Make this classic Central Javanese tongseng sapi that is rich in aroma and has an addicting sweet from Indonesian kecap manis and savory taste on the stove or using Instant Pot pressure cooker.
We were just hit by a winter storm couple days ago and we are deep in snow and so I’m still deep into soup and stew or anything cozy and warm to fend off this freezing weather! What I’m sharing here is a beef stew originated from the city of Solo, located in Central Java, known as tongseng.
WHAT IS TONGSENG
Tongseng is a type of Javanese stew made with aromatic spices, herbs, meat like goat, mutton (tongseng kambing) or beef (for those who do not like the aroma of mutton or goat meat), and veggies like cabbages and tomatoes . It’s unique taste of tongseng that sets it apart from gulai such as gulai tempeh, gulai telur Padang, gulai nangka, or other types of curry is the addition of kecap manis that makes the stew sweet and savory at the same time. Some likes to make it spicy. The Solo people like to add coconut cream to their tongseng but there are also tongseng that is made without any addition of coconut cream.
HOW TO MAKE TONGSENG SAPI WITH INSTANT POT
I’ve mentioned before many times that I love my Instant Pot (not sponsored) because it’s so convenient and I especially like to make soup and stew with it.
1. PARBOIL THE BEEF
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the beef and briefly boil for 5 minutes. Discard the water and rinse off the scums from the meat. This step is optional
2. SAUTE SPICES AND HERBS
Press saute on instant pot. When it’s hot, add cooking oil
Add the spice paste mixture and stir fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes
Add herbs and stir fry for another 3 minutes
3. PRESSURE COOKING
Add the beef pieces followed by seasonings and stir to mix
Pour in water. Add the cabbage leaves
Turn off saute mode. Cover the lid and turn valve to “sealing” position. Press “pressure cooker” and make sure it’s on “high pressure”. Set timer to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, wait 5 minutes and then fully release pressure
4. STIR IN COCONUT CREAM AND ADD TOMATOES
Unlock the lid carefully. Stir in the coconut cream and add the tomato pieces. The residual heat will soften the tomatoes and gently heat the coconut cream. Have a taste and add more kecap manis and/or salt as needed. The stew is more at a sweet side. Stew is ready to be served
Meat: You can use mutton, goat, or chicken
Vegetarian: Not as common to have tongseng sayur (vegetable tongseng), but you can definitely add more vegetables like carrots, long beans or green beans, and add tofu or tempeh
DID YOU MAKE THIS TONGSENG SAPI RECIPE?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
Tongseng Sapi (Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Beef Stew)4 servings
- 500 gr beef for stew - cut into chunks of bite-size pieces
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1000 ml water
- 200 ml coconut cream
- 100 gr cabbage leaves - cut into smaller pieces
- 2 large tomatoes - cut into quarters
- 5 Tbsp kecap manis - or more as needed
- 2 tsp salt - or more to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- Crispy fried shallots / bawang goreng
- 1 stalk green onion - finely chopped
Prepare spice paste:
- Place shallots, garlic, ginger, and turmeric (if not using powdered) in a food processor and process into a paste. Add cooking oil to help it going if needed. Add the rest of the powdered ingredients and just stir to mix
Parboil the beef (optional):
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the beef and briefly boil for 5 minutes. Discard the water and rinse off the scums from the meat
Cooking with Instant Pot pressure cooker:
- Press saute on instant pot. When it's hot, add cooking oil. Add the spice paste mixture and stir fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add herbs and stir fry for another 3 minutes
- Add the beef pieces followed by seasonings and stir to mix. Pour in water. Add the cabbage leaves. Turn off saute mode. Cover the lid and turn valve to "sealing" position. Press "pressure cooker" and make sure it's on "high pressure". Set timer to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, wait 5 minutes and then fully release pressure
- Unlock the lid carefully. Stir in the coconut cream and add the tomato pieces. The residual heat will soften the tomatoes and gently heat the coconut cream. Have a taste and add more kecap manis and/or salt as needed. The stew is more at a sweet side. Stew is ready to be served
Cooking on the stove:
- Preheat oil in a pot. When it's hot, add the spice paste mixture and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the herbs and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the beef pieces and cabbage leaves followed by seasonings, and water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the beef is tender, about 20-30 minutes
- When the beef is tender, add tomato pieces and stir in coconut cream. Make sure the heat is on low. Cook until the tomato is soften but not mushy. Do not boil the coconut cream or it won't be smooth. Have a taste and add more kecap manis and/or salt as needed. The stew is more at the sweet side
- Garnish the tongseng with some bawang goreng and chopped green onions. Serve tongseng sapi with a bowl of rice