One of Indonesia's popular dishes is Rawon, or Nasi Rawon (Rawon Rice when served with rice). A specialty of East Java, and originally from Surabaya — the capital of East Java, it is a strong rich tasting traditional black beef soup. Anyone seeing the soup for the very first time may not think it interesting. It does, however, use the black keluak nut (Pangeum edule, fruit of the kepayang tree) as the main spice imparting a strong, nutty flavor as well as adding the dark color to the soup.
The soup is made of a ground mixture of garlic, shallot, keluak, ginger, candlenut, turmeric, red chili and salt sauteed with oil until aromatic. The sauteed mixture is then poured into the boiled beef stock along with diced beef. Lemongrass, galangal, bay leaf, kaffir lime leaf and sugar are then added as seasonings. The soup is usually garnished with green onion and fried shallot, and is served with rice, hence Nasi Rawon (Rawon Rice) in Bahasa Indonesia, together with bean sprouts, salted preserved duck egg, shrimp crackers and sambal chili paste on the side.
Rawon sellers can be found mostly in East Java on the streets of most cities. Since early 2000, there has been a culinary trend that began on the streets of Surabaya known as Rawon Setan (Satanic Rawon). Many people first thought that the word satanic refers to its hot chili paste but it is because the warung (stall) serving Rawon are open from midnight until dawn, the time when satans come out. These warung purposefully cater to those clubbers still intoxicated as well as workers of discos, clubs and karaoke bars as they tend work till the wee hours. Since then many eateries across the different cities of Indonesia now bear the name Rawon Setan.
Rawon Setan (the original eatery)
Jalan Embong Sawo 78 I, Surabaya (across to JW Marriot Hotel)
Telephone: (031) 545-1905
Business Hours: 8 pm to 4 am daily
Price $ $ $