Healthy Kitchen Smells Fresh

July 15, 2009

Aromatic Sweet Sour Beef – Malaysian-Thai Style

Filed under: Asians, Cooking, Gluten-Free, Malaysians, Savories, Side Dishes — nshahida @ 12:06 am

Dark Sweet Sour Beef

We consume meat 3 times per month, sometimes less. When we plan a menu for beef,  we’d love to savor it with something decent.. Something reminds us of home, something Malaysian are always the best.

One of the varieties I usually make is this aromatic sweet sour beef that has hint of Thai flavor in it ; Kefir leaves , lemon grass and a must – Tamarind . Serve it with just hot plain rice and along with some steamed veggies, definitely my favorite of all time – very comforting. Alhamdulillah.


Sweet Sour Beef (Serves 4 people)

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs beef tenderloin ( thinly sliced, about ¼ inch thick)
  • Salt and tumeric , for seasoning.
  • 11/2  Tablespoon cooking oil

1- Wash the beef slices, pat dry with paper towel. Seasoned with salt and tumeric, let it sit for 15 minutes.

Usually, people stir fry this marinated beef with some amount of oil until it gets browned, tender and slightly crisp at the edges. But here is what I do to save my cooking oil and healthier, it works just fine:

2- Heat the oven to 400F/205 degree Celsius . Drizzle 2 tablespoons canola oil on a baking pan/tray. Arrange each piece of meat on the tray on single layer. Bake it till brown and crisp , about 20-25 minutes. Make sure not to overbaked them because the meat will get too crispy, dry and lack of flavor.

3- Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil until ready to use.

For the spicy paste:

  • 8 large shallots or 2 large yellow onions (preferably shallot)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili paste, reduced for less spicy , depends on how spicy you desire
  • 1 lemon grass, sliced chunk.

everything in a blender, blend to form a smooth paste consistency. Set aside.

Other Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons tamarind pulps, Mix in ½ cup of warm water, squeeze with fork or tips of fingers till concentrate of tamarind juice is obtained. Remove the seeds.
  • 1 lemon grass, the root is pounded.
  • 1 large yellow or purple onion, slice into rings.
  • 3-4 fresh kefir leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili sauce, optional, this makes the sauce thicker and glossy.
  • Salt and Sugar, to taste
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons cooking oil (canola, corn , vegetable oil , etc)


1- On medium high heat, in a medium wok or sauce pan, heat the oil until hot.

2- Add in the spicy paste, stir in pounded lemon grass. Let them browned and fragrant.

3- Add in tamarind juice, soy sauce, salt and sugar. Stir them together till well incorporated. Let them bubble till the oil separated and floating on top. Adjust the salt and sugar to suit taste buds.

4- Reduce the heat to medium low, toss in the cooked/baked beef, kefir leaves and purple or yellow onion rings. If the sauce is too thick, add ¼ cup water. Let them bubble again, for about 3 minutes. Add the chili sauce, if using, stirring to well combined. Remove from the heat. It’s ready.


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