Beef in Sweet Coconut Dressing

Origin: Central Java


  • 500 g minutestek or sukiyaki beef, thinly slice about 5 x 5 cm
  • 125 g palm sugar
  • 250 ml medium thickness coconut milk
  • 5 pc kaffir-lime leaves
  • 3 pc salam leaves (replace with bay leaves as a substitute)
  • 2 cm galangale, bruished
  • 200 g fresh grated coconut (use 100 gr desiccated coconut mix with 100 ml coconut milk as a substitute)
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • vegetable oil to sautee the spice paste

Spice for the paste

  • 2 pc shallots, chopped
  • 5 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cm fresh ginger

Beef in Sweet Coconut Dressing

Dendeng Ragi or Beef in Sweet Coconut Dressing is one of my favorite side-dishes from my childhood times. Cooked and served by my grandmother…hmmm a real central Javanese delicacy 😉 Dendeng in Javanese culinary repertoire is very different from it's Sumatran counterpart, for example Dendeng Batokok from West Sumatra Region. In Sumatra, Dendeng means thinly sliced dried meat which usually spicy marinated, has hard & thinly texture which comes from heating process. On the other side, Javanese Dendeng is soft and generally taste sweet which represents right here in this recipe .
So if you're curious about the Javanese sweet sliced beef with it's delicious coconut dressing, feel free to try this recipe. At the same time you will gain a new sight of Indonesian cuisine: Not all Indonesian delicious dishes filled up with CHILI!


  • Clean/wash the beef, pat dry with kitchen paper if necessary. Slice thinly in approx. 5 cm square. Put aside.
  • Put all ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (If necessary add a little bit oil to help the blending process).
  • Sautee/stir fry the paste, galangale, kaffir-lime leaf and salam leaf in a wok/shallow pan and stirring all the time until the paste well cooked & fragrant. (It takes about 5 minutes)
  • Add the beef, stir to mix and cook until the beef becomes harder and it's colour turns to white.
  • Pour-in the coconut milk and salt, stir to mix.
  • Add the grated palm sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Adjust the heat between medium-high heat and simmer until the coconut milk is almost driven off and the beef becomes tender. Stirring occationally.
  • Add the grated coconut, stir to mix. Cook over low heat until the grated coconut become brown and almost dry. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Adjust the seasoning, add salt or sugar if necessary. Remove from heat.

Note & Tipp

  • Let it cool, store dendeng ragi in an airtight jar & keep in a fridge. Dendeng stays good for the next 2 days).
Keyword beef, coconut, Indonesian, sweet

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