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Tamarind Vegetable Soup (Jangan Asem) Recipe

Tamarind Vegetable Soup (Jangan Asem) Recipe

Tamarind Vegetable Soup (Jangan Asem) Recipe

One of Indonesia’s most famous soups, this Tamarind Vegetable Soup is a savory, tangy thirst quencher on hot days and pairs spectacularly with spicy seafoods or meats. Tamarind concentrates are now widely available in Asian markets all over the west, providing a perfect substitute for real, raw tamarind used in Indonesia. Uniquely piquant, with a taste that hits the back of the palate, the essence of tamarind really has no substitute. Tamarind lends a beautifully pulpy consistency and a rich, brown hue to this soup with its delicate balance of the sour, sweet, and salty.

Ingredients :

    • 10 cups (2.25 liters) water
    • 2 ears of corn, cut in half
    • 12-16 cloves garlic
    • 2 large shallots
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
    • 1/2 tablespoon dried shrimp paste (Indonesian terasi or Thai shrimp paste)
    • 3/4 cup (185 ml) tamarind concentrate
    • 3 teaspoons salt
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/3 head cabbage, roughly chopped to obtain 3 cups (150-200g)
    • 5 oz (125 g) green beans, ends trimmed, cut in half
    • 2-3 cups (250 g) eggplant, peeled and sliced in small chunks (any kind of eggplant)
    • 1/2 lb (250 g) fresh shrimp, peeled with tails left on

Method :

    1. Bring the water to a vigorous boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the corn and boil for 15 minutes.
    2. Grind the garlic, shallots, ground red chili pepper, and shrimp paste using a mortar and pestle or food processor until a smooth paste is formed. Stir the paste into the boiling water, along with the tamarind concentrate, salt, and sugar.
    3. Add the vegetables and shrimp into the soup, stirring thoroughly. Lower to medium high heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. To enjoy the full flavor of this soup, serve it very warm instead of boiling hot.