Sun, 14 Jan 2001

Popular traditional soup

JAKARTA (JP): This popular traditional soup was originally served with perkedel (spiced potato cakes), spicy eggs, shrimp chili paste and shrimp crackers. Today, however, many people make their own variations.

Rawon * 3 tbsp cooking oil * 2 cm galangal, bruised * 2 stalks lemon grass, bruised * 3 kaffir lime leaves * 750 g beef, diced * 2.5 l water * 150 g fresh beansprout

Finely ground * 8 kluwek, flesh only (a hard-shelled fruit found in local

markets) * 8 shallots * 5 cloves garlic * 5 candlenuts * 2 tsp coriander * 4 cm ginger * 5 red chillies * a dash of salt, brown sugar

Makes 8 servings

1. Heat the cooking oil, fry ground ingredients until fragrant. Add in galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and diced meat. Stir well for 5 minutes. 2. Reduce heat, pour in water, mix well. Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked and tender. Add beansprouts. Serve warm.

Perkedel * 350 g potatoes, sliced, fried and mashed * 350 g ground meat * 2 eggs, lightly beaten * 2 stalks leeks, sliced * 2 stalks celery, sliced * cooking oil * 2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Finely ground * 4 shallots * a dash of nutmeg * pepper, salt and sugar

Makes 16 cakes

1. Pour one tablespoon of cooking oil into a frying pan, add in finely ground ingredients, cook until fragrant, add in ground meat, keep stirring until cooked. 2. In a bowl, combine the mashed potatoes, meat mixture, leeks, celery and eggs. 3. Take 2 tbsp of the mixture, shape it into a ball and flatten the top. Meanwhile, heat enough cooking oil in a frying pan. 4. Dip perkedel in egg whites and fry for 3 minutes until slightly brown. Serve warm.

Shrimp Chili Paste * 50 g red chillies * 1 tbsp good quality shrimp paste, burnt or fried * 2 tomatoes * 1 tsp kaffir lime juice * salt and brown sugar

Finely grind all ingredients and serve on a small plate.