Slow an’ easy…

Ok, time for another one of my mum’s simple recipes!

I spotted a bit of beef in the freezer, not much of it, so I decided to cook some beef soup the way my mum would cook it a long time ago. Thankfully. the meat had been thinly sliced by the people at the shop so I did not have to do that. All I needed to do was to cut them into smaller slices and put them in a pot to cook over a very very small fire…

Beef soup 1

A big flame would probably dry up the juices very fast and get everything in the pot burnt. This was just enough for two big bowls of soup – one for lunch and one for dinner but of course, you can add more meat or even some bones if you want a stronger beef flavour in your soup.

Once the juices had come out of the meat, I added one Bombay onion, skin removed and a handful of peppercorn…

Beef soup 2

…and I added water to it and brought it back to boil. Actually, once you’ve added the water, you can increase the heat but I wanted to do it slow and easy.

When it had started boiling again, I threw in the potatoes, skinned removed and cut into wedges…

Beef soup 3

…and then I turned up the flame and waited for it to boil again.

I let it simmer for a while before adding around half a beef cube, Knorr brand (my mum would add salt and msg when she cooked this in the past) and some chopped spring onions from my garden…

Beef soup 4

Actually for beef soup, Chinese celery or daun sup should be used but there wasn’t any in the house.

The soup was ready…

Beef soup 5

No, I did not add any spices – no star anise, no cinnamon, nothing. My mum never did. I know the Malays and Indians at their stalls or shops would do that and I do not like the strong smell of the spices in their beef soup (and more often than not, I can hardly detect the fragrance and flavour of the beef in theirs)…and no, I did not add any salted vegetable either. I think they do that at the beef noodle shops (and lobak putih/white radish too) so much so that sometimes, what they dish out tastes like salted vegetable soup.

For the meat, you would probably need to pound some fresh chili with ginger added plus a squeeze of calamansi lime but I still have my bottle for the chili sauce from the beef noodle place in town so I did not need to do that.

The durian trees have started flowering in some parts of the state and for our vegetable dish, I was able to fry some that was given to us by my sister-in-law…

Durian flower 1

It had been really very hot lately and I had no intention of sweating out. That was why the idea of pounding some hay bee or udang kering (dried prawns) did not appeal to me.

Instead, I just fried one shallot and two cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced, one stalk of serai (lemon grass) and a handful of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) in a little bit of oil till golden brown before putting in the durian flowers. I took the sauce from the bottle of nyonya acar timun (pickled cucumber) that we had sitting in the fridge since God knows when and added that along with a spoonful of my pounded chili, mixing everything together thoroughly. Everything was ready to be served in no time at all…

Durian flower 2

When it comes to cooking, that’s how I like it best – easy…and yet, very very appetising and nice!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

21 thoughts on “Slow an’ easy…”

  1. Nice! Aiya, you should have shared this way earlier ago (or did i miss it out?), so that i can cook this when i was still at aus, i didn’t know it can be that simple lol

    Ya, lots of beef there, fresh as fresh can be. We can’t get fresh beef here anymore – I think the sole seller does sell once in a while but the meat is fully booked by all the beef noodle sellers in town – none left for lesser beings like me. This was with frozen imported Australian beef. Nice too – not cheap though. 😦 Well, sometimes, the beauty is in the simplicity…right or not? πŸ˜‰

  2. Hey, I cooked oxtail soup last week! I should try you beef soup as it looks so simple. Durian flowers can be eaten? I didn’t know that! So what does it taste like?

    Krop…krop…krop…crunchy, minimal own taste – dependent on ingredients used in cooking – like paku pakis, taugeh.

    All the durians over at your side and all the flowers gone to waste – they collect those that have dropped from the tree for this, must be fresh (would turn brown by afternoon or the next day, not nice anymore)…and no, they are not plucked for the trees so don’t worry about there being no durians after that.

  3. Simple cooking is the best. My mum just used belacan to cook the durian flowers. Long time didnt eat durian flowers. Didnt see any in Rejang Park wet market.

    that simple way to cook beef. Will try it out, I am sure my hubby would love it.

    You will have to try your luck at the Sibu Central Market, the jungle produce section…no hope of getting any at the smaller markets. We usually fry with sambal belacan hay bee…but that day, I tried something different – turned out really well!

    Grew up eating that beef soup and I’ve always loved it! Give it a try, see what you think.

  4. I have to agree – easy and appetizing – the best way to go.

    Mum’s always right – I try to replicate her recipes as closely as possible but hers would always be the best. There’s something about that special touch, I think…and that’s one thing that keeps the children going home from near or far – mum’s cooking! With due apologies to Shakespeare, if food be the music of love, eat on!!! Slurpsss!!!

  5. My kind of recipe, easy peasy and yet yummy soup. Durian flowers in season now? Didn’t see it in the market yet. For durian flowers, I prefer stir fry with belacan. My favourite.

    They were in season in Kuching way ahead of Sibu – was seeing friends and relatives sharing photos of theirs on Facebook…long before we managed to get some – this little bit. 😦

  6. ooo, i like my beef soups to be clean-tasting with just the flavour of the meat and the potatoes and carrots/veggies too… i guess that was my grandmother’s style too πŸ˜€

    Your grandma’s nyonya? My mum’s sort of the same – my maternal grandma’s Melanau…so we have a mixture of Melanau, Sarawak ethnic and peranakan…and then we have the Foochow from my paternal side.

  7. I love your beef soup.. I boiled something like this last week.. Bones, potatoes, carrots and onions.. But a packet of bones is not cheap.. RM15 for about 5-6 chunks of bones only..

    I just used those few slices of meat, good enough already. No carrots in ours – I guess in my younger days, they did not come easy…and they were not cheap – not even now, I think. My NZ friends were delighted to see them at our market – the only thing that’s cheaper in NZ, they said!!!

  8. oh wow, simple but looks so delicious!! yummy yummy.. πŸ™‚

    I, for one, love clear soups. Nice and refreshing.

  9. flowers from durian tree can be eaten ?

    Normally, my area here cooked beef soup with turnip. They said the turnip will washed away the beef smell.

    White radish/carrot (lobak putih), Taiwan-style beef soup/noodles…not turnip (sengkuang)…and that washes away everything. It detoxifies – not to be eaten by those on medication – will render it all ineffective.

  10. Is this a Nyonya dish ( in reference to your answer to Sean Eat Drink KL) ? Dad used to make them too (dad was Bidayuh), in the exact manner. Nice on a cool, rainy day. I tend to avoid leaner cuts as they cook fast (especially in Asian soups), preferring chuck instead. That way, everything (sinew et al) will break down without fear of overcooking; even on high heat.

    I haven’t the slightest idea – all I know is my mum would cook it this way and we all loved it…so I would want to cook this time and again…just that fresh beef is hard to come by around here these days and the nicer imported Aussie and NZ beef can be quite pricey.

    1. Ethnic then – all inclusive term which is what we are really (although certain quarters would beg to differ and are hell bent on encouraging otherwise). Politics aside, ditto on pricey imports. Maybe can throw/dip in beef at the very end (shabu-shabu style) given stock is already well infused with Oxo/Knorr cube? There’s a thought, will try that myself.

      I put in a pinch of Knorr in place of salt and msg and since it was tasty and salty enough – that was it! Not too much – there’s salt and msg in those cubes. Once, I heard people saying that the beef noodles place in town add Bovril to make up for the lack of beef taste – nahhhh!!! Bovril is too expensive for them to do that!

  11. Very good innovation from the ingredients you have in the fridge… I haven’t tried durian flowers before.. don’t even know how they look like. πŸ™‚

    Not easily available, seasonal.

  12. Oooo, simple, easy and appetising recipe….I like!
    Haven’t tried durian flowers before. Don’t think I have ever seen any durian flowers being sold in the markets here. Maybe not in the city?
    Your mum’s version of beef soup is really simple and looks yummy. πŸ‘
    I love beef but gets intimidated coz I don’t know how to cook them right. There are so many different parts of the body that are suitable for different types of recipe and require different cooking times.. πŸ˜•

    I dunno which part is good for what. When I bought fresh beef from the Malay guy, I would say for “goreng” (frying) so he would give the not so tough sides – but if you said for curry or soup, be prepared for extended cooking to tenderise the meat…or use a slow cooker or pressure cooker – that should be able to do the trick.

    My mum’s Indon maid was surprised too – she said they never ate the durian flowers back home either, what a waste…as she thought they tasted great!

  13. Beef clear soup, i like! Can add in some “lat chai” or like what you mention salted vege or white radish, all i like!

    Durian flower? Hmmm…i don’t know how to enjoy this dish.

    Luak chai, the preserved vegetable that’s a little bit spicy, usually they add when cooking duck. Hahhh!!! You never tried durian flower – hope it will be in season the next time you come back – sure you will love it if I cook some for you!

  14. Beef clear soup reminds me of my mom’s. Not too sure if they are the same but I sure love it!

    I remember seeing you blogging about some clear soups but chicken, not beef – should be similar, I think.

  15. Good idea. That’s a bit like ABC soup but with beef? I should try it soon instead of my usual pork or chicken rendition.

    Durian flowers…haven’t tasted them before.

    I think only those around here would have eaten and enjoyed those durian flowers. More and more here are starting to love it which is bad…because as soon as there is a demand, the price will surely go up. 😦

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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