Dendeng Balado

2011 May 26
by linda

I had a bag of gravy beef left over in my fridge for months and I blamed it to the butcher :) I got a tumpeng order few months ago and my customer requested beef rendang to be included in the platter. Well, I went to a butcher with one baby hanging on me and a toddler holding my right hand. I said to the butcher that I wanted 2 pieces of gravy beef. Each bag contains 2 big chunks of gravy beef. However, the butcher thought that I wanted 2 bags of gravy beef. I didn’t realize that even after paying for 5.5 kg of meat. Then when I arrived home, I was surprised and wondered what in the world am I going to do with the huge amount of meat.

Now, two months after that, I thought I have to do something with the meat. It has been a long nap and they had to get out of the freezer. They did take a lot of space to store. I had been thinking to make this Dendeng Balado for quite sometime now but I always think about the hefty amount of work involved in making this dish. Now I convince myself and it is worth the effort.

Dendeng Balado is a traditional Indonesian dish. It comes from West Sumatra, Padang. West Sumatran cuisine is rich with its spice especially chilli and coconut. My family background (my grandmother) was born and brought up there, and she was the one who look after me when I was a kid. I was literally brought up eating the spicy and rich Padang cuisines and I absolutely love it.


  • 1.2 kg gravy beef
  • 1/2 tbsp whole coriander seeds, press them using the tip of knife
  • 2 tsp salt
  • water just enough to cover
  • 500 gr red chilli, set aside 5 chillies for cutting
  • about 5-10 small red chillies, depending on your preference of spiciness
  • 20 gr shallot, 3-4 pcs extra depending on the size, for slicing
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • oil for deep frying and stir frying
  • lime juice
  • salt and sugar to taste


  1. Slice the gravy beef into 5 mm in thickness. Lightly salt and mix until combined.
  2. Put the sliced beef in a pot and cover with just enough water (barely covering the top of the meat). Throw the coriander seeds on the pot. Bring them to boil and then turn the heat to medium low until the meat is tenderized.
  3. Meanwhile, puree red chillies, shallot, and garlic in a food processor until fine. No need to achieve a perfect puree. Set aside.
  4. Slice the shallot and cut the chillies into long strips. Set aside.
  5. When the beef slices are cooked, take them out and reserve the juice.
  6. Get the frying pan ready and heat the oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot, throw in the meat slices and browned for few seconds. The idea of deep frying is to brown the surface and dry them off slightly. Set them aside.
  7. Get the wok ready and heat generous amount of oil for stir frying. Add the chilli mixture puree to the wok and turn the heat to medium low. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  8. Add the sliced shallot and chillies, stir to combine.
  9. Add salt, sugar and lime juice to taste. Add them a little at the time and keep tasting. They should have a balance between sweet, salty and sour.
  10. Add the beef and stir to combine.
  11. Add about 1/2 cup of reserve juice. Depending on how wet you want them to be, or you could ignore the juice totally.

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You !!!

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 May 26 permalink

    Wow…..I love this and it’s my children favorite too. Thanks for the recipe, will try one of these days.

    • 2011 May 26
      linda permalink

      Yeah … me too. I love spicy food and can live feeding myself something spicy everyday :)

  2. 2011 May 27

    Yum! Sounds so delicious. I absolutely looove gravy beef! It takes forever to cook but when its finished its so melt in the mouth delicious. I love putting it in stews, soups or Japanese curry. My fave kind of slow cooked beef! :)

    • 2011 May 28
      linda permalink

      I especially love them because they are really affordable :) I bought them for $ 6.50 – 7 /kg. Do you make your Japanese curry from scratch? I would love to try make my own Japanese curry someday.

  3. 2013 May 27
    Perthcookie permalink

    Hi Linda
    I have been trying to find a recipe for this using beef short ribs as I have eaten In A restaurant in Bali. Would your recipe work using ribs?

    Thanks so much

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