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Javanese beef stew is a typically a beef stew cooked with Indonesian sweet soy sauce, which contributes to its dark color and sweet taste, and the distinct nice flavor from bay leaves. Let's cook dear!


Hi Good People,

It's weekend, time to spend our quality time at home with the loved ones. Boring to eat at the restaurant? Ordering fast food by phone? Let's cook!

Dont you know?

That Indonesia has more than two dozens variety of beef stews, one or more for each of the 34 provinces in the country? It is a very popular dish in Indonesia. The version cited in this recipe is the classic version, popularized by the people of West Java. The key ingredients are nutmeg and dark soy sauce (which contributes to the somewhat-sweet taste of the stew). Instead of tomato, some regions in Indonesia (Borneo mostly), add rice vinegar to the stew to give the dish a slightly acidic undertone. Some other still adds red pepper flakes to the stew to make it spicy. Also, instead of potatoes, different regions have made the dish with red beans, macaroni, or mushrooms. 

I decided to do a post of Indonesian food since I was born there and lived in the country for >25 years. The very first dish I learned to make was Indonesian and to this day, I retain my family of the well-spiced Indonesian food. Many people don't know about Indonesia. Aside from the fact that President Obama used to live in the country and love its bakso (meatball noodle soup) and nasi goreng (fried rice), the average people don't even know that Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world. Naturally, I will publish recipes for nasi goreng in the future, but for this first Indonesian recipe post, I decided to put out one that I've loved since childhood and still make occasionally. 

So, lemme share you a very simple reciepe of Semur Daging/Javanese Beef Stew. Here we go!


  • 1 kg of beef for stew
  • 4 medium-size potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 4 shallots thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 3 tsp pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 large tomatoesquartered
  • Salt and sugar to taste



  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into large cubes. Soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes. Drain off the water and pat them dry. Drizzle with cooking oil and season with a bit of salt and use your hands to toss and make sure potatoes are coated with oil and salt. 
  2. In a meantime, melt some butter in a pot and add in shallots, garlic, nutmeg and bay leaves. Stir fry until fragrant, add the beef and 4 Tbsp of sweet soy sauce and pepper to the pot and let them brown a little bit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the water and bring to a boil and lower the heat and slowly simmer for about 1 hour until the meat is tender. Add in the tomatoes after 30 minutes of cooking and add the fried potatoes in 10 minutes before the end of cooking.
  4. Gently stir everything to mix. Have a taste and season with salt and sugar if needed. It should be slightly sweet from the sweet soy sauce.
  5. Pour the beef stew onto a large bowl or serving platter. Garnish with lime leaves. Serve with hot cooked rice.


    Happy weekend :)



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