Daily Cooking Quest

easy Indonesian recipes

Empal Gentong - Cirebon Beef Soup

Empal Gentong is a famous beef soup from Cirebon, West Java. A more traditional (or perhaps original) recipe calls for equal part meat and entrails (typically tripe and intestines). I prefer the all meat version, but it is definitely okay to use half meat and half entrails for this recipe.

Empal Gentong

Empal Gentong

Empal Gentong - Cirebon Beef Soup



Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 6


  • 4 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 lemon grass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and cut
  • 2 cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh)
  • 800 gram beef brisket (Indonesian: sandung lamur), cut into bite size pieces
  • 1500 ml beef stock/water
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 8 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 candlenut (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 fresh turmeric (Indonesian: kunyit), or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • For the garnishes
  • 1 scallion (Indonesian: daun bawang), about 3 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • 2 celery leaves (Indonesian: daun seledri), about 3 tablespoon, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon deep fried shallot (Indonesian: bawang goreng)
  • 2 kaffir lime, cut into quarters


  1. Heat cooking oil in a soup pot and stir fry spice paste, bay leaves, lemon grass, and cloves until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the beef into the pot, mix well until the meat is coated with the spices and cook until the color starts to change.
  3. Pour the beef stock (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the meat is fully cooked and tender.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and sweet soy sauce. Stir and bring to a boil again. Once it boils, immediately turn of the heat, add the scallion, celery leaves, and deep fried shallot. Serve immediately with steamed white rice and a squeeze of kaffir lime juice.


  • elly says:

    hi anita in the ingredients it says: 2 cloves...is it 2 cloves of garlic? i want to try this one :) thanks :) elly

    • Anita says:

      Hi Elly, hmm... the cloves is what we Indonesian call cengkeh. I hope <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clove" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">this wikipedia link</a> can help clear up the confusion :)

    • elly says:

      silly me heheh i know what you mean heheh

      • Anita says:


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