Daging Dendeng Restourant Style Malay Food

Daging Dendeng is a traditional Indonesian dish that features thinly sliced, dried, and fried beef with a rich and spicy sambal sauce. This dish is known for its intense flavors and delightful textures, making it a popular choice for special occasions and family gatherings. In this comprehensive recipe, we will walk you through the steps to create an authentic, restaurant-style Daging Dendeng at home.


For the Beef:

  • 1.5 kg beef (preferably tenderloin or sirloin), thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

For the Spice Paste:

  • 10 shallots, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 dried red chilies, soaked in warm water until soft
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 inches fresh galangal, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced

For the Sambal Sauce:

  • 5 red chilies, chopped
  • 3 bird’s eye chilies (optional, for extra heat), chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

For Garnish:

  • Fried shallots
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges


1. Preparing the Beef

  1. Marinate the Beef:
    • In a large bowl, combine tamarind paste, soy sauce, palm sugar, salt, and white pepper. Mix well.
    • Add the thinly sliced beef to the marinade and coat evenly. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight for the best results.
  2. Drying the Beef:
    • Preheat your oven to its lowest setting (around 70°C or 160°F).
    • Place the marinated beef slices on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
    • Dry the beef in the oven for about 1-2 hours, or until the beef is dry to the touch but not completely dehydrated. This process can also be done using a dehydrator if you have one.

2. Preparing the Spice Paste

  1. Blend the Ingredients:
    • In a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, soaked dried red chilies, ginger, galangal, and lemongrass until smooth. Add a little water if needed to achieve a paste consistency.
  2. Cooking the Spice Paste:
    • In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Add the spice paste and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10-15 minutes until fragrant and the oil starts to separate from the paste. Set aside.

3. Frying the Beef

  1. Heat the Oil:
    • In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Fry the Beef:
    • Fry the dried beef slices in batches, ensuring they are crispy and slightly browned. This should take about 2-3 minutes per side.
    • Drain the fried beef on paper towels to remove excess oil.

4. Preparing the Sambal Sauce

  1. Blend the Sambal Ingredients:
    • In a food processor, blend the red chilies, bird’s eye chilies (if using), and tomatoes until smooth.
  2. Cook the Sambal:
    • In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Add the blended chili mixture and cook for about 5-7 minutes until fragrant.
    • Add the tamarind paste, palm sugar, soy sauce, water, and salt. Stir well and cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

5. Combining the Beef and Sambal

  1. Mix the Beef and Sambal:
    • Add the fried beef slices to the pan with the sambal sauce.
    • Stir well to coat the beef evenly with the sauce.
    • Cook for another 5-10 minutes over low heat to allow the flavors to meld together.

6. Serving

  1. Plate the Daging Dendeng:
    • Transfer the Daging Dendeng to a serving platter.
    • Garnish with fried shallots and fresh coriander leaves.
    • Serve with lime wedges on the side.
  2. Accompaniments:
    • This dish pairs wonderfully with steamed rice or nasi lemak (coconut rice).
    • It can also be enjoyed with a side of fresh vegetables or a cucumber salad to balance the rich and spicy flavors.

Tips for a Perfect Daging Dendeng

  1. Choosing the Right Beef:
    • Use tender cuts of beef such as tenderloin or sirloin for best results. The beef should be thinly sliced to ensure it dries and fries evenly.
  2. Marinating:
    • Allow sufficient time for marinating to let the flavors penetrate the meat deeply. Overnight marinating yields the best results.
  3. Drying the Beef:
    • Proper drying is crucial for achieving the right texture. The beef should be dry to the touch but still pliable, not completely dehydrated.
  4. Spice Paste Consistency:
    • Ensure the spice paste is smooth to help it integrate well into the beef and sambal.
  5. Balancing Flavors:
    • Adjust the sweetness and heat of the sambal sauce to your preference. Add more chilies for extra heat or more palm sugar for sweetness.
  6. Crispy Beef:
    • Fry the beef in hot oil until crispy. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil and keep the beef crispy.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 450
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Fiber: 2g

Variations and Enhancements

  1. Spice Level:
    • Adjust the number of chilies to increase or decrease the spiciness according to your taste.
  2. Vegetable Addition:
    • Add vegetables like bell peppers or carrots during the final cooking stage for added texture and flavor.
  3. Coconut Milk:
    • For a richer, creamier sambal, add a cup of coconut milk during the final cooking stage.
  4. Herbs and Spices:
    • Experiment with adding other spices like cumin, coriander, or fennel seeds for a different flavor profile.
  5. Garnish:
    • Garnish with additional fresh herbs like Thai basil or mint for a fresh twist.

Step-by-Step Photos (Optional)

Including step-by-step photos can greatly enhance your cooking experience. Here’s a brief description of what each photo might depict:

  1. Ingredients Laid Out:
    • A photo showing all the ingredients arranged neatly on a kitchen counter.
  2. Marinating the Beef:
    • Beef slices being added to a bowl with marinade ingredients.
  3. Blending the Spice Paste:
    • Ingredients being placed into a blender to make the spice paste.
  4. Drying the Beef:
    • Beef slices laid out on a wire rack ready to be dried in the oven.
  5. Frying the Beef:
    • Beef slices frying in hot oil.
  6. Cooking the Sambal:
    • Sambal ingredients being cooked in a pan.
  7. Combining the Beef and Sambal:
    • Fried beef slices being added to the pan with sambal sauce.
  8. Final Dish:
    • The completed Daging Dendeng on a serving platter garnished with fried shallots and coriander leaves.


Daging Dendeng is a dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Indonesia. Its complex flavors and delightful textures make it a standout dish for any occasion. By following this comprehensive recipe, you can create an authentic, restaurant-style Daging Dendeng that will surely impress your family and guests. Enjoy the cooking process and savor the deep, satisfying flavors of this Indonesian classic. Happy cooking


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