Daging Masak Hitam Restourant Style Malay Food

Daging Masak Hitam is a traditional Malaysian dish known for its rich, dark, and flavorful gravy. It is a festive dish often served during special occasions and celebrations. This comprehensive recipe will guide you through creating an authentic, restaurant-style Daging Masak Hitam at home.


For the Meat:

  • 1.5 kg beef (preferably chuck or brisket), cut into 2-inch cubes

For the Marinade:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Spice Paste:

  • 10 shallots, peeled
  • 6 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
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground

For the Gravy:

  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste

For Garnish:

  • Fried shallots
  • Fresh coriander leaves


1. Marinating the Beef:

  • In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, white pepper, and salt. Mix well.
  • Add the beef cubes to the marinade and coat evenly. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results.

2. Preparing the Spice Paste:

  • In a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, soaked dried red chilies, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, and black peppercorns until smooth. Add a little water if needed to achieve a paste consistency. Set aside.

3. Browning the Meat:

  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
  • Remove the beef from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and brown the beef cubes in batches, ensuring they get a good sear on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside.

4. Cooking the Spice Paste:

  • In the same pot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Add the spice paste and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 10-15 minutes until fragrant and the oil starts to separate from the paste.

5. Adding Aromatics and Beef:

  • Add star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom pods to the pot. Stir for a minute to release their aromas.
  • Return the browned beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Stir to coat the beef with the spice mixture.

6. Adding Sauces and Liquid:

  • Add dark soy sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, tamarind paste, and palm sugar to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Pour in the reserved marinade and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.

7. Simmering:

  • Cover the pot and let it simmer gently for about 2-3 hours, or until the beef is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  • If the gravy reduces too much, add a little more water. The final consistency should be thick and luscious.

8. Seasoning and Final Touches:

  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt if needed. The dish should be savory, slightly sweet, and rich in flavor.
  • Remove and discard the star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom pods before serving.

9. Serving:

  • Serve Daging Masak Hitam hot, garnished with fried shallots and fresh coriander leaves.
  • This dish pairs beautifully with steamed rice, nasi minyak (fragrant butter rice), or roti canai (flaky flatbread).

Tips for a Perfect Daging Masak Hitam

  1. Marinating the Beef:
    • Allow sufficient time for marinating to let the flavors penetrate the meat deeply. Overnight marinating yields the best results.
  2. Spice Paste Consistency:
    • Ensure the spice paste is smooth to help it cook evenly and integrate well with the beef.
  3. Slow Cooking:
    • Simmering the beef slowly allows the meat to become tender and the flavors to develop fully. Patience is key for this dish.
  4. Balancing Flavors:
    • Adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your preference. The palm sugar adds a unique depth of flavor, but you can balance it with more tamarind paste for tanginess if desired.
  5. Using Fresh Ingredients:
    • Fresh aromatics like ginger, galangal, and lemongrass make a significant difference in the depth of flavor. Avoid substituting with dried versions if possible.
  6. Gravy Consistency:
    • The final gravy should be thick and cling to the beef. If it’s too runny, continue to simmer uncovered until it reduces to the desired consistency.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 480
  • Protein: 36g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Fiber: 2g


Daging Masak Hitam is a dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Malaysia. Its complex flavors and tender meat make it a standout dish for any occasion. By following this comprehensive recipe, you can create an authentic, restaurant-style Daging Masak Hitam that will surely delight your family and guests. Enjoy the cooking process and savor the deep, satisfying flavors of this Malaysian classic.

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