Devilish beef with petai beans | Daging Setan

I think the best recipe for Christmas is devilish beef with petai beans. In Indonesian known as daging setan pete. This spicy beef dish is flavored with mustard and stinky beans.

I make my beef slightly different from Beb’s (I make all her recipes on this blog) original daging setan; I add petai beans, fresh mustard and two kinds of soy sauce.

The devilish beef recipe below is Beb Vuyk’s recipe but adapted to my version. You can find the original here. This recipe is enough for 3 people and is ready in 3 hours.

Devilish beef with petai beans


  • 1/2 kg beef steaks
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 dl water


  • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 chili pepper (or more)
  • 100 grams petai beans
  • 1,5 tbsp fresh mustard
  • 2 teaspoons gula Jawa (palmsugar), but can also be regular sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 tablespoon salty soy sauce (kecap asin)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Place onions, garlic, 2/3 of the petai beans, sambal, palm sugar, salt and mustard in a pitcher for the immersion blender or in the food processor and grind fine.
  2. Cut the beef steaks into coarse pieces.
  3. Add oil into the pan and add the spice mix, the meat and the rest of the petai beans, together with the water and stir briefly.
  4. Add the two kecaps and the lemonjuice.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Keep the lid off the pan for the last hour to let the sauce reduce.

The ingredients above are for 1 kg of meat. I make for a few days and I want to freeze some. We eat much less meat these days than we used to, but when we eat meat we choose good products and we make the portions smaller. This daging setan is ideal for that.

Beb finely grinds the herbs in a mortar, but I go for the easy way: the food processor. I also grind 2/3 of the petai beans fine, so the flavor comes out even better. The onions, garlic, pepper, and petai beans are already in the processor. I add a scoop of mustard too. Any kind will do, but I love the strong-flavored ones.

Everything can go in the pan now. I add two tablespoons of oil (sunflower or rice oil) in the pan and fry the bumbu (grounded herb mix) very briefly, add the meat, palm sugar and water. Don’t forget the rest of the petai beans either. The two different soy sauces give depth to the flavor. I use a salty soy sauce (Beb invariably calls it soy sauce in her book) and a sweet soy sauce (kecap manis).

The amount of moisture should be enough that the meat is just covered. Now it can simmer for about 3 hours in total on a low heat. It is important to remove the lid during the last hour so that the sauce can reduce.

The smell of this version of devilish beef with petai beans or daging setan pete is really special. The combination with petai beans and mustard is amazing. It brings out all the warm flavors of the meat. The chili pepper gives just the right spicyness in the back of your mouth. This dish is great with lontong and a simple cucumber salad. Selamat makan!

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