clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sayur Asem: Sour Tamarind Soup with Vegetables and Beef Trimmings

Sayur Asem: Sour Tamarind Soup with Vegetables and Beef Trimmings

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews, Beef & Lamb, Vegetables
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Sayur asem is a very common sour vegetable soup with a refreshing tamarind broth, originally from the Jakarta area. This recipe gives the classic soup a twist by adding beef trimmings, which can be ommitted.


  • 250 gr beef trimmings (optional)
  • 1 corn cob, cut into 4
  • 50 gr raw peanuts (optional)
  • 150 gr young jackfruit (optional), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 0.5 chayotte, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 long beans, cut into 4 cm pieces.
  • 5 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 candlenuts, chopped
  • 0.5 tsp roasted shrimp paste (optional)
  • 2 red chillies (optional)
  • 2 cm galangal, bruised
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves (salam leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 lt water


  1. Knead the tamarind pulp with 4tbsp of water to make tamarind juice.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, blend into a fine paste the shallots, garlic, candlenuts, chillies and roasted shrimp paste.
  3. Put the beef trimming in a medium-sized pot, then add the water.
  4. Cook over high heat until the soup boils.
  5. Add the corn pieces, young jackfruit and peanuts.
  6. Bring the soup to boil again, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  7. Add the spice paste to the soup.
  8. Add the galangal, salam leaves, salt, sugar and tamarind juice.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes. During the 30 minutes, you can correct the flavour and add salt, sugar or tamarind according to your taste.
  10. Add the chayote and long beans, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  11. Turn off the heat and let the soup rest for a while before serving.


  • If the beef trimmings are omitted, cook the hard vegetables such as peanuts and corn with the spices until tender, before adding the rest of the vegetables.
  • When the red chillies are omitted, the soup will be clear rather than reddish/yellowish.

Keywords: One-pot meal, Non-spicy