A Simple Indonesian Semur Recipe

Oh hello there. Today it’ll be just a quick recipe post on an Indonesian dish called Semur, but the simplified version. I went out for dinner last night and my friends wanted to eat Indonesian food. Now, ever since I have moved to HK, I never been to an Indonesian restaurant, purely because I know I will be disappointed. Despite that HK has a little Indo town, if you can even call it that, the food will always be adjusted to suit the taste of the Chinese. So of course, yesterday I was disappointed with the food. Urgh.


Anyway, so today I decided to share with you this recipe in light of my craving for proper indo food. Semur is basically a sort of Indonesian stew that has many different varieties and can taste slightly different depending where you are in Indonesia. I wanted to share with you my simple version because it might be harder to get some of the ingredients if you don’t have access to an Asian supermarket nearby. Also, because I make the simple version a lot more as I don’t always have time to go get the ingredients (a.k.a I’m being lazy to travel 20 minutes to go to the indo supermarket).



The simple version of this recipe means two things – you don’t need as many ingredients and also you don’t need a lot of prep time (it took me less than 10 minutes), the only thing though.. You have to wait for about 2 hours for the meat to become nice and tender. Here goes -





Cooks for :: 2
Equipment Needed :: stir fry pan and pot
Prep time :: 10 minutes
Cooking time :: 2 hours








-       500 gr frozen ribeye steak (you can use any type of meat as long as it has fat on it)
-       1 tbsp palm sugar (use brown sugar if you don’t have any palm sugar)
-       2 cloves of crushed garlic
-       ¼ cup of diced onion (or shallots)
-       2 lime leaves
-       1 1/2  tbsp sliced lemongrass
-       1 Red chili (I used one only and didn’t slice it to ensure that it wasn’t spicy but if you want it spicier, just slice the chili and add more if desired)
-       1/3 cup sweet soy sauce (if you have access to kecap manis then use that one, but I had the Chinese version which is much more liquidy than the Indonesian one)
-       1 litre of water
-       1 tablespoon of olive oil (I used 1 tbsp of coconut oil)




-       Boil the frozen steak in a pot with the water for an hour. You don’t need to defrost it, just place is directly inside of the boiling water. Add more water if needed, because you need about 750 ml of that beef stock later.

-       Dice the onion, slice the chili, crush the garlic and grate the palm sugar if you haven’t already.

-       After one hour, remove the steak from the water and cut it into bite size pieces or strips. Keep the water.

-       Heat up the stir fry pan on high heat and add some olive oil with the garlic, onion, lemongrass and chili and let it cook for about a minute or two.

-       Add the sliced beef, fry for another minute or two, then add the beef stock, palm sugar, sweet soy sauce and lime leaves, and reduce the heat to a medium low.

-       Wait for another hour until nearly all the water has evaporated and you are left with a thick sauce.

-       Serve it with some rice and there you have your simple semur ready to eat !