Indonesian Beef Stew

Origin: Indonesia


  • 500 g beef (chuck or brisket), thinly sliced
  • 5 pc shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pc cinnamon stick (replace with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon if not available)
  • 2 pc cloves
  • 4 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 pc middle size tomato, cut in wedges
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 500 ml hot water
  • 2 tbsp margarine or butter
  • 2 tbsp fried/roasted shallot/onion for garnish

Spices for marinating

  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled-off
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

Indonesian Beef Stew

Semur is a variant of Indonesian dishes which inspired by the Dutch, cooked with a braising technique: by boiling or simmering over low heat until the meat becomes tender.
In Indonesia, semur is a stewed meat dish which's cooked in a dark brown sauce made from indonesian sweet soy sauce or known as kecap manis.
Beside meat, Indonesian stews are also made with a variety of ingredients such as chicken, potato, tofu, hard boiled egg, fish and vegetables.
Tips: Use only a good quality of kecap manis to get an optimum result. A simple trick to recognize it's authenticity: Just shake the bottle downside, if the sauce has a thick, almost syrupy consistency then you get it right. If it flows like water, never think a twice to even try, otherwise you will ruin the taste!
Have a try and hopefully you have another insight of indonesian dishes. This time it's NOT spicy at all 🙂


for Indonesian Beef Stew:

  • Cut the meat into thinly rectangles or square shapes. If necessary prick with a fork to prevent the meat becomes wavy or curled when it's cooked.
  • Marinating the beef: Grind garlic, ginger and pepper with mortar & pestle or wet mill into smooth paste.
  • Rub the paste into the entire surface of the meat.
  • Put in a fridge for about 15 minutes to let the marinating process.
  • Peel off (if necessary) & prepare all ingredients for the seasoning. Slice shallots & garlic thinly.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of margarine or butter over medium heat in a fryingpan/wok, first saute garlic until fragrant.
  • Add shallot and stir continuously until translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the beef and stir constantly until the meat becomes harder & changes color.
  • Add enough hot water *** until the meat is fully submerged. (approx 500 ml/2 cups hot water)
  • Add 4 tbsp kecap manis, stir to mix.
  • Add cinnamon, cloves and ground nutmeg. Bring to boil then simmer over low heat until the meat is tender and the broth has shrunk. (approx.20-30 minutes).
  • Add tomato and cook briefly until just wilted.
  • Adjust the taste, add salt and sugar if necessary. Remove from heat, garnish with fried onions and serve hot with rice.
Keyword beef stew, Indonesian beef stew recipe, not spicy

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