Beef in Shrimp Paste Sauce

Origin: Surabaya, East Java


  • 500 g beef (or lamb)
  • 1 pc big-size tomato, sliced
  • 3 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis
  • 2 tbsp wet shrimp paste, (petis udang)
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • oil
  • crispy fried shallots to garnish (optional)

Spice for the paste

  • 6 pc shallots, chopped
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc small red chillies / bird chillies
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • ½ tsp peppercorn or 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Beef in Shrimp Paste Sauce

If you have no problem with the smell of shrimp paste ;-), you can try this Surabaya's specialty: "Krengsengan Daging" or Beef cooked in Shrimp Paste Sauce. In his hometown, this dish is usually cooked with 2 mainly ingredients: beef or lamb. It tastes deliciously sweet & spicy, a unique combination of kecap manis, chili & wet shrimp paste. Another variant of Indonesian's spice mixture, typical Surabaya culinary's style.
Note: If you don't like meat & lamb, you can also replace them with chicken, duck, liver etc.


  • Cut the beef into smaller pieces (as your preference).
  • Blend all ingredients for the spice paste in a blender or food processor until smooth. (If necessery add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok or shallow pan. (Don't add oil if already added in a blender).
  • Stir fry the paste over medium heat until well cooked & fragrant. (approx. 6-10 minutes). Stir frequently.
  • Add the beef, stir all the time until the beef colour turns to white.
  • Add the hot water *** and stir to mix.
  • Add the wet shrimp paste & kecap manis. Stir to mix.
  • Adding kecap manis.
  • Simmer slowly over low-medium heat until the water is absorbed and the beef becomes tender (takes about. 25 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  • Adjust the seasoning, add salt & sugar to taste. Serve hot.
  • At the end add the sliced tomato, cook briefly until just wilted.


  • *** Add the boiled /hot water into the meat then cook on the medium heat to preserve it's best taste.
  • Be careful by adding salt. Wet shrimp paste might contains lot of salt, therefore adding salt sometimes is not necessary.
Keyword beef, Indonesia, shrimp paste

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