I am recently trying to cut down the amount of time that I spend in the kitchen since I am busy with work and other projects. I am sure that many of my readers can relate to that concept of “spending less time in the Kitchen’ but still wanting to make a healthy and delicious meal for their family. I have a range of recipes in my head that can be prepared and cooked in 30 minutes and a typical main course meal for me-at lunch and/or dinner includes this vegetables or salad, boiled rice and meat or fish.

I think that organisation and preparedness plays a key role in the success of the 30 minutes meals. I tend to plan my meals at least one week in advance. I also tend to gravitate to meals according to what I feel like eating as well as what my work and leisure schedule looks like.

This week, I wanted to try out some Indonesian cooking. I love the range of sauces that they have, mainly because they are spicy, fragrant and tend to use the main ingredients of garlic, ginger, hot chillies, lime and lemongrass that I always have in my kitchen. I was interested in sambal, specifically sambal oelek, which is a bright red chilli paste comprised of the ingredients mentioned.

I purchased the sambal during my monthly online shopping and was definitely keen to make some tasty recipes with it. On this particular day, I decided that I was going to make minced beef so I thought about what type of sauce would go well with this dish. My food plan was to serve it with boiled basmati rice and fresh green salad.


500 g minced beef

1/3 cup cubed onion
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup sambal oeleck 1 tablespoon fish sauce
6 cloves garlic, crushed finely
2 finger chillies, cut finely
1-2 stalks spring onions, washed and chopped onto 1-2cm pieces

**Chillies can be left out of the recipe if you prefer the meal to be less spicy

Cooking method

On a high heat setting, add 2 tablespoon cooking oil to the wok or deep frying pan

Add the cubed onions and allow to fry for 1-2 minutes until softened and translucent in colour.

Cubed onion added to cooking oil in a pan

Add sambal paste, curry powder, ground coriander and the fish sauce and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep the cooker setting on high.

Red sambal paste added to fried onions

Add the minced beef and stir well

Minced beef added to cooking spices in a pan

Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir regularly to allow even cooking and to prevent the minced beef from sticking to the base of the pan.

Minced beef cooking with spices and minced garlic

Cover and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes on a low-moderate simmer

To present the dish, add some chopped spring onion

Cooked minced beef served with scallions
Ready to serve

Serving Suggestions

While the meat is cooking, I quickly wash the basmati rice, place into a rice cooker and that rice will be ready in less than 15 minutes.

The fresh salad consists of washed lettuce, ripped into shreds, rocket salad, grated carrots and a side portion of low fat yoghurt.

I had some leftover minced beef the following day so I removed it from the fridge and included it in a spinach and minced beef wrap that I prepared for my lunch box.

I hope that you are tempted to try this recipe.

Drop me a comment and let me if you have any questions or general comments on this dish.

I am also happy to try to cook “suggested dishes” if you let me know what you might be interested in.

Until the next cooking journey.. Have a great day!