The main ingredient is sliced beef tenderloin with added seasonings and spices. There are actually four types of dendeng in West Sumatera, namely, dendeng balado, dendeng batokok, dendeng lambok, and dendeng baracik. They are actually made of similar ingredients but with different methods of cooking and serving.
WHAT MAKES DENDENG BATOKOK DIFFERENT
Unlike dendeng balado, which is fried until getting dark and crispy, dendeng batokok tends to be softer and more spicy. As the name suggests, batokok means beaten or hammered. The beef is sliced across the grains and then hammered to make the seasonings and spices absorbed. This is what makes dendeng batokok different. It has very rich taste since the spices and seasonings are well absorbed into the beef.
Another thing that differentiates dendeng batokok from dendeng balado is that it is usually served with green, instead of red, chili paste. The former tends to have fresh taste with stronger acidity, spices, and seasonings. The meat texture is soft after being beaten. Dendeng batokok usually has thicker slices than dendeng balado.
Actually, dendeng lambok is also served with green chili paste. However, the latter is added with green tomato and tends to be moister. Dendeng balado is made from meat, which is dried under the sun, before frying. On the other hand, dendeng batokok is usually made from boiled or raw meat before being fried.
THE KEYS TO DELICIOUS TASTE OF DENDENG BATOKOK
Actually, dendeng can be prepared from cow, cattle, or goat meat. However, people in West Sumatera usually prepare it from cattle meat. They have special preparation techniques to remove the fats, to avoid the mean from being rotten, and to prevent the bacterial growth. One of them is drying process under the direct sun light. Drying under sun must be done with care. The meat needs adequate sun light, but it must not be too hot. Too much exposure to heat makes the meat cracked.
As the technology develops, many people now use manual or microwave oven to dry the meat. Use of oven allows them to regulate the heat. Proper heat helps in preventing the growth of bacteria. This makes dendeng long lasting.
The frying process also needs special attention. The meat is fried in huge cooking oil and medium heat. The spices used to enrich the taste are fresh local spices. They include smoothened galangal, coriander, nutmeg, bay leaf, black pepper, salt, onion, garlic, candlenut, ginger, lime juice, and green chili. It takes special skill to mix the spices and produce balanced taste.
Padang Restaurants are easy to find in almost any areas in Indonesia. However, if you are looking for the dendeng batokok with genuine taste, West Sumatera, Indonesia is certainly the place.