Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beef Rendang - Beef Week # 2

Dish done in March 2011

There are many versions of beef rendang. Somehow, I have a certain fondness for the one that is made with  local ingredients that is with lots of roots and bulbs and without dried aromatic spices.

There's a nasi lemak shop nearby and my husband and I adore their rendang. It's fragrant but not spicy, aromatic and with a sweeter end. It doesn't have that spice taste that is almost like a dry Indian curry. It just taste wonderfully aromatic. Their rendang is tender and doesn't need much chewing... melts in the mouth : )

I went scouting around for THE recipe and when I chanced upon this recipe by Hanieliza. It looked almost like that we have here, except it's bigger in size. And the sound of the recipe, yes, it should be the one!

Does it taste like the one I ate at the nasi lemak stall??
Yeessssssss! And my hubby super loves this.

Actually I cooked this rendang for the 3rd time for the CNY bloggers potluck this year and to their surprise it was very tender. *Ahem*. And I used buffalo meat, Indian frozen buffalo meat that sells for RM14/kg at Tesco. Cheap stuff. Don't need no Aussie prime cut. The secret is the marinating and the long hours of simmering. No meat will remain tough with all those gingers.

Beef Rendang
Recipe by: WendyinKK
Adapted from Hanieliza

+/-1kg beef
50gm peeled ginger
40gm peeled galangal
30gm peeled turmeric
4 lemongrass (5 inches from the base), weighing 40gm in total

Grind the above aromatics and mix with the beef. Set aside while you do the rest. The ginger will soften the beef so that cooking time can be reduced.

10 dried chillies
10 shallots (100gm peeled weight)
3 cloves garlic

Snip dried chillies and rub them to remove seeds. Soak in water to soften. Peel shallots and garlic. Grind everything together to form a fine paste (Can add some water, no problem)

3 large turmeric leaves, rolled and snipped
150gm freshly grated coconut (half a coconut), toasted on a pan until golden
1 cup thick coconut milk
Salt to taste
40gm Palm sugar, depending on taste (hubby preferred it to be sweeter and the 2nd time I made this, I put in 60gm and he liked it)

To cook, just combine everything together except salt and sugar, add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and turn to low heat. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until softened. Put in palm sugar and salt and reduce gravy until desired thickness.

*Beef rendang tastes better after being aged for a few days, so if you can, cook this few days ahead before intended serving time, chill in the fridge and reheat it to serve. And the good thing is, you can cook a large portion and separate it for a few meals. Isn’t that fantastic!

If you don't cook beef at home, You can use pork loin to mimic the effect. You may not need the same amount of sugar if you're using pork. Use less water and 1-1.5 hours of cooking should be enough, without marinating with the ginger paste.


  1. I was so lucky to taste this yummy Rendang!

  2. I love redang, and I am KIVing this one. Thanks.

  3. Hi Wendy,

    That looks really yummy! I plan to make it this weekend but I am in Australia and it is kind of hard for me to get fresh galangal, tumeric and tumeric leaves. I was wondering if it is possible for me to use the ground tumeric and galangal instead. Not sure if they will taste quite differently. If yes, how much shall I use for each of them?

    Many thanks.


  4. Looks yummy delicious !!!! How come I never get to taste this ah :p I shall try this out when the Piggies are back together with us. They love rendang and since you blow the trumpet that it is so good, I must try it out :)

  5. Alot of work to complete cooking the rendang but the outcome is sooooo delicious!

  6. Beef rendang is the dish I search for during my Malay friends open houses / wedding / kenduri :D

    I'll never missed it (I'm such a glutton!) and you are making me drooling now~

  7. Hi Wendy,

    your rendang look so fantastic...super makes me drooling...wonderful.

  8. Oh this is one of dishes I been wanting to try but keep pondering cos seems quite tedious to cook. But this recipe looks very simpler to me! Btw if cannot get hold of turmeric leaves how? What can replace it?

  9. YUMM! Sounds quite no need to fry anything first?.

  10. Yummy, I love beef rendang! Can have some ?

  11. Hello

    Turmeric leaves may be very small or very big. Three leaves of what size, please? Thanks.


  12. Your rending looks very delicious. Just the type that I miss. My girl just asked me about beef rending this morning! Hope to cook one much work! :P

  13. I love rendang, this is a very different version from others I have seen, calling for no ground spices at all. I'm definitely bookmarking this to try, as you've made it sound so delicious!

  14. This looks so good. Its making me salivate at this hour of the night. :p

  15. Sonia,
    thanks for liking my rendang ;)
    Did u keep some that day? I forgot

    Oh yes, I remember you saying that on your blog

    I am so so sorry that I have no idea on how to substitute with dried galangal. It is an important factor, but maybe you can try it with 1 tsp. Since fresh galangal is quite high in moisture.
    Have you tried Vietnamese stores?
    If you can get some fresh roots, u can plant them easily.

    the answer is very easy.
    Cos you didn't attend the gathering, LOL.
    They all sudah makan lor.. left u.
    Wah , I only described how I like my rendang....

    Actually it's quite easy. just dump everything into the pot to boil only,

    Thanks for the compliments, too bad you didn't tapau them home.

    Hahaha, same here

    Thank you :)

  16. Peng,
    Dunno leh, turmeric leaves lend a very special aroma to the dish.


    No need to fry.
    Actually traditional Malay dishes, mostly do not need sauteing, it's a lot of pour and simmer and bakar, panggang... that sort :)

    Phong Hong,
    Can... buat sendiri, hahahaha

    About 8-12 inches.

    Missing this so far away is soooo poor thing.
    Next time come home and eat a lot

    It's a matter of preference.
    Actually true Malay cooking uses roots bulbs and stalks more than those seed spices, unlike Indian dishes.

    Passionate About Baking,
    Haha, so late oredi, better dun look at the pics.

  17. yeah, the meat was really tender and also surprisngly not that 'gamey' taste. i like it very much!

  18. Wahh....a plate of steam rice with this and I'm super happy! Looks really good! Can use pork or not hah? heehee....

  19. Ahh, rendang, long time didn't cook liao! lazy to fry the!

  20. Your rendang sure looks delicious! Loved the colour too.

  21. wow..rendang is a 'must' order list for me when dined at malay restaurant, this is so simple yet delicious, I think I must try this, thanks for the recipe.

  22. Hi Wendy,

    I came across your blog by chance while looking for recipes for stewed pork. Your website is really fantastic and you have done a fabulous job on it. The text is simple and the photos are just beautiful making it a joy to come back to your site again and again.

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and know-how. I am not one who likes to cook but after browsing your blog, I suddenly feel that cooking can be fun and I have emailed your blog to my best friend who loves to cook.

    I have blogs on flowers and other stuff that I have created over a few years but I am not posting on them anymore. Still, if you are interested in flowers and places in Singapore, you might like to browse my blog at and access my other blogs as well. Cheers and well-done!


  23. Hey Wendy....come stay nearer can ah??? You always made me super hungry leh...;p

  24. Look rendang very much but till today never cook this dish. One day must try this out.

  25. Love, all the comments on the pics, it looks yummy!

  26. Wow, your rendang looks so good! Definitely one that will give the makciks out there a run for their money!

  27. OMG! I LOOOVE rendang!!! Hopefully I'll have no problems finding all the "exotic" ingredients.. hehe..

  28. Besides pork, is it suitable to use chicken? I love your rendang, so yummy. wanna to try it out.

  29. esther,
    I have a chicken rendang recipe coming up, but don't know when. It's in my "Store"
    There are slightly changes to a chicken recipe, and the time to cook is definitely not as long.

  30. Absolutely beautiful dish, I love this beef rending. Thanks so much for showing the details.

  31. Oh, great to hear that! patiently wait.....
    Do you have the recipe for ayam masak merah?
    Both are so super delicious, yum yum yum...

  32. esther,
    ayam masak merah will be featured on the same week as chicken rendang.
    no idea when.

  33. Hi Wendy, Im trying my hands on beef rendang tomorrow. I went through a few recipes but i prefer yours. I would like to ask do you use oil in the cooking process? because i see a layer of oil in the "combine everything and bring to boil" photo.

  34. ashley,
    No i didn't use any oil.
    That picture was taken after sometime after boiling, cos I forgot to take it earlier.

  35. Oh ! thanks very much. Hopefully menjadi tomorrow!

  36. alas! this is a shortcut lazy bum rendang recipe. you need to make kerisik for authentic rendang. and it needs more spices or if you want to shortcut use the ADABI rendang mix which has all the spices ground for you already - the coriander, cumin and what not. the rendang you get at nasi lemak stalls are not really authentic homemade rendang ;P

  37. Anonymous (please leave a name),
    This is not a shortcut lazy bum recipe.
    If it is, I'll just be using Adabi that you so highly recommend.
    Old fashioned rendang does not use spices, but all locally available ingredients. Basic Malay cooking employs the use of aromatics and herbs, not spices.
    I'm not sure how well versed you are with Malay or Indonesian cuisine, but this is the version approved by my Minang friends.
    And FYI, not all nasi lemak stalls are the same. Unless u have eaten from every stall in this world, then you can say that.
    Rendang Tok is another version that uses spices, and it's different to this Rendang Minang. Please know the differences before shooting at me.

  38. Hi Wendy,
    Would like to seek yr advice on some "shortcuts":

    1) How many tbsp store-bought kerisik to replace your homemade version (using 150g fresh coconut shreds)?

    2) How many tbsp chilli boh/paste to replace 10 dried chillies?

    3) Can I marinate the meat overnight to ease my preparation?


  39. Debby,
    1. You can refer to my source's recipe for amount of kerisik.
    2. Different brands have different consistency for chilli boh. Some are very watery, some really thick like one big chunk when spooned, so it's hard for me to advice you on that.
    3. Overnight? Nope, the gingers could turn ur beef into mash when you cook it the next day. Once I marinated my beef slices with ginger juice for half a day and it turned to paste when I cooked it.
    Rendang tastes better when aged, so cook this ahead, not just before serving time. Actually while the beef marinates, you can prepare the shallot and chilli paste.

  40. Hi Wendy,

    Firstly, just wanna thank you for your wonderful rendang recipe. Instead of beef, I used pork to mimic it and instead of dried chillies, I used chilli powder and still the outcome was awesome better than the one I often eat at stall. My whole families loves it so much. Thank you again for your splendid easy recipe. :)


  41. Wendy, tried this today, absolutely love it. But i wanna improve on my next trial, so question on the toasted coconut. Did u blend them after toasting? Mine is a bit affected the texture.


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