Easy Peasy Indonesian Beef Dendeng

! مرحبا (marhabaa!= Hello!)

During our stay in Amman, Jordan, we have Arabic class 5 days a week, and an extra class every once a week. So when we have to stay a bit longer at Qasid (that’s the Arabic learning center where we are studying at), we would have lunch somewhere close to Qasid, probably some falafel or shawarma or baba ganoush (yum!), or if I wake up early in the morning I would prepare a simple homemade bento, like this one.


This bento contains of white rice, topped with dendeng, scrambled eggs, and cucumbers. What we called dendeng in Indonesia is this thinly sliced beef, seasoned and lightly fried, and usually comes with chili (red or green) or without chili.

There are several dendeng recipes out there, this one that I share here is a simple one, using ingredients that can be easily found in Amman. I use nonstick pan so there’s no need to use a large amount of oil.

Indonesian Dendeng Beef

  1. The beef: you can use any part of beef for this, but our favorite so far is chuck-roll.
    • Firstly, we’ll boil the beef so ensure the beef’s size is not too big so that it can be covered entirely in water.
    • Boil water in a pan, when it’s medium-high heat, add beef, minced garlic, and salt. For 500 gr beef, I’d use 5 cloves of garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
    • Cover the pan with a lid, and continue boiling until the water reduced and the beef tendered, usually about 10-15 minutes.
    • When it’s done, drain the beef and put it aside. I’d usually save the broth in my freezer so I could use them later to make soups 😉
  2. The chili: I use red chili, they look like jalapeño but are smaller. In supermarkets here it’s usually labeled as “Sultan Rocket”. There are the green ones as well and you can also use it for this recipe.
    • Chopped the chili as small as you can, or use a food processor.
    • Chopped red onion, tomato, and green onion into small dices.
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pan, add in the red onion, when it’s half done add in the chili, tomato, and green onion, season with salt. Stir occasionally for about 5-8 minutes, then it’s done.
    • If you want to make dendeng without chili, skip this step.
  3. Put them together:
    • Slice the boiled beef thinly, using a sharp knife helps a lot.
    • Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, stir fry the beef for 3-4 minutes, then turn the heat off.
    • Add the chili from step #2 into the pan and mix well with the beef

That’s it. Serve them with rice.

I’d usually do step #1 for a big batch of beef, then I’d store it in my freezer, so when I want to make dendeng I can just simply take it out, slice, and stir fry them. So this is a great make-ahead option for home cooking.

!صحتين (sahtayn, an Arabic version of “bon appetite“).

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