Monday, 29 February 2016

Beef Kuzi (Kuzi Daging)


I cooked Beef Kuzi for my family Chinese New Year Reunion. I was very unhappy with the dish because it tasted funny hah...hah... Everyone else who ate it said it was OK but I knew it was not.

There was quite a bit leftover and I intended to throw it away. But my mum stopped me and insisted that I freeze the curry for her to take back to Kuala Terengganu.

Reluctantly, I put them away in two plastic boxes and in my heart, I was already determined to cook a fresh batch for my mum. I mean, I couldn't let her take home lousy food, could I?


So on the 6th day of CNY, I spent the morning cooking Beef Kuzi again. This time it was going to be properly executed. No mistakes.

The important thing to remember is that you must saute the beef with the dry spices even if you intend to complete the cooking process in a slow cooker. Don't ever consider mixing the spices with the liquids before pouring it into the pot of beef.

That was the mistake I made when I cooked the first batch of kuzi. I wanted to avoid the spices sticking to the wok, since I was going to transfer the beef into the slow cooker anyway.


The spices must come into contact with the hot oil for at least a good 10 minutes in order for the aroma and flavors to develop, failing which you will end up with a very flat tasting kuzi. Lesson learnt.

I packed the freshly cooked Beef Kuzi into 2 plastic boxes and once they were cool, I put them into the freezer on quick freezing mode. Then I got on to cooking the other dishes I was going to serve for that evening's dinner.

When the evening was over, I reminded my mum about the Beef Kuzi. Mum was not in the best of moods as she was not feeling well. I took out both boxes of Beef Kuzi but mum insisted on taking only one. I was disappointed because both boxes were meant for her. Anyway, I didn't make a big deal of it and kept the other box for myself.


Last weekend I decided to take it out from the freezer together with one container of leftover Nasi Tomato (yes, from the reunion dinner) for lunch. I heated the Beef Kuzi and I must say that it looked magnificent. Look....


It was thick and oily and shiny and it smelt so good. Then I steamed the Nasi Tomato (recipe here). Earlier I made a small portion of acar. I was reliving the reunion dinner again except that this time I was in my grubby tee shirt and shorts and my hair was a big mess.

The Nasi Tomato was good for two portions, I meant to save half for the next day's lunch. Besides, I had a wedding dinner to attend and I should save some stomach space. And then I had my first mouthful of Beef Kuzi.


Wah seh!! This I tell you is one proper kick ass Beef Kuzi. Excuse the language. THIS is how Beef Kuzi should taste like. Sorry, I can't describe it. I was happy to note that mum took home a properly executed Beef Kuzi and that she and dad would have enjoyed it (mum reported back that they did).

I kept adding gravy to my rice and then I kept adding more rice to my plate. What the heck. The wedding dinner was slated to start at 7:00pm sharp. Yeah, sharp like a blunt knife. You know how Chinese wedding dinners are like. I am ready to bet my bottom ringgit that the first course would be served earliest by 8:00pm. So I might as well fill my tummy to the brim right here right now.










Kuzi Daging (Beef Kuzi)
Recipe Source : Adapted from here

Ingredients :

Dry Spice Mix :
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground fennel
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1kg beef, cut into cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, finely pounded
- 1 thumbsized ginger, finely pounded
- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 tablespoons ghee 
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil 
- 300g big onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons black raisins
- 100ml tomato puree
- 100ml tomato ketchup
- 200 ml evaporated milk
- 300ml water (adjust according to how much gravy you want)

Method :
1. Combine dry spices in a small bowl and set aside,
2. Marinate beef with ground garlic, ginger and salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Mix tomato puree, tomato ketchup, evaporated milk and water in a jug and set aside.
4. Heat ghee and oil in a wok.
5. Working in batches, fry sliced onions until crisp and golden brown.
6. Drain fried onions on paper towels and set aside.
7. In the same oil, add the beef and cook until lightly browned around the edges.
8. Add ground spices and keep frying the beef, turning to coat with the spices.
9. Transfer to the beef to a slow cooker, layering the beef and the fried onions.
10. Add tomato puree, tomato ketchup, milk and water.
11. Set the slow cooker to high until liquid come to a simmer and then switch to auto and cook for about 3 to 4 hours or until beef is tender.
12. Add raisins and cook for 10 minutes.
13. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Note 
- I find that this curry tastes much better after a day or two when the flavors are fully developed.
- if cooking on the stovetop, after step 8, add liquids to the beef and simmer on low heat until beef is tender and proceed with step 12 and 13.


41 comments:

  1. Never heard of kuzi before, but it looks like beef rendang, but more gravy.. Wet beef rendang.. Everyone says it was ok, but you didn't feel right.. I understand that feeling.. Macam people trying to be nice and finish the food without complaint kan.. But then, whatever Phong Hong cooks, sure taste nice, even though the kuzi doesn't taste like kuzi.. I see your ingredients got ghee.. Ghee very fragrant ger wor, hor.. My dad got a can of ghee lastime, put in fridge for so many years, last last, use it to gorent telur.. FIAT-TENNING !!!

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    1. Ghee by itself I cannot tahan the smell. But when goreng with onions and spices, it smells very good and give the curry a very distinctive taste. I have also seen some cookie recipes using ghee but I dare not try. Scared I might not like it.

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  2. If you didn't tell us it tasted funny, we wouldn't know...haha! :D Beef kuzi, I suppose is like beef rendang...it keeps really well in the freezer for long periods. My sis makes a kick-ass beef rendang too. I wouldn't mind having that plate of beef kuzi with nasi tomato and acar...if someone makes it for me....hee...hee! ;D

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    1. That's what I like about rendang and curries, they freeze really well. Besides they taste better after a few days. It's best to make a bigger batch for freezing since it so tedious to cook. Just do it once and have many servings hee..hee...

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  3. So tempting, i can eat extra bowl of rice...

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    1. Yes, this curry will make you eat more rice :)

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  4. Why you sidetrack us with the wedding dinner time accuracy talk lah...

    Got lamb or ayam kuzi anot one? But looking at the ingredients and process, I think maybe this recipe is not meant for me. Better go buy or someone cook for me... :|

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    1. I have to make an excuse to eat more mah...hee..hee... Ayam Kuzi got. In fact I have a post on that in 2013. Lamb pun ada but I haven't tried yet.

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  5. Looks so nice - I wonder if I dare to try. I've some fresh beef that my blog reader brought all the way from Perth to give to me - so very nice and so very tender. Grilled some, stewed some...the meat was superb, so sweet and so tender but I did not know how to cook it well. Still one big chunk left...perhaps I should try this. Should I or shouldn't I?

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    1. Like Mun, I say go for it! It's not difficult to cook but I admit that it is quite a hassle to make the browned onions.

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  6. Good that you satisfied yourself by cooking a fresh batch. Thanks for the tip to make the taste jell by not adding water first. I am confused. What happened to the initial two frozen boxes of the beef kuzi that you were unhappy with? Thrown away? Did your mother know the one she took is a fresh batch?

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    1. Well, I know it is wasteful but I threw away the initial 2 boxes of kuzi. It wasn't good and I was not prepared to eat lousy curry. Yup, my mum knew it was a fresh batch that I cooked for her.

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  7. Hi Phong Hong, I don't eat beef but I know this is nice cos' Chicken Kuzi is good. Like the thick gravy, sweet raisins and aroma.

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    1. Hi Kimmy! Yes, the chicken version is equally good. Next must try with mutton :)

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  8. So did the first dish come out at 8pm? hahahahaa... Hope you enjoyed the food there as much as you did with the beef kuzi though this is the first time I am hearing this... :)

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    1. hah..hah..yes, slightly after 8pm! Luckily I ate more during lunch :D

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  9. That look seriously delicious!

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    1. It was a seriously good Kuzi Daging (angkat bakul sendiri mode on) :D

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  10. I like the perseverance in you PH!! must get the thing perfect baru you feel happy, else you sure "beh tahan" and have it haunting you all the time.. is this a trait of a perfectionist?? muahahaha.. good, I have a kaki now I know~~ :p

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    1. your mom took your previous box of beef kuzi you claimed not successful.. of course this time she has a phobia and courteously decline two but only take one back home!! I totally understand that, hahaha!! nvm, if she reported later than she and your dad enjoyed it, the next time she will not doubt to take all that you have prepared for her la~~ :D

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    2. so there is no cutting corners to get the beef kuzi into a delicious dish, you just need to have all the steps correctly and properly and completely done!!! now i wonder if you had a "great" time scrubbing your wok?? or you were actually smart enough to use a non-stick wok??

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    3. now back to your successful kuzi daging, I actually have not tried this before, looks just like rendang to me but I think I'm going to like this kuzi more since it should not be hot like curry.. and I like the nasi tomato and acar that the kuzi goes with.. aiyah now so hungry already lah!!! and you walloped the two portion of rice before heading to the wedding dinner?? and how much did you eat then?? haha..

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    4. Yup, I have to get it right or else how to give people right? If I give away lousy food, I would feel very bad for the receiver. Nope, I cannot do it.

      Oh no, my mum did not take the previous box of beef kuzi because I gave her a fresh box hah..hah.. The previous one sudah masuk ting sampah.

      Thankfully, the spices didn't stick that much mostly due to enough oil in the wok. So the wok was quite easy to clean.

      Kuzi is not hot since there are no chilies in the spice paste. It is sweetish and aromatic. Very suitable for those who don't like hot curries and also for kids. In spite of me walloping lunch, I could still perform well at the wedding dinner hah..hah...

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  11. That Beef Kuzi looks phenomenal! I'm new to your blog, but it's so fun to read your posts and I love your honesty. I thought your reunion dinner looked pretty good, but man I want some of that delicious beef, nasi tomato and acar timun * q * Gonna try the recipe sometime, I think we have all the ingredients at home! I'm glad your parents could enjoy that kickass beef! Don't you just love it when you cook something and it turns out tasting so damn good, that you're surprised yourself? :D

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    1. Hello Pineapple Kid! Welcome to my blog :) Well, you should try this recipe because I tell you, it is really good. It's good with chicken too. I agree with you, when something I cook turns out so well, I'm astounded hah..hah..and better still if my guests are equally stunned hah..hah...

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    2. Thanks for the warm welcome Phong!! It really does look so good, and I'm just drooling at the thought of a chicken version (´。• ω •。`)

      Not a good idea to see this post at 2am XD But I'll try it out and I'll let you know!! YEAHH it's surprising, but it's the best kind of surprise. And yeahh guests' shocked face are always epic :P

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  12. Hi Phong Hong,
    This looks like beef rendang ... like the gravy and spices. ...looks yummy & flavourful!

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    1. Hi Karen! It looks like but the taste is very different but just as delicious.

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  13. Hi Phong Hong, Your beef kuzi makes mouth watering and hungry! Hope I can have some straight away :D

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    1. Hi Ann! You could try this recipe with chicken if you do not take beef.

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  14. Looking very presentable you know!!

    Well done!

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    1. Thank you, Hayley! I thought it looked nice too.

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  15. Phong Hong, I just love reading your authentic stories with each recipe you post. You are too hard on yourself...self criticism is the 'best'! I do agree on being critical with myself as well, so this way I know its gonna be better in my eyes, next time! I love all the spice ingredients, and the method of cooking this wonderful Beef Kuzi...also checked back to your amazing chicken dish as well, yummm...yummm! I sure would love to try to make both dishes. You are an amazing 'teacher' for me to learn to make these exquisite dishes!

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! I can't help it being critical especially if I am serving the dish to my family. I feel bad if they had to eat less than perfect food! I know you care a lot too when cooking for family and friends. Well, if you love Middle Eastern spices, this Kuzi will go down well with you. It's great with a pilaf or savory rice. Do try it :)

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  16. wow...I love anything beef.. it looks good from the pics!

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  17. First time I heard of beef kuzi. Looks so so delicious, and I am sure I would drench my rice with the delectable gravy too. Yummy! Thanks for sharing Phong Hong.

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    1. Hi Veronica! I hope you cook kuzi some day because you will love it!

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  18. I had never heard of Beef Kuzi and you are always teaching us many kitchen languages! I love your blog postings always. It gives me appetite too! I thought it was Rendang Beef but your colour is lighter and wetter. I am amazed to learn new tricks on your saute and marinating techniques which only good chefs could see its importance. My mum was one fussy chef too.

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    1. Well, some dishes require more attention and detail. This one is pretty easy, just need to make sure to saute the spice mix with the meat and you are good to go.

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