Urap: Javanese Steamed Vegetable Salad

A traditional recipe for Urap, a salad dish made from steamed vegetables mixed with sambal urap, or spiced grated coconut dressing.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Urap (sometimes called urab) is a salad dish made from steamed vegetables mixed with sambal urap, or spiced grated coconut dressing. The dish is commonly found in Java and is an indispensable element of tumpeng, an important ritual offering.

Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish with side dishes of fish, meat and vegetables, each with its own philosophical significance. Tumpeng is presented as a ritual offering during celebrations or special occasions such as Independence Day, birthdays, etc. It is a symbol of gratitude to God as the creator of nature.

The word urap itself derives from the word urip, or life, in Javanese. According to Javanese belief, life is both physical and spiritual, and living is not just about physical experiences. It’s also about creating, feeling and wanting. Our behaviour is influenced by intelligence, desire and emotion, which are invisible elements that are inseparable from human existence. To create harmony, it is important to be aligned physically and spiritually.


All this is symbolised in the humble urap, as one of the symbolic dishes surrounding the tumpeng. Urap serves as a constant reminder, for Javanese people, that life is not just a physical but also a spiritual experience.

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Urap: Javanese Steamed Vegetable Salad

Urap: Javanese Steamed Vegetable Salad

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Blanching
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Low Salt


Urap is a traditional Javanese steamed vegetable salad, which is often used in ritual offerings. In Javanese culture it symbolizes the physical and spiritual aspects of life. Eaten with sambal urap, or grated coconut dressing.


  • 1 small carrot, peeled, julienned
  • 50 gr bean sprout
  • 50 gr spinach, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 50 gr long beans, cut into bite-size pieces, around 4 cm each
  • 0.5 cup (or around 50 gr) sambal urap

Urap ingredients


  1. Blanch all the vegetables separately, starting from the lightest-coloured to the darkest-coloured vegetables.

    Urap blanching

  2. Mix all the blanched vegetables with the sambal urap.
  3. Transfer to a serving plate, and serve immediately. It can be enjoyed with or without rice.


  • Put a little salt when blanching the vegetables and when done, rinse immediately with cold or ice water so the vegetables will retain their bright colour.
  • Feel free to substitute with other vegetables, as long as they’re good for blanching

Keywords: Quick & Easy, One pot meal, Salad, Coconut

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