Bebotok with beef

192-bebotok-van-rundergehakt-ingredientenThis is a new favorite of mine: bebotok. Earlier I made bebotok with minced veal and fish. So cute these parcels. Easy to freeze, fun to eat and an explosion of flavors. The coconut juices are well trapped in the bebotok; a creamy texture is the result.

Bebotok with minced beef #192 translated from Beb Vuyk Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 182.


1/2 kg of minced beef
2 tablespoons of oil
1/6 block of santen (coconut cream)


3 tablespoons of chopped onions
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of sambal terasi (chili salsa with shrimp paste)
4 teaspoons of coriander powder (ketumbar)
2 teaspoons of cumin poweder (Djinten)
5 puffed kemiries (candle nuts)
a pinch of Kaempferia galanga (kencur)
1 tablespoon of asemwater made with tamarind the size of half a walnut

Rub onions, garlic, sambal, coriander, cumin, kemiries, Kaempferia galanga and fine salt together and sauté in oil until almost dry. Mix the meat with the asem water (tamarind). Cut several pieces of aluminum foil of about 12 × 15 cm. Place in the middle of each piece 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Press the meat flat to a thickness of a bit more than 1 cm. Chop the santen (coconut cream) and sprinkle this over the stuffing. Now fold the sheets of aluminum foil first lengthwise and then across tightly. Stack the packages in the steamer. Let the steam pass through on all sides. Steam them well for about 1/2 hour.


A lot of different herbs go in this bebotok. It’s important the meat is well seasoned. I love the root Kaempferia galanga (kencur). You need only half a teaspoon. The taste is strong and should not predominate. This half teaspoon is enough to give everything a typical Indonesian flavor.

Sambal trassi I make myself. It is super easy. You can also add sambal oelek and a teaspoon of trassi (shrimp paste).

Kemirie are candle nuts. I buy candle nut paste at my Asian shop. You can also use fresh nuts. Always roast them, otherwise they stay slightly toxic.


I add the onions, garlic, sambal, coriander, cumin, kemiries, Kaempferia galanga and salt in a jug and mix it with a hand blender. I like it to become a juice herb paste; easy to mix with the meat . I use for this amount of meat about 1,5 teaspoon of salt.


Now sauté the herb paste with a tablespoon or 2 in some oil until almost dry. It smells delicious!


I mix the asem (tamarind) through the meat together with the herb paste. I mix the fried paste with the meat. I buy tamarind in a jar at an Asian shop. This has been filtered already. I can use it immediately.


Now I add two tablespoons of the seasoned meat on my aluminum foil. I press it until about 1 cm thickness and add some shredded santen on top. I fold them in the length and across until everything is well covered and cannot easily drip out.


I pile everything into my Chinese steam baskets. I place over boiling water in a wok.


Make sure there is enough water in there for 30 minutes of steaming or add boiling water during the steaming process.


Half an hour is enough to get the done but stay juicy and tender. We eat the bebotok with beef with a delicious vegetable dish like a oerapan and white rice! So delicious. The meat is well seasoned and creamy because of the santen in every parcel. Selamat Makan!

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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