I’ve tried several recipes for crispy beef, and have finally gained confidence enough to make it on my own terms. Here’s a simplified version that I now follow. It’s quite rough, and it’s meant to be adapted.
The trick with crispy beef is to keep it dry enough so that it will firm up on cooking. This also depends on getting enough heat for it to caramelise.
- Minced beef
- Keçap manis (or a syrupy mix of dark soy sauce and brown sugar)
- Sesame oil
- Corn flour
This isn’t a comprehensive list. You can add other things as you go like red peppers, spring onions, sesame seeds, chilli flakes.
Step 1 Mix beef #
Mix the beef in some corn flour with your hands until its dry and flaky. Add a good squeeze of keçap manis (about 200ml). Keçap manis is basically just dark soy sauce and sugar, so don’t feel compelled to buy this item if you want to mix your own.
By the end of this mix, you should have a disgusting moist mixture. Don’t worry about the consistency at this stage, things will improve with the application of some heat!
Step 2 Cook #
Its important to heat the sesame oil before putting in the beef. This is so the oil doesn’t soak into the meat but instead heats up the sugar until it caramelises. Put in the whole mixture and keep stirring and mixing until it caramelises.
Gradually the mixture will darken and separate. Take it off the heat before it starts burning but when it’s sufficiently dark and crispy.”