Yakiniku-Style Beef and Sauteed Onion


Yakiniku style beef with sauteed onion by Harini

Sometimes I run out of cooking ideas. When it happens, I employ the easiest technique to get inspired: asking my family and friends about their dinner menu plan :D. It was how this recipe came about. I sent a text asking a friend, “What are you cooking for dinner tonight?” She replied, “Beef cooked with onions. Easy breezy and delicious!” She told me that she cooked the beef (cube cuts) with salt, pepper, sweet soy sauce, tamarind juice and then set them aside on a plate. Then using the same pan she sauteed the onions, garlic, chili peppers, and bitter bean. Once the vegetables are done, she put the beef back in the pan and mixed the two together. Ah! That really sounded good and easy. I really liked that one-pan cooking method and the sauteed onion part. I love sauteed onion! See, these food talk rarely fail to spark cooking ideas in me.

I think the beauty of cooking is that it allows individual creativity. In dealing with recipes, most of the time I adjust spices and sauces based on what I have in the kitchen and my mood. In this case, I didn’t have tamarind or bitter bean. Also, I was in the mood for Yakiniku-style beef. So, borrowing my friend’s cooking method and some of the ingredients in her recipe, I created my Yakiniku-style beef and sauteed onion instead :D. The smokey and nutty aroma of sesame oil was so inviting. My sauteed onion added a hint of sweetness in the spicy sauce. Together they create this delightful flavor combination.

Ingredients for Yakiniku-style beef:

  • 1 pound of beef (I sliced it to thin cuts)
  • 4 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 3 chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1/2  tablespoon of ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper

Ingredients for the sauteed onion:

  • 1 (smaller) sweet onion (slice into thin cuts)
  • 2-3 hot finger peppers (slice it into chunky cuts or thin cuts, your call)


  • Mix: sesame oil, chopped garlic, soy sauce, ginger powder, chili powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Add beef into the bowl and make sure  it is coated well with the marinade. Place it in a zip lock bag and let it marinade for 1/2 to 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Once marinating time is up, heat a large pan (over medium heat)
  • Add beef along with the marinade into the pan and let it sizzle. Cover with a lid and cook for 3–4 minutes while stirring frequently.
  • Once cooked through, remove meat from the pan (leave the sauce) and set aside
  • Reduce the heat a little bit. Using the same pan, with the sauce and oil from cooking the beef, saute the chopped onion and chili peppers. Cover with a lid and let them cook until the onions become soft and translucent. They should taste sweet and delicious.
  • Bring back the beef into the pan and mix it with the onion, chili peppers, and sauce. Cover with a lid and let them cook for another 2  minutes
  • Great to serve with jasmine rice.  Roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus also make good companies for this main dish.

Serve two

Yakiniku style beef with sauteed onion by Harini

Hope you like it. Thanks for reading!


Sugar and Bourbon Steak


Steak night by HR

Craving for a good steak for dinner tonight? I recently tried this great and easy recipe: Sugar Steak with Bourbon from Amanda  (Amanda & Merrill) at Food52.

Steak fiesta by HR

The recipe called for bourbon as part of the steak marinade. I know. You’re probably thinking about the strong aroma of that potent liquor. No worries. Once the steak is cooked you’d only end up with a tender, juicy, sweet, and savory steak sans the bourbon scent.

I adjusted the recipe slightly to serve dinner for two instead of for three to four people.


  • I went with 3/4 pound of rib eye (instead of flank steak as the recipe suggested)
  • Two tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • Three tablespoon of bourbon
  • I used a pinch of cayenne pepper and chili pepper for an extra kick 😉 (instead of red pepper flakes)
  • Kosher salt

Here’s how I did mine:

As suggested by the recipe, I mixed the bourbon, sugar, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, and salt in a bowl and rubbed it on the steak. I transferred the steak and its marinade into a ziplock bag and let it sit in the fridge for two hours. Then I broiled it for about 7—8 minutes on each side until the temperature reached 150 degrees Fahrenheit for medium well (instead of medium rare). I followed Amanda’s suggestion for the 4—6 inches tray distance from the broiler.

I served the steak with sweet corn-pickled sweet and spicy pepper-roasted artichoke salad, slices of heirloom tomato drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and celery root potato puree. What a fantastic dinner!

Buon appetito and thanks for stopping by.

Cooking inspiration for this entry came from:

Sugar Steak with Bourbon by Amanda (Amanda & Merrill) at Food52

Celery Root Potato Puree by Anne Burrell at Food Network

Goat Satay


Goat satay (sate kambing) is one of my favorite street food in Surabaya.

Illustration: Satay Vendor

Recently, I attempted to create the satay in my kitchen. Though I deviated a bit from how the satay vendors normally prepared theirs in the motherland, my version was nothing short of delicious. The meat-on-skewers came out with the three qualities I had in mind: tender, aromatic, and a little sweet. I served it with rice and  chili sauce on the side.

Here’s my version:

Serve 2

  • 1 pound of roast cut goat meat (cubed)
  • 3 garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of apple vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (if you don’t have it, create your own by mixing 1 ½ teaspoon of light soy sauce and 1 ½ teaspoon of honey)

I mixed all of the above in a container, covered with the lid, and let it marinate overnight or at least for six hours. Afterward, using 10-15 skewers that I have soaked in water for 30 minutes prior, I pushed the skewers gently through the meat. Then I fired up the grill and let the satay cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

If you’re into spicy food like I am, serve the satay with this special chili pepper sauce:

Warning: Very Spicy!

  • 5 Thai peppers (substitute with hot finger peppers for medium heat)
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce

Chop the chili peppers and shallots and mix them with the sweet soy sauce. Serve as condiment or drizzle it on the satay.

Hope you like it!

Have a great weekend, everyone.