Indonesian Beef with Onions

Another recipe adapted from the fantastic (and long out-of-print) The Good Cook series of cookbooks from Time-Life.

I used Thai Black Sweet Soy. Indonesian sweet soy sauce, called kecap manis, is also a sweet soy. I won’t say they are interchangeable, but Thai sweet soy also results in a very tasty dish. Use what you have, is my motto!

Indonesian Beef with Onions
(serves 4)

1 pound top round steak, thinly sliced

1 large onion, cut into chunks
3 large cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons kecap manis or Thai sweet soy sauce
10 peppercorns, crushed
3 Tablespoons sweet soy
pinch of ground nutmeg

1 Tablespoon oil
1 large onion
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, including liquid
1 stick of cinnamon
2 whole cloves

Pulverize the onion and garlic in a food processor. Place in a bowl and mix in the remaining marinade ingredients. Add the sliced beef and toss to coat. Set in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain the beef, reserving the marinade.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook onions until they start to wilt. Increase heat to high. Add the beef and stirfry for a couple of minutes. Add the marinade and the rest of the ingredients. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Try not to eat the cloves, but if you do bite into one of them, it won’t kill you.

Adapted from The Good Cook: Beef & Veal, Time-Life Books, 1978.

Photo credit: By Jdmtdktdht (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons



Author: worldplatterblog

I blog about food, travel, and anything else tangentially related to food that piques my interest. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and in Operations Research (it's math). That means I'm pretty analytical and love science, but I also love art. Food is a strange place where science intersects art in continually changing ways. I love writing about all of it.

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