Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I cooked: Sarawak braised beef soup

My blogger friend, Sharon of Feats of Feast is hosting the Malaysia Food Fest (MFF), Sarawak Month in September. I'm not familiar with Sarawak cuisine, however I'm all game for cooking up some Sarawak dishes in my kitchen. I did some research and though mee kolok, Sarawak laksa, and kampua all looked really good, I was missing crucial ingredients such as the Sarawak laksa paste or noodles to make the dish.


Sarawak braised beef soup


Then I came across this Sarawak braised beef soup recipe on Kuali by Chef Rossham Rusli - I instantly bookmarked it since I could easily source all the ingredients plus the idea of a hot warming soup is very welcomed since my kids are suffering from a cold. I managed to get a piece of Australian chuck steak from Jusco supermarket, which is ideal for braising, stews or soup. Chuck meat is like brisket, and when slow cooked with time and care can produce a tender and flavorful dish. The original recipe calls for 1kg of beef, however I made 700g and scaled down the measurements for the rest of the ingredients accordingly. The original recipe could supposedly serve 10, but 3 adults (the kids took some) in my house managed to finish the whole pot of soup - either we're very hungry or it was really good! ;P



Since I used chuck steak, it took slightly longer to cook (an approximate time would be 2 hours at low heat).  However, it requires very little of your actual time, you can just leave it to simmer while you do other things. The resulting soup was very delicious, filled with spices, the most prevalent being the pepper. If I was to liken the taste to something familiar to me, it would be one of my favorite soups - soto!


Slow cooked til tender.. YUM!


What makes this uniquely different is the addition of sweet potato in the braised beef soup, which I initially thought would be weird since I often associate sweet potato with desserts but it turned out to be a great match and I really liked it! I chose to use the orange sweet potato from Indonesia since I was worried the purple one might give the soup a funny colour! The soup is good as a meal on its own, however we chose to add meehoon to it since we were having it for dinner. Even the kids enjoyed it (both of them love mee hoon) - it was so nice seeing them feeding one another! My parents loved it too (my father said "so nice lah, when you gonna make for me again?" LOL.. I guess next time I'll have to make a bigger pot. Btw, any Sarawakians know what this dish is called locally?






Sarawak braised beef soup
Adapted from Kuali - Chef Rossham Rusli
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours (depending on the cut of meat)

Ingredients
700g beef, cut into large cubes (I used Australian chuck steak)
2.1 litre water

2 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
3/4 tbsp salt (or to taste)
3/4 tsp sugar (I omitted this)

Ingredients (A)
2in cinnamon stick (kayu manis)
4pc star anise (bunga cengkih)
4pc cardamom (buah pelaga)

Ingredients (B)
7 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 inch of ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp rempah sup powder (I used Adabi brand)
3/4 tbsp black peppercorn
3/4 tsp white peppercorn
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (approximately 600g)

Garnishing
Local celery (daun sup) or coriander leaf, sliced
Spring onion, finely sliced
Red chilli, finely sliced


1. In a large pot, boil beef with water until tender. Using chuck steak, this will take approximately 2 hours.



2. Around 1 1/2 hours into boiling the beef stock, heat the cooking oil over medium high heat in a separate pan. Add Ingredients (A) and fry for 30 seconds. Then add ingredient (B), and sauté  for 5 minutes until fragrant.


3. Then pour the spice mixture into the beef stock. Add rempah sup powder, black and white peppercorns and bring to the boil. 

4. Lower to medium heat and add sweet potatoes, leave to simmer for about 15 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked.

5. Finally, season with salt to taste. Garnish with with local celery(daun sup), chilli and spring onion.

6. If adding meehoon, then soak and cook the meehoon in a separate pot. Then place in a bowl, and pour soup, braised beef  and sweet potatoes over the meehoon. You may need to season with more salt as it will taste less salty when added with the meehoon. Garnish and serve immediately. 





I am submitting this dish to Malaysian Food Fest, Sarawak Month hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts.

Full set of photos can be viewed on this Facebook page here. 

34 comments:

  1. Yen, this looks so good..i hv been craving for soupy / porridgee food the past few days...think i am going to try making this pronto! Might subsitute the chuck steak with beef ribs or something more fatty and tender heehee

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    1. I think you will like it, it's really tasty. Please share a photo when u do cook it! I want to see. If u use a different cut, then adjust cooking time accordingly.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! It tastes as good as it looks ;)

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  3. Looks yummy! You don't cook it that way there?

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    1. I dunno wor... never ever cooked beef soup at home before. Usually we eat chicken soup here.

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  4. Looks absolutely good!
    Yeah, luckily u didn't use the purple sweet potato, if not the whole pot of soup will turn blue.

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    Replies
    1. Haha yalo.... luckily got use common sense :P

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  5. This looks great, lunch time and I feel like having this.

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    1. Thanks, if u have time, maybe u can try making some Sarawak dishes this mth too. :)

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  6. I love the rustic and authentic look of the soup!

    Aww.. its so sweet to see the big sista feeding the little bro.... priceless!!

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    1. Yea, she kindly offered to feed her lil brother his dinner. So sweet!

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  7. Even though I don't take beef¸ but I feel like eating your homemade ones!

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  8. i don't think i've ever had this dish, but i'd like to taste it too someday! it looks quite unique, like something that mixes chinese, malay and even vietnamese influences somehow :D

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    1. Heheheh it does remind me a little of pho too, but I think this was a bit heavier on spices.

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  9. Actually the beef soup that I'm used to growing up is dark in colour (Bovril and soy sauce), and we just call it beef soup or beef noodles. I've never had the clear one! Nevertheless this look warming and hearty with all the spices.

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    Replies
    1. Kelly, I hope this is an authentic Sarawak soup, I got the recipe off Kuali - The Star. Most importantly, it tasted really good. I am so glad I made this.

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  10. She's so cute feeding her brother so carefully! :D What a lovely sop-my mother makes something very similar :)

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    Replies
    1. I love capturing precious moments like this - sibling love :)

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  11. must be the weather. :( it's not really good for the health these days. but a hearty soup like this would remedy it. hehe

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    Replies
    1. Yeah tell me about it... the weather is horrible, even I am not feeling well these days. This soup certainly helped.

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  12. good stuff. simple and hearty recipe which can be replicated with the right ingredients :)

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    1. I think almost anyone can do this, and it's a complete meal for the whole family.

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  13. Should ask Mr Mah to try this recipe at home, hehehe. :D

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    Replies
    1. But you don't eat beef wor, how how? Now eat edi ah?

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  14. this looks so incredibly awesome i wanna make it!!!

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    Replies
    1. Haha thanks KY! Try la then please show me a photo on FB!

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  15. This would be a good warming soup to make as the weather cools down. It looks really tasty with the beehoon.

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    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed the beehoon with it... makes it a complete meal a well.

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  16. it's good..we can eat it with rice, noodles or bee hoon..thanks a lot

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