaking and cleaning the nuts, you need to crack the nut’s shell. What you’ll be using is the kluwek mature nut core which is signified by its dark color, and even close to black.
- What do you serve rawon with?
In addition to the usual side dishes that are typically served with rawon, you have the option to choose other delightful Indonesian side dishes to accompany it. There are numerous choices that feature animal proteins, such as Indonesian quail egg satay and fried innards from beef or chicken (lung, giblets, liver, or entrails). However, if you prefer plant-based proteins, options like Indonesian corn fritters, croquettes made from boiled potatoes, and fried tempeh (tempeh goreng) also complement the nasi rawon recipe.