Rawon (Javanese: ꦫꦮꦺꦴꦤ꧀) is an Indonesian beef soup.[1] Originating from East Java, rawon utilizes the black keluak nut as the main seasoning, which gives a dark color and nutty flavor to the soup.

Rawon setan (devil's rawon), a variation served late at night
CourseMain course
Place of originIndonesia
Region or stateSurabaya and Malang, East Java
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsMeat, keluak nut


Spices, herbs, and condiments commonly used to make rawon: sugar, garlic, shallots, keluak/pucung, candlenut, coriander, pepper, lemongrass, ginger, kencur, galangal, palm sugar, lime leaves and bay leaves.

The soup is composed of a ground mixture of garlic, shallots, keluak, ginger, candlenut, turmeric, red chili, and salt, and is sautéed with oil. The sautéed mixture is then poured into boiled beef stock with diced beef slices.

Lemongrass, galangal, bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, and sugar are then added as seasonings.[2] The special dark or black color of rawon comes from the keluak as the main spice. The soup is usually garnished with green onion and fried shallot, and served with rice. Other toppings include bean sprouts, salted preserved egg, krupuk, and fried tolo beans (black-eyed pea).


Rawon is one of the oldest historically identified dishes of ancient Java. It was mentioned as rarawwan in an ancient Javanese Taji inscription (901 CE) from the era of the Mataram Kingdom.[3]


There are several variants of rawon, with the most popular being rawon from Surabaya. A version called rawon setan ("devil's rawon") is sold as a late-night meal at Indonesian food stalls open from midnight to dawn, supposedly the hours during which devils roam.[4]

In Balinese cuisine, rawon does not use any keluak—thus, the color is brown instead of black. Additionally, as the Balinese are mostly Hindu, they tend to favor pork over beef.[5]

See also

  • List of Indonesian soups


  1. Indofood corporate website. See "Bumbu Rawon" Archived 2011-06-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Wright, Clifford A. (2009). The Best Soups in the World. John Wiley and Sons. p. 64. ISBN 9780470180525.
  3. "Menguak Fakta Menu Lalapan Sunda Lewat Prasasti Taji". beritasatu.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  4. Gross, Matt (6 May 2011). "Lost in Java". New York Times.
  5. "1 resep rawon babi enak dan sederhana". Cookpad (in Indonesian). Retrieved 17 January 2018.
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