The Oven has baked its last loaf. This blog is no longer being updated.

My cooking videos appear at

I write on food at

Dendeng daging

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I don't eat a lot of beef, and hardly cook it. But whenever I eat out at a Malay or Indonesian restaurant, I like to have something called dendeng daging. These are thin slices of beef cooked with chilli and other spices until dry. They're almost like beef jerky, except that they are a little saucy as well.
Not everyone does it well, but when they do, it usually happens after a lengthy process of first poaching large chunks of beef until tender, then cutting each chunk into slices and pounding them out to make them even thinner. In some recipes, the thin slices of meat are first dried out under the sun before finally cooking them with a blend of spices into a rich, unctuous dish.
I'll leave all that to the experts and enjoy the dish when I go eat at a restaurant, but at home, I'm keeping it simple.
Dendeng Daging (Spicy Beef Strips)
Serves 4

500g beef, cut into medium large chunks
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp lime juice
4 tbsp cooking oil, divided
½ tsp turmeric powder (or 1 fresh turmeric leaf, finely shredded)
1 tbsp palm sugar
Salt to taste

Blend together into a paste
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 shallots
2 red chillies

Use a meat mallet to pound the chunks of beef into thin cutlets about the size of half your palm. Fry the cumin seeds and peppercorns in a dry pan for a few minutes, then grind/pound finely and add to the beef with the lime juice. Marinate for 1 hour.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and and saute the blended paste until fragrant. Add the beef pieces and stir together until almost dry. Mix in 3-4 tbsp water, cover and cook on low heat until beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in remaining oil and bring to the boil.
Add the turmeric powder or shredded leaf, palm sugar and salt to taste. Stir until the gravy is thick and oily, and the beef is well coated with it. Remove from heat and serve.

Have Dendeng Daging with
Kerabu (Malay salads)
and afterwardsTepung Gomak (Green Bean Flour-coated Patties)


  1. Ya I too don't cook beef or mutton at home but love to eat the malay beef rendang very much, I don't recall seeing this dendeng before, must look out for it next time:) Yours looks delicious I love your purple rice:D

    1. Thanks Jeannie. And that purple rice was a surprise. It is actually brown rice cooked with just a little black "wild rice" (this is what the packet says, but it wasn't what I expected) and the whole pot turned purple! More on this rice in a future post.


Your views are welcome and appreciated. Have a nice day!