Crisp-fried dried beef with a hot and tangy sauce

Crisp-fried dried beef with a hot and tangy sauce

Dendeng belado

By
From
South East Asian Food

This is another dish that is currently very fashionable in Jakarta. It is a favourite pre-dinner appetiser and goes very well with drinks. In a main meal team it up with something creamy but fairly bland like Opor Ayam, a mild prawn dish, or a vegetable sayur.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons tamarind water
salt, to taste
1kg topside beef, trimmed of all fat and sinews, or skirt steak
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Belado sauce

Quantity Ingredient
200g medium-sized red chillies
10 shallots
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ripe tomato, skinned and finely chopped
lime juice, to taste (optional)

Method

  1. Pound the garlic, tamarind water and a little salt to make a marinade. Cut the meat into slices about 1 cm thick and 3 cm wide and 4 cm long taking care to slice along the grain. Flatten with a meat hammer, mix with the tamarind–garlic marinade and allow to stand overnight.
  2. The next day spread the meat slices flat on a bamboo tray or a metal rack, under a fly net cover and place out in the hot sun. Leave to dry, turning them over once in the course of the day. One or two days in the sun should be enough to dry out the slices in the summer, but in winter it might take longer. Bring them in overnight. Alternatively use a good dehydrator – either a natural one or an electric one – or you can use an oven (see Sin Haeng for instructions). The slices should become dry but not too dry.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, put in the meat slices and deep-fry until they are brown and dry. Lift out and drain.
  4. To make the sauce, grind the chillies and shallots coarsely in a mortar or a food processor attachment. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the mixture until it smells fragrant. Add the tomato and stir-fry to wilt. Put in the meat and stir until it is well coated. If you would like more sourness at this point add lime juice to taste. To serve the Dendeng as an appetiser, lift out on to a plate at this point. If you wish to serve the Dendeng with rice as part of a meal, add a splash of water and stir again to moisten the dish a little, and heat it through.
  5. You can sometimes buy the basic dried beef slices in packets in Asian food shops. If you use these you need proceed only from the point where the meat is fried.
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