Makassarese Beef Rib Soup

Origin: Makassar, South Sulawesi


  • 1 kg beef ribs, cut in serving portions
  • 2 cm galangale, bruished
  • 5 pc kaffir-lime leaves
  • 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, bruished
  • 2 pc salam or bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp, soak with 50 ml hot water
  • 2 pc spring onions, thinly sliced
  • sugar/palm sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 3 l hot water

Spice for the paste

  • 6 pc shallots, chopped
  • 4 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 pc large red chillies, de-seeded, chopped
  • 3 pc fresh keluak nuts or 10 gr dried keluak bloc
  • 4 pc cloves
  • 2 cm fresh turmeric or 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powde
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ sdt nutmeg powder


  • lime, cut into wedges
  • fried shallots
  • sambal rawit or sambal oelek

Makassarese Beef Rib Soup

Here it is a specialty dish from Makassar: Soup Konro. At a quick glance, Sup Konro looks like "Rawon" from East Java, especially from the color. That's because both dishes contains the same ingredient which have caused the black colour. It is from Keluak Nuts which gives the character of this soup. But I assure you the taste is not so bleak as it's colour may suggest!!! On the contrary .. Sop Konro is a complete blend of flavors, a perfect combination from varied spices & herbs that you might have in one recipe.
Frankly I love the distinctive taste of Sup Konro as well as Rawon. Words can not describe how delicious it tastes 😉 Although it needs extra patience to prepare this soup because of long listing ingredients & quite longer cooking process, but it is really worth trying!! The slow cooking process allows the beef ribs to absorb all the spices and to become tender. The result hmmmmm …. what a really Indonesian temptation 😉
Note: For many European countries, includes Germany it is quite difficult to find long bone beef-ribs in the markt. Most available is pork rib. If you encounter the same problem, then look for small cut beef rib. If this sort is also not available then replace with other part of other boned-beef slices. The spice of this soup tastes really delicious it doesn't matter which part of beef/meat you use.


  • Cut or separate beef ribs into a serving portions. Wash & set aside to drain.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok or large fryingpan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender).
  • Stir-fry the paste over medium heat until well cooked & fragrant (takes about 5-7 minutes).
  • Add the kaffir-lime leaves, lemon grass, galangale & salam leaves. Stir all the time until wilted. (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the beef ribs, stir fry until the beef becomes harder & the color have changed to white.
  • Transfer the beef ribs & all the spices into a large/deep saucepan.
  • Add 3 liter hot water *** & tamarind juice. Stir to mix. *** Add boiled water into the beef ribs then cook on the medium heat to preserve it's best taste.
  • Adjust the heat into medium-high, bring to boil & let it cook for 30 minutes.
  • Cover the pan, adjust the heat into medium & simmer for 1 hour until the beef ribs become really tender. Stir occasionally.
  • When the beef is already tender, add the sliced spring onion. Adjust the seasoning accordingly. Add salt & sugar to taste.
  • Serve hot by preparing the soup in an individual serving dish, garnish with fried shallots, lime juice & sambal (if preferred).
Keyword beef ribs soup, Indonesian soup dish

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