Fried Beef Ribs, Iga Penyet

April 15, 2013

I was reading a culinary review recenly, which I find it pretty impressive and informative. However, prior to the reading, I was sold by a friend whom always mentions the dish every time we had a chat, saying all the deliciousness of the dish over and over again.

My curiosity was undoubtedly overhead and decided to visit the restaurant and reached out beyond my own review, it doesn’t take me dilly-dally to say that the food discovery was indeed satisfying!

This dish is actually a smart invention, which later has become a “raising-star” dish amongst other Indonesian food at that time.

Fried beef ribs (Iga Penyet), is typical Indonesian food, delicious yet tasty and is a decent craves for a meat lover.

For you to know, Penyet is actually Javanese dialect literally means flattened or smashed, which is referring to its cooking process and presentation.
The marinated meat is smashed or flattened in a mortar that is plate alike and then lightly smashed with a wooden pestle after deep-frying.

Basically, fried beef ribs (Iga penyet) were conceive first time in Surabaya-East Java, which I believe it twisted by a deathly creative person that is extremely cool.

The ribs processed with some aromatic Indonesian spices, slow-cook until tender and flavorsome, as the spices have absorbed through the meat and then deep-fried to perfection

Following the delectable fried beef ribs, it has to have scrumptious sambal to go with, is actually making the whole dish special and even more exciting.
The sambal made from a mixture of red chili, bird eye chili, tomato and toasted shrimp (terasi/belachan)

With NO half-hearted, this is my home-cook style of fried beef ribs (Iga penyet), served traditionally in the mortar completed with lip-smacking sambal, some choices vegetables and crispy garlic bits as topping. Enjoy!

Fried Beef Ribs (Iga Penyet)


4 beef ribs approx 400g
4-5 cloves garlic
1 cm turmeric root, substitute turmeric powder
1/3 cup coconut water, optional
Salt and sugar to taste (I used coconut sugar substitute brown sugar)
Sufficient amount of water to boil the meat until tender
Oil for frying

Whole spices
1 Indonesian bay leaf
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass
2 medium slices galangal root, substitute galangal powder

For the sambal

4 red chilies
5 bird eye chilies
¼ slice fresh tomato
1 teaspoon toasted shrimp paste (terasi/belachan)
Salt and Sugar to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying

Assorted vegetables of your favorites
Crispy bits garlic (made from 5 cloves garlic)
Steamed jasmine rice


Rinse well the beef ribs under cold running water.
Peel the garlic and turmeric root.

Making the spices paste:
Process the garlic, turmeric and coriander seeds to a paste using mortar and pestle

Take the white part from the lemongrass and lightly bash using a kitchen tool or a pestle

Place the ribs in a pot, add enough water to cover the ribs, add whole spices ingredients, spice paste, salt and sugar. Stir well
Heat up the pot on the stove, cook over medium fire for 25-30minutes.

Reserve the liquids from aromatic broth approx. 1 cup, add coconut water and continue to cook until the liquids has reduces or until tender.
Off the heat and let the ribs cool down.

To fry
Heat up the oil in a wok over medium heat, fry the ribs until lightly crisps at both side.
Once its done, remove from the hot oil using a thong and place in a plate lined with kitchen towels. 

Making Crispy bits fried garlic
Peel 5 cloves garlic, bash them up on the chopping board with a kitchen tool or a pestle
Heat up oil in a wok, add garlic and fry until golden brown and crispy.
Remove the garlic form the hot oil with a metal sieve and place on a plate lined with kitchen towels. Keep it in the airtight jar for later use as toppings.

Making the sambal
Halved the red chili and removed the seeds out, cut into smaller size
Heat up a small amount vegetable oil in a wok.
Add slice chili and bird eye chili, fry approx 1 minute. Remove from the wok and place in a mortar.
Add toasted terasi/belachan, slice tomato, salt and sugar
Pound until ground fine using mortar and pestle 

Prick the flesh of bird eye chili with the tip of a kitchen knife, in purpose to prevent the chili burst from the hot oil and splatter around

To serve
On a plate, arrange fried beef ribs along with steamed jasmine and assorted vegetables.
Toppings the fried ribs with crispy garlic and reserve the sambal on the side.
Serve immediately

Other way to serve fried beef ribs (Iga Penyet) is, after pounding the sambal mixture and then let the sambal stays in the mortar, reserve the ribs along with assorted vegetable and serve with steamed jasmine rice in the separate serving plate  

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