Rempejek with minced beef

385-rempejek-van-rundergehakt-af2You know the Indonesian snack Rempejek? These flat fried snacks with peanuts? This rempejek is made with beef and one of my favorite ingredients: jeruk purut (lemon leaf). You can probably call this rempejek Indonesian hamburgers. Sounds delicious ?!

This recipe is enough for 3 people and ready in 45 minutes.

Rempejek with minced beef (# 385) translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 316.


1/4 kg of ground beef
1 egg


2 tablespoons of chopped onions
2 chopped cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of coriander (ketumbar)
2 kaffir lime leaves (jeruk purut)

Rub the jeruk purut leaves into a powder. Rub the powder together with the onions, garlic, coriander, salt and pepper into a paste. Mix the minced beef, egg and herb paste together well. Turn it into balls about the size of two walnuts. Flatten them and fry in oil until golden brown.


I use fresh kaffir lime leaves (jeruk purut) because I have a tiny ‘tree’ in my kitchen. Dried leaves are of course easier to rub into a powder, but I think fresh ones are the best. The flavor is stronger, more lemon like. Yummy!

These burgers are made with lots of ketumbar (coriander) too. I use coriander powder, next time I think I’m going to add some fresh coriander as well.

I use half a teaspoon of salt and one full teaspoon of pepper.


The smell of jeruk purut is crazy. For me the smells of jeruk purut brings on a flood of the best memories I have of Asia. When you use leaves directly from the plant, be carefull of the spines that grow on the twigs. They are razor sharp and should not end up in your herb paste.


I rub the chopped onions, garlic, coriander, salt, pepper and the chopped jerut purut together in my mortar.


Then I mix the herb paste through the beef and add one egg.


Beb says to roll the meat in to balls the size of two walnuts and then flatten them (like hamburgers).


I fry them in two tablespoons of oil until done and golden brown on both sides. If you push the rempejek and the meat springs back immediatly, then they are done.

The jeruk purut gives a fresh and flowerly almost earthy flavor. I think the meat is tasty but a bit dry in texture. I think because it is minced beef. Next time I go for a mix of minced pork and beef. The fat in the pork meat will juice these Indonesian hamburgers up for sure. ;-).

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