There seems to be two types of Malaysians – those who have heard of daging Mat Kassim, and those who haven’t. Here at Butterkicap, it seems to be a more or less even split.
According to those in the know, daging Mat Kassim is a dish that’s always home cooked – you’re not likely to find it listed on a menu in any restaurant. And while we’ve come to expect variations for all sorts of local recipes, the differences for this particular dish seems far and wide. Some recipes call for spices, others for curry powder, and yet others for the addition of screwpine and curry leaves. Its name, too, seems to vary – from daging Mat Kassim to rendang Mat Kassim, to daging or rendang Pak Kassim. And then some recipes use chicken instead.
The origins of this recipe is also vague at best – whether it was created in Kampung Baru or Penang, the only thing these assumptions have in common is that perhaps the creator of this dish is called Mat (or Pak) Kassim. So, until the real Mat Kassim (or perhaps a descendent) stands up and sets the record straight, we decided to do a little digging around to find a basic, simple yet delicious daging Mat Kassim recipe you can try making at home.
Easy peasy and yummy? This recipe has our stamp of approval!
- 500g beef
- 100g rehydrated dried chilies
- 20g coconut sugar (gula Melaka), coarsely grated
- 106g sweet thick soy sauce (5 tbsp)
- 1g salt (1 tsp)
- 1/4c + 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 140g large red onions
- 21g garlic, about 3 cloves
- 10g ginger
Serves: 6 (as a side dish)
- In a small pot, boil dried chilies with enough water to cover for half an hour over high heat. Do not cover.
- Slice beef into 4cm x 4cm x 0.5cm cuts. Don’t worry if it’s not exact.
- Use a mallet or pestle to hammer the beef lightly. This will tenderize and flatten the beef a little.
- Peel and cut aromatic ingredients into smaller pieces. Blend until almost fine. You can add a little bit of water to aid the blending process if necessary. Set aside.
- Once chili is boiled, transfer to a colander. Toss the chili a few times to remove excess liquid.
- Weigh chilies to ensure you have 100g as they may weigh a little heavier after boiling. Remove excess chilies if necessary.
- With a pair of scissors, cut chilies into three or four sections.
- Heat ¼ cup cooking oil in a wok over high heat.
- After a couple of minutes, or once the oil is hot enough, add cut chilies to the oil and fry for three to four minutes. You want the skin to crisp up and darken a little, but not get it too burnt. Stir regularly.
- Turn the heat off and remove chilies from the oil, scooping out as much of the seeds as you can. Don’t worry if some are left behind. Leave the oil in the wok.
- Blend fried chilies until pulpy fine and set aside.
Cooking daging Mat Kassim
- Turn the heat on the wok to high again and add 3 tbsp cooking oil to the oil already in the wok.
- Add blended aromatics and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add blended chilies and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chili fumes can get quite strong, so make sure you have plenty of ventilation.
- If your mixture is looking a bit dry at this point, add another 1 to 2 tbsp of cooking oil.
- Add beef and stir to mix evenly, for about 1 minute.
- Next, add soy sauce and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add coconut sugar. Stir.
- Add salt and stir to mix.
- Cook until sauce thickens up, about 5 to 8 minutes depending on how much liquids you’re left with.
- Serve with hot white rice and some of your other favourite dishes.
- We recommend using tenderloin, but cheaper cuts of meat can also be used to make this dish.
- We ran out of large red onions and used small ones instead. It works with both types though!
This dish may look spicy, but it actually falls closer to the sweet-with-a-bit-of-spice spectrum. Requiring less than ten very common ingredients, daging Mat Kassim is an honest to goodness easy dish to whip up. And as long as you have about an hour to prep and cook, you should have sufficient time to prepare this dish for today’s lunch or dinner!
So, have you heard of daging Mat Kassim? Whether you have or have not, try your hand at making this simple recipe and let us know what you think. And if you’re one of those with a family Mat Kassim recipe, let us know how you make it in the comments below. Don’t forget to hashtag us with #butterkicap to show us your pics!