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Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging)

The BEST and most authentic beef rendang (rendang daging) recipe ever! Spicy, rich and creamy Malaysian/Indonesian beef stew. | rasamalaysia.com

Beef Rendang

The BEST and most authentic beef rendang (rendang daging) recipe ever! Spicy, rich and creamy Malaysian/Indonesian beef stew. | rasamalaysia.com
Prep Time: | Cook Time: | Total Time:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pound boneless beef short ribs (cut into cubes)
5 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cinnamon stick (about 2-inch long)
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 lemongrass (cut into 4-inch length and pounded)
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup water
2 teaspoons tamarind pulp (soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds )
6 kaffir lime leaves (very finely sliced)
6 tablespoons kerisik (toasted coconut)
1 tablespoon sugar/palm sugar or to taste
Salt to taste

Spice Paste:

5 shallots
1 inch galangal
3 lemongrass (white part only)
5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
10-12 dried chilies (soaked in warm water and seeded)

Method:
1)Chop the spice paste ingredients and then blend it in a food processor until fine.
2)Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry them until aromatic.
3)Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute.
4)Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
5)Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar/palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.
6)Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up.
7)Add salt to taste. If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste.

Serve immediately with steamed rice and save some for overnight.

Beef Rendang (Rendang Daging)
Beef Rendang (Rendang Daging) pictures (1 of 5)

I am sure many of my readers in Malaysia and Singapore have been wondering why haven’t I posted a beef rendang or “rendang daging” recipe? Good news, the wait is finally over and here is my recipe of arguably the most famous beef dish in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Beef rendang is of Indonesian origin–a much-celebrated recipe from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia–and often served at ceremonial occasions and to honored guests. After spending hours making my beef rendang, I totally understand why. Beef rendang is not your everyday beef dish that one can whip up in a jiffy, the time–not to mention patience and dedication–alone is probably a main obstacle for most people. If you must know, it took me almost 3 hours to concoct a pot of this aromatic and extraordinarily scrumptious beef rendang. For those of you who have never tried beef rendang, I can only describe it as “a rich and tender coconut beef stew which is explosively flavorful,” one that is certain to win you over if you taste it.


I believe beef rendang was introduced to Malaysia when the Minangkabau settlers from Sumatra migrated to the southern part of the Malay peninsula during the era of the Melaka Sultanate, but I could be wrong. In any case, beef rendang is a very popular dish for many Malaysians, especially the Malay community.

No beef rendang is made exactly the same. If you are willing to spend time in the kitchen preparing the spice paste, toasting the grated coconut to make golden-hued “kerisik” (toasted coconut in Malay language), and then patiently cook and stew the meat over very low heat so as to dry up the liquid and make the meat tender, you will be rewarded handsomely. Like I did with my beef rendang.

Another fact about beef rendang that I absolutely have to share with you: it only gets better with time, so much so that the Minangkabaus save them for months as the complex taste and flavor develop over time. For everyday home cooks, I will advise you to serve them once the beef rendang is done, but save some leftover as it only gets better overnight.

For those of you who wish to learn more about beef rendang, check out this article on Wikipedia, or you can just feast your eyes with my beef rendang photos above, and try my beef rendang recipe.

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224 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. veron

    this sounds delicious…although I think I threw out my frozen kafir lime leaves. do you know if these leaves are readily available in Asian markets?

  2. Manggy

    Oh! I didn’t know it didn’t have shrimp paste in it. Maybe all the beef rendangs I had before were oversalted? Ha ha. Looks delicious!

  3. [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    Oh wow. I’ve heard lots and lots of good things about beef rendang and it’s been on my list of things to make for a long time. This looks fantastic! I’ll feast vicariously for now, with hopes of making this soon.

  4. Rick

    looks yummy ! We tried a beef rendang from a packet recently and it sucked :-( Will try your recipe next time, it looks much more authentic !

    • gnickles

      This recipe is excellent and actually very easy if you don’t need to rush. There’s something Zen-like and satisfying about cutting, peeling, and chopping, and smelling the aromas blend right there on the cutting board. Go for it.

  5. allenooi

    It will be easier for me to use the rendang spices packing that we can get it from the supermarket. Hahaa, lazy people use lazy way. :)

    Rendang, long time never eat.

  6. Tina Noor

    My mother has a very good beef rendang recipe that makes the best beef rendang. Yours look just like her beef rendang. I am sure your beef rendang recipe is very good. Home sick. :(

  7. Piggy

    Beef rendang is a dish that I’ve not try out… yet! the cooking steps are just too daunting for me at the moment. I might give your recipe a try one of these days, because your picture makes me drool again. ;-)

  8. Smashing Cook

    I never made that either. Which is not shocking since I didn’t cook till last month. Plus, the ingredient list is a bit too long huh. I tried a packaged-spices for rendang last week. It doesn’t turn out anything like the photos in the box!

    But rendang lasts a long time if you make a big batch, right. I know someone who froze hers and it lasted her a week. So, it really worth the trouble.

    Thanks for the sharing. It must be a pain and rewarding at the same time.

  9. ChichaJo

    Clap clap clap!!!! Beef Rendang! Love this dish and you are right…explosive flavors! Your’s looks absolutely perfect!

  10. Mandy

    wow, kudos for making rendang from scratch! I usually just buy the packet mix. :p Do you know of any good brand out there? I haven’t found any that tastes like the real deal.

  11. Fearless Kitchen

    This looks absolutely delightful! The weather around here is getting colder, and I think this would be just perfect for a chilly fall night.

  12. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    This is one of my all-time favorite Malaysian dishes, yet I’ve never tried to make it. But the lemongrass in my herb garden is ready to be harvested, and here is your recipe — I think the universe is trying to tell me that it’s time to make beef rendang!

  13. Anonymous

    This beef rendang recipe looks do moist and delicious. I can see the spices and the kerisik coating each piece of the beef rendang meat, I love it.

  14. Rasa Malaysia

    Veron – yes, you can get frozen kaffir lime leaves at Asian stores, but sometimes, they are not available. I believe it’s seasonal. But you should keep them in your fridge, they last FOREVER!

  15. worldwindows

    This is the best read by far. The photos are so enticing. It is surprising you can get all the ingredients over in US. Looking at the rendang I involuntarily thought of lemang that goes with it. Who is Lone Ranger without Tonto? Love it!!

    • kitchenut

      Next time your rendang turns out tough, try pounding a Panadol or two into powder and add to the rendang with a cup of water or more and boil again until tender and gravy is thick again.

  16. Yvonne

    Thank you for the recipe. I tried it yesterday and it was absolutely delicious!

    I have tried many recipes but none is to my liking. Thanks again.

  17. regina

    hi, beef rendang is always one of my favourite dishes. there are so many versions available depending on the cook. i love the flavour that is dominated by red onion/shallot flavour. one of the methods to reduce the cooking time is to use home made spice paste as what i do at home. the cooking time is only about 1-1.5 hours instead of 3-4 hours or even the whole day when one wants it to be dark in colour.

  18. Arfi Binsted

    YUM! I’ve just finished my beef rendang for ied. it’s always lovely with lontong (what do you call this in malay?).

  19. Michelle

    This is my favorite dish when I come to Malaysia (usually 4 or 5 times a year as I’m an expat living in Bangkok). This sounds wonderful. Must try it :-)

  20. Andy

    I have tried to make beef rendang a couple of times, but the meat always turned out tough instead of soft… any idea why that is?

  21. Anonymous

    This is the recipe that drawn me to your blog (and I’m very glad that I’ve found your blog!). I am making this for lunch today (with instant paste, unfortunately) and started making them last night with a pressure cooker in the hope that the beef will be tender and more flavour-infused by today.

    The use of toasted coconut is interesting and it added more fragrance to my beef rendang. I also used fried red onions in the spice paste and also for garnishing.

  22. Anonymous

    HI there! I’m making this at the moment and can’t find anywhere a reference to where I should add the water? I’m going to take a guess and add it with the coconut milk. I hope it goes well!

  23. Sabrina

    I would like to try your recipe, but I am affraid that my beef will come out hard. Is there secret to soften the beef?

  24. Moaz Mojaddidi

    People listen to me,
    I have looked a lot for the ultimate Rendang recipe. I had it many times since I was a child. I was made by many different cooks. Some at home and some in restaurants. believe it or not all these encounters were in Saudi arabia where we have a big malay influence in the western region due to ancient immagration to Mekkah AlMukarramah.
    I think this dish is more like a signature dish for a malay/indonesian chef. This recipe is by far the best Rendang I ever had. However, I remember one of the ingredients that is missing here. which is ground (macademia like nuts). and a tea spoon of tomato paste to add some colour.
    Very Very recommendable.

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  26. My husband and I and two other couples get together once a month for an International dinner night. This month we cooked Malaysian food and I made this beef rendang. Absolutely incredible! My husband loves my cooking and has many favorite dishes but he thought this was the BEST dish I have ever made. I felt pretty proud that my dish was the best one there :) Thanks for such an awesome recipe.

  27. Mel R

    Tried this recipe and it turned out excellent. We used to go to our favourite restaurant for beef rendang and now we can have it straight from the kitchen. Husband likes it a lot too.

    My rendang was “pale” as I couldn’t find gula melaka so I used brown sugar instead. I boiled the beef for about an hour before adding it to the spice so that it is really soft and tender.

    Your recipe is very easy to follow and the instructions are clear. I also made the spice paste from scratch and it turned out all right. Lots of work but it’s worth it. Husband said I should share this recipe with everyone we know.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us!

    ps: If you would like, I can share my rendang’s version pic!

      • Jason

        thanks a million…i’m gonna cook it this weekend and i’ll give you the verdict. just in case though, are there any good vegetarian malaysian recipes you could recommend? :)

        • Hmm…strictly vegetarian? No seafood, too?

          Actually, most of the curry dish I have on my blog can be done without meat and still taste delicious. You can add potatoes, carrots, lady’s fingers, green beans, tomatoes and other vegetables good for stew into curry. I like to add oil tofu into curries, too.

          Some stir fry dishes I have can also be done with tofu, but please make sure you use the hard or fried tofu so they don’t disintegrate in your process of cooking.

          Reminder, rendang is definitely a meat dish. Hope this helps.

  28. ita

    Hello,
    Your rendang look really appetizing..btw, i read through your recipe, in the ingredient mention 1 cup of water, but i didn’t see it was included in the method/instruction, could you please clarify, thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    ita

  29. HJ

    Hi,
    I’ve always cooked rendang from instant packets so decided to attempt one from scratch. Tried this excellent rendang recipe but with a pressure cooker to get the meat tender (omitting the cup of water). The flavour of the sauce with the tender meat was incredible. However, wasn’t really satisfied because the colour of the rendang turned out really pale! I suppose there is no substitute for that slow cooking eh? It’s the slow cooking for 3 hours which turns it a brown colour right? Thanks for this recipe!

  30. Jay

    Just made this from scratch with fresh ingredients (including coconut scraped out of fresh Thai coconuts, then fried right before addition). I added 3x kemiri to it. I wish I had some daun salam to add, but I don’t. :(

  31. mawarputih

    Can I use chicken instead of beef?is the ingredient same?some of rendang recepi use ketumbar(in malay).can I add it also?

  32. Roya

    Thank you for sharing the recipe, my children absolutely love it. I used all fresh ingredients and it was worth it.

    I wonder how you would suggest making this in a crockpot or a slow cooker? Do you think I would be successful if I did all of the preparation you said in the wok and then at the end put it all in the slow cooker on low and let it cook during the day? Maybe that would be too long of a time?

    I would love to be able to make this for dinner by preparing it in the morning and having it ready by dinnertime. Otherwise I will have to wait until sundays to eat it!

    Thanks again!

    (I also used your how to make shrimp crucnhy suggestions = genius…just great secret)

  33. John

    I’m just back in the states from a couple of weeks in Singapore where I had beef rendang for the first time. This looks like a great recipe, I am going to try it this Saturday.

  34. Lila

    I was SO excited to make this recipe, and it took me hours to collect all of the ingredients to make it from scratch. It was fun, but I was dissapointed because I followed all of your directions exactly, which said to cover the dish while it simmered, so the sauce never reduced. It turned out with way to much liquid that didn’t soak into the meat, and I cooked it for longer than the recommended time.

    • I don’t know what happened. I have readers who tried this recipe and had great success, you can read the comments. Sauce reduces with heat and cooking time because it will vaporize, if it’s still too much liquid for you, then turn up the heat and uncover and keep stirring until the sauce dries up.

  35. Hey! I was prompted by the takbir I listened from a radio, then I found myself googling for rendang daging recipe —–and——found yours!

    Real glad I tried yours, because somewhat I think it pretty close like mum’s. ( She was not around at that time to ask for recipe T_T )

    Anyway, thanks! Hehe =)

  36. Paul Lee

    Great rendang recipe. I just made it today for the first time but I substitute the fresh lemon grass and galangal with powder version. Still taste good but I imagine it always taste better with fresh ingredients.

  37. Chris

    I have been looking for this recipe – looks perfect!

    Should the beef be brown after step 4 or does if develop the deep color during simmering?

  38. We just made this rendang tonight and it is *good*! It’s a little oily at the end, but that makes sense since the long cooking evaporated all the water out of the coconut milk. I think we’re going to let it mature in the fridge for a couple of days and then have it with a ton of rice.

  39. Sunitha Sunil

    I made this recipe for some neighbours for a dinner party. Boy, what a mistake it was amazing!
    I am now having to cook it for peoples birthday presents etc., I have a friend who is malaysian, he said it is better than his Mothers. I have been around to his house to show him step by step how to cook it.

    This week a friends 50th…….dont want a present could you just cook that Rendang……Yummy!

  40. Ljuba Stajic

    RENDANG IS INDONESIAN FOOD FROM THE SUMATRA ISLANDS. I’M NOT SURE HOW MALAYSIA AND SINGAPORE CAN CLAIM OTHER COUNTRIES CULTURES. DON’T THEY HAVE ANY NATIONAL PRIDE?

      • Nora

        The author of this blog clearly stated this dish originated from Indonesia. Please read before leaving any comments. Some of our ancestors came from Indonesia and that is why we all learned about it in our cooking. No one claimed that this dish originated from singapore or Malaysia.

        • Anita

          that’s why if PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT RENDANG PADANG,YOU SHOULD ASK TO INDONESIAN ESPECIALLY TO PADANG PEOPLE!NOT TO MALAYSIAN!

  41. Made this last night. Thank you so much for the recipe! It was wonderful. Spent a week in Jakarta a few years back and have wanted to have this again. It brought back great memories. Totally worth the time it took to make it.

  42. Shirl

    Hi,
    I just want say thank you for sharing the recipe. Tried it yesterday and turned out well. Def taste better when u let it sit. Indo style rendang recipe doesn’t normally include cinnamon n star anise, so I was a bit skeptic at first. Spent a lot of time on preparation, but in the end it was worth the effort. Next time I will cook double batch and keep it in the freezer for 3 months supply.

  43. hi…just wanted to say thank you for sharing this recipe.. the rendang is so tasty ! i’ve just made another batch..its becoming a monthly event at our household.. :)

  44. febby valbuena

    hi…im a filipino and i went already there in malaysia,i really love malaysian rendang and nasi lemak,uhmm actually malaysian dish !!!!!hihhi ok thanks alot for posting ur recipes..but some are hard to find

  45. Yvonne

    HI Rasa Malaysia,

    This is the second time i tried your rendang recipe! It is such an excellent recipe! The only question i need to ask is how do i get that browny colour? My rendang looks pale and creamy colour….thanks

    *you have done a great job in blogging, i reckon you have helped a lot of wives or housewives out there to learn on how to cook!*

    Yvonne

    • Hi Yvonne,

      It depends on the cut of meat, sometimes. Just simmer on low heat for a long time and it will turn brown. Also, make sure you toasted coconut is somewhat golden brown in color. Also, dried chilies in different countries have different colors. You can add some kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) or dark soy sauce to bring out the color, too. :)

      Thanks for your sweet comment. :)

      • Yvonne

        Thanks for your prompt reply! The last question which i need to ask you is…i made the rendang twice and the first time i thought that i didnt blend the ingredients smooth enough. So, i blended it longer the second time. But i still can “see” the blended ingredients in my cooked rendang.You know how some rendang has a smooth texture, like yours, which you can only see the pounded lemongrass. Thanks once again

        Yvonne

  46. i was looking for a beef rendang recipe and got here. boy, i didn;t know it took this much to cook this beef dish1!! i knew about the coconut but it just has too many spices, many of which are not available in the philippines. too bad. is there a way i can cook it with a pre-mix of spices or something? i tasted this when i was in indonesia and have never had it since. thanks!

  47. CX

    I’m so excited to find this recipe! I’m eager to try it but may I know at which point should the candle nut be added and how much candle nut to use if using them? Thanks!

  48. steve

    Cooked this Rendang last week it was lovely in fact I am cooking it again tonight at this very moment just be patient with it as the wait is worth it yum yum

  49. kate

    im currently attempting this recipe and it isnt reducing :( i have so many problems whenever i try to make rendang .. can you tell me why mine always turns out so pale?
    though its not going as planed it still tastes delicious i love your website and your recipes are always amazing! :)

    • You have to cook on low heat. For the color, you have to saute the spice paste until the oil separates. I have one reader who has just made it according to my recipe and her picture is the same color as mine.

  50. Karie

    Hi!
    I am an avid reader of your blog and almost always look for recipes here first. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful recipes!

    I was wondering if its possibe to substitute beef with lamb? Cause my parents don’t eat beef due to religion.

  51. Simon

    I’ve cooked this twice and it’s getting better each time I make it. Thanks for the recipe.

    One question though: do you need to bruise the cardamom pods or crack them in any way? I’ve not used them much before and have noticed some recipes call for this. Is this something you should always do?

    Thanks and I love the website!

  52. Hewmun

    I tried this recipe yesterday almost word for word except that I increased the shallots and garlic in the spice paste (I used more beef than called for). It came out terrific!

  53. kitchenut

    I see a few posts here about the meat turning out tough or hard.

    In such cases, (whatever meat it is – chicken, mutton or beef) the solution is to take 1-2 tablets of Panadol (depending on the amount cooked) and pound them into powder and add them to the dish with enough water and bring to a boil again until the gravy thickens. The meat should become soft.

    Another way is to tenderize the meat by marinating them in pineapple juice for 30-60 mins before cooking. Pineapple or papaya juice can tenderize meat.

  54. We just made this rendang tonight and it is *good*! It’s a little oily at the end, but that makes sense since the long cooking evaporated all the water out of the coconut milk. I think we’re going to let it mature in the fridge for a couple of days and then have it with a ton of rice.

  55. John Chin

    Can you please create a special food ingredients ‘English – Malay – Local Dialects’ dictionary. I am a beginner/learner cook enthusiast and I have problem buying ingredients when I use the English terms which the ordinary seller doesn’t understand.

    Thank you.

    John Chin

  56. I was wondering – for your recipes, when you say 1 star anise for instance, do you mean an entire head (with all 8 points) or just 1 point (containing just one seed)?

    Thanks!

  57. Sarah

    Looks great, I can’t wait to try making it! For the cardamom pods – are they the brown or the green ones? They lend a very different taste so I want to make sure I’m using the right ones. Thanks! :)

  58. Joe in Montreal

    Delicious! Thank you! I couldn’t find tamarind so I used some tamarind soup powder to taste. I don’t know if what I produced had enough ‘tamarind’ flavor – is there a substitute? Also I found that after 3 hours on low heat nothing was happening so I used a medium-high heat until the liquid was seriously reduced. Perhaps electric stove tops are different. I found I could not really taste the cardamon, star anise, or cinnamon – perhaps spices here in Montreal are older or stale. Next time I will increase those a bit. Or perhaps I could have cooked them alone in the oil for a minute or two before adding the spice paste.

  59. Lee

    Excellent recipe, worth the time and effort to make. There are no Indonesian or Malaysian restaurants in the part of the UK I live in, so home cooking it was the only way to introduce my friends and family to this food. Only problem is sourcing some of the ingredients in northern England. I can’t find kaffir leaves anywhere!
    Really good website, tks for the recipes!
    Lee

    • Little C

      For the person who could not find Kaffir Lime Leaves. I got some from my local waitrose. They were dried. I have also got them from Wing Yip which is a big chinese supermarket. Ask your local chinese restaurant where they get their supplies from.

  60. jashim uddin

    Plesse gebe me aneader reseppi i likwe it rendang and inastaction for cooking thanks for rasamalaysia

  61. Joshua Aponte

    Hi, I have been cooking the recipe according to directions, it has been simmering for nearly 2 hours on low heat. The meat is tender and juicy, BUT, no reducing has taken place, what should I do? It looks like a beef stew with plenty of stock. Please help!!!!!!!!!!

  62. Karen Moir

    I have been a lover of beef rendand for years!!! Unfortunately, we are going on the road for the nxt few years and I won’t have a blender etc etc….I need the old traditional ways of making it….pls email me for any hints
    karenanderic57@yahoo.com.au

    thanks.

  63. Michael

    Best Rendang recipe I have tried. I have used green or black cardamom both are good. I tend to put the rendang after stage 5, but don’t add the kerisik, in to a slow cooker either overnight or 5-6 hours on low. Then when were ready to eat it I add the Kerisik and cook for 30 mins and it tastes fantastic having matured and Kerisik will soak up the juices. Personal opinion but Palm sugar is a must granulated takes away some of the flavour of the spices.

  64. teo ai li

    This is a fantastic fantastic beef rendang recipe! My whole family loves it. Each time I cook, I will cook 1kg of beef and yet not enough. I increased all the ingredients proportionately to 1kg of beef used. The only difference I did was to add in a packet of pre-mix beef rendang powder. It still tasted great but my neighbour found the overall spices flavour overpowering. Do you think I should :-
    A) omit this premix altogether
    B) use 1/2 a packet premix with 1kg of beef
    C) use 1 whole packet of premix but increase my beef to 2kg
    (the rest of the ingredients will be for 1kg of beef)

    Appreciate your help as I intend to cook for a potluck lunch this coming Saturday. Thanks!

    • Simon

      This is amazing, I have looked this up as I am also going to try cooking this weekend! I used sauce packet mix previously – so pedas, watery (even after boiling for ages) and no flavour. Very frustrating as I am in the UK and fresh ingredients are not that easy to get.

      Why not try using more coconut milk? Think this is what I will do now I’ve read this recipe. Good luck!

    • Rebecca Lee

      @teo ai li since Bee Yinn Low gave us the recipe of the Randang spices, why have to waste money to buy a packet Rendang Mix !! Keep that for travel as I often bring along this prepacked curry paste to Australia or any Western countries as I can get good and cheap meat especially in the market just 3 hrs before closing for weekends in Melbourne Victoria Market, they cut the price to 80 %++ !! For Stewing beef only A$ 0.80 per kg !!
      Since it is so, so yummy, I will cook this one day as I will cook Ipoh Laksa tomorrow !!

  65. Jan van Waardenburg

    I actually lived in West Sumatra and indeed the Rendang Daging Sapi originated from there. They also speak with a slightly different dialect. Especially the last sylable was changed.
    Rendang is often cooked until it is dry and thus easy to eat what one is on the road.

  66. Karl

    I’ve made this before and it is fantastic. I plan to cook it on New Years Eve but will need to use about 3 pounds of beef – should I just double everything up? I’m just a bit worried that star anise and cinammon can be over powering.

    • Zena

      Hi Karl.

      30years after I last had it, I am going to attempt the recipe on this site, but I want to make considerably more than this particular recipe states. Yours was the only post I could find that had the same question as I do……do I double – or triple up on EVERYTHING, or do adjustments need to be made?
      I note that your post was just over 2 years ago, so am hoping you can share your information with me please?

      Many Thanks and Greetings from DownUnda!

  67. LizBorneo

    Today, I decided to try this recipe! As a Malaysian, I should really make an effort to make Beef Rendang from scratch, WITHOUT using pre-mix :)) I’ve given this link to my friends on so many occasions whenever they asked me for Beef Rendang recipe! And they all have great comments! Needless to say, they were absolutely right! It’s easy to follow and I even made the “kerisik” (toasted coconut) myself. It’s worth the extra work! :))

    • Malay

      As a Malaysian, I can categorically say that you CAN use chicken – we make this all the time! Because of the kind of chicken we get in Malaysia (battery chicken essentially…), combined with the high humidity, chicken rendang doesn’t last very long if not kept refrigerated almost at all times. The best approach is to cook the rendang sauce/gravy until almost the desired consistency, and then add either shallow-fried or roasted chicken pieces (boneless or otherwise) to the sauce. Living in London, I’ve even made turkey rendang!! Next: lamb rendang!

  68. Ron (Harun)

    When making beef rendang, there was mention of a spice mix. Can you tell me the name of a packaged spice mix that produces the right flavor. I tried several available to me here in USA and did not find them adequate. Their flavor was not as I remembered (and preferred) while in Malaysia.
    Please don’t be shy about brand names since I need to know which ones to try.
    Terima Kasih banyak.

    Ron

  69. vitor569

    What a great looking recipe! I’m trying to make it in Brazil, but I could only find dehydrated galangal, kaffir limes and lemongrass. Do you think I could substitute the fresh ones for the dry? Should I soak them in water first?

    Thank you

    • Redzuan

      You’ll never get quite the same taste from dried but better than nothing. Dried kaffir lime leaves are okay or you could substitute a lime (put in it whole) as the zest oil is what you want. You’ll probably need to double up on the galangal but don’t pound/blend it in; simply fish it out before serving. Dried lemongrass is nasty; do want you can to get hold of some even if not entirely fresh.

  70. pixie

    in indo, there are many instant ingridients (indofood) for rendang. it just make simple, you simply add instant KARA coconut milk. ready !! :)

  71. pixie

    in indo, there are many instant ingridients (indofood) for rendang. it just make simple, you just simply add instant KARA coconut milk. ready !! :)

  72. Heather

    What kind of dried chilli do you use? Also if I make my own toasted coconut do I get the unsweetened kind and then toast in oven? Or sweetened kind? Thanks!

    • Liz

      BEN,
      The cooking process takes time… I made this yesterday and it took me about 3 hours! I spent the first hour, stirring the pot while the meat is simmering at medium heat. By then, the meat is almost cooked. Cover the lid and leave it for another 1 – 1.5 hours at low heat. :)

  73. For Rendang you can use almost any kind of meat. Chicken, duck, fish, ell, or even egg. Rendang originated from Indonesia, but I think Malaysia had develop another different taste of rendang. I’ve been to Malaysia and tasted Malaysian rendang, it is as good as any rendang that I had tasted but it have a different touch. Like in West Sumatra, different area had different taste of rendang. For example there is rendang Pariaman and rendang Maninjau. Pariaman are the most popular rendang in Indonesia because a lot of West Sumatra restaurants owners are from Pariaman.

  74. Aku

    I love beef rendang and haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I was wondering is it possible to make the spice paste a few days in advance and should you keep it in the fridge or freezer?

  75. Rob

    I’m cooking this right now and it smells wonderful. I’ve just added a few extra chilli’s as I’m a masochist. The taste is already rich and wonderful. Thank you.

  76. peter rooney

    OK so far so good, tastes fine, a bit sweet, one major problem I ran into is that the lemongrass I can get here is obviously semi-dry and no matter how much I pounded it and shredded it the dish is full of little bit of shredded plastic :-(

    • peter rooney

      Had to save the dish by removing all the beef, and pushing the sauce through a seive to get rid of the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves :-( . I’ll know not to pound or shred our local lemongrass or dried lime leaves, maybe just crush them and add as bouquet garni wrapped in something like a small garlic net. Tasting it so far it is unusual, tasty but still a bit sweet for me.

  77. H. Lim

    2 questions:

    1. When you mentioned “3 cloves” I presume you’re referring to garlic?
    2. I can’t find cardamom pods in local supermarkets here in Canada. Any substitutes? Or can I leave this out?

  78. vlnlsn

    Way to sweet and the color is not good …. Don’t know what I did wrong??? Smelled good… But way to sweet and missing something… Did turn out like the picture…..

  79. Lovely recipe! I’m making it now and it smells and tastes wonderful! It’s not done yet and I can hardly wait. :)

    I subbed in deer for the beef and omitted cloves and star anise (I have bad reactions to them) and it’s still wonderful. Thank you for the recipe. :)

    • Redzuan

      Instead of star anise you could try fennel or a little liquorice as substitute; if you’re allergic to those then I’m at a loss what to try. No idea what could sub for cloves. Have you tried using pure oil extract or does that draw the same allergic effects?

  80. Usswl

    I just made this but cheated along the way and it turned out great, just like Pariaman Nasi Padang restaurant back home in Singapore.

    I used about 2lbs of beef chuck (pot roast) cubed into 1.5 inch pieces.

    For the spice paste you can get fresh Thai red curry paste here in tubs. I checked the ingredients. Has most of the rempah ingredients already.

    I made it in a pressure cooker and made my own kerisik.

    I sautéed the rempah and did have to add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and star anise.

    Once that was fragrant I added the beef and stirred. Didn’t need to add the lemongrass because the rempah already had it. Added a tin of coconut milk but skipped the water and also added the kerisik.

    Oh rempah already had the kaffir leaves as well. When I make rendang from scratch, I also ask cumin and coriander but rempah had that too.

    Stirred it all, covered and cooked under pressure 45 minutes.

    While waiting I made sayor lodeh using Thai green paste and coconut rice.

    After t was done, I had to let it simmer for a few minutes to reduce / thicken the gravy to my taste.

    By the way I also had to add palm sugar, tamarind

    45 minutes. Worth it. Bit greasy so after it cools I shall skim the fat off, and save the rest for tomorrow so the flavours develop further.

    Thank you for this recipe. It was a great inspiration. I wouldn’t have used any premix but I have used this before and it’s worth the few dollars and time savings.

    • Redzuan

      Definitely needs coriander powder (freshly ground is best) and turmeric powder too. I like a little toasted blachan (my malay bias) but not to everyone’s taste. The recipe is a good reminder as its been ages since I last cooked rendang from scratch;-p

  81. sharon

    This looks great — there’s a great little family restaurant back home in LA (IndoThai, in the Culver City area) that made this recipe, which I ordered every time I went.

    I’m going to try to make this in the slow cooker, but imagine I’ll have to adapt the liquid. Has anyone else tried it in the crock pot?

  82. john kendon

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………… one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling…(subtitute “woman” if appropriate)…..i am sorry; i am of the camp that basically does not matter if you make from ingredients or package, as long as you are happy with the outcome and you enjoy the eating! exact?…nah!…..”pinch of this and a dollop of that” as long as you enjoy….cooking does not have to be so precise as to warrant examination for a gold trophy or medal from some french chef…just cook n enjoy!

  83. MeldyMW

    This beef rendang recipe is the best and very reliable. I got what I imagined the taste to be. Your site for me is the best source of authentic Malaysian, Singaporean and Indonesian recipes.

    Thank you for being so generous in sharing tips and techniques.

    Cheers,

  84. Jessica

    I lived in Singapore for 10 years and now I live in the UK. Beef Rendang is one of the things that I crave when I go back there! This recipe is the most authentic to me, having tried a few recipes in the past. I think the key ingredients that many other recipes miss out are star anise and kerisik (which is so easy to make yourself). I have a pot simmering right now and my whole house smells amazing! Great recipe! Selamat makan!

  85. Emily

    Hi, I’m making this recipe in the UK and can’t some of the exact ingredients. I was wondering if these would make ok substitutes? I can’t find the tamarind pulp so I’ve decided to make my own, which is apparently nicer. Is thicker better for this dish or should I add more water? Also substituting lime leaves for lime zest, making the keristik from desiccated coconut or should I just blend a fresh one? Instead of using dried chillies (which I can’t find) I’m going to use crushed, but how much will I need and do I need to prepare it in anyway first? And the last thing which I can’t find at all is Galangal, I can’t even find a powdered version. I’ve been told that ginger is the best substitute for this, but it doesn’t taste the same. There is also already ginger in the dish so would this involve me substituting it entirely with ginger or just adding a bit extra, is there anything else you can think of that I may be able to use instead? Sorry for all the questions, but I’m making this for my other half as it’s his favourite meal and I really want it to be just right. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

      • Emily

        Thank you for your reply. That’s a fair point, ha. The good news is I’ve actually managed to find everything bar the Galangal, I’m going to a few specialist stores tomorrow to see if I can find it there. If not would ginger work just as well or will the taste be completely different?

        • Ellie

          Whereabouts do you live in the UK Emily? If you have a Wing Yip store close by you should be able to find all the ingredients in store. My store in Birmingham has fresh galangal (exhorbitantly priced though), and in paste form (in jars).

        • Captain bob

          Hi Emily,
          Guess this is a little late, but for the future, galangal is available minced in a jar in the speciality ingredients section of my local Sainsburys. Seems to be the only supermarket that stocks it though.
          I love this website. Slowly working my way through the recipes. Rendang should be ready in about 30 mins, smells ace! So far, chicken with ginger and scallions is my favourite. It’s better than any I have had from local restaurants.

  86. Anom M

    For kerisik, normally after you toast the coconut until golden and aromatic, you need to pound them in pestle and mortar to become a slightly oily paste, then only you mix them in rendang. That will make your gravy thicker and creates more aromatic smell for the rendang. That is how i always do it. :)

  87. Hi Bee,

    I would like to ask….are we using the whole green or black cardamon pods which sold by Indian groceries??? Hear from you very soon coz I’m going to make this dish this Friday…thank you ;)

  88. Connie Choong

    May I ask why coriander is not included in the ingredients. I thought all curry recipes should include at least some coriander and cumin.

  89. Claudine

    Hi there… love your recipes and really love/miss proper rendang with the toasted coconut. I would love to make this but I can’t get freshly grated coconut where I am (Dublin). Can I substitute with desiccated coconut? Thanks in advance for any advice/tips!

  90. Jennifer Sabas

    Hi, good day I just want to know if i could used dry galangal we are in the Caribbean Island, I saw most of the galangal dried slice or in powdered form.thanks , Miss Rasa Malaysia

  91. Blue

    Why did you remove the Indonesian tag from the recipe? There’s a reason why Rendang, Chicken Satay (Sate Ayam), and Soto Ayam is listed on CNN as Indonesian and not Malaysian nor Singapore. Just because our mom made us Egg Foo Yung since we’re kids doesn’t necessarily mean that Egg foo yung is Indonesian.

    • Blue, the recipe is clearly marked as Indonesian recipes category at the top of the page below the title. If you did read the article, I clearly stated that this is an Indonesian recipe that was introduced to Malaysia. I made the Malaysian version of rendang and also marked it as Malaysian recipe.

  92. OniBuns

    Just wanted to correct you on the history of this dish! Actually the rendang is a staple Malay dish long before the Malaccan sultanate. That is because long before white colonialists (Portuegese/ Dutch/ English) dictated the borders of Indonesia and Malaysia as it is now – a whole lot of what is now Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia (among others) are considered one region (the Nusantara) which covers a large diaspora of the Malay people (Minangkabau, Batak, Jawa, Bugis, Daik etc) with similar culture and cuisines. Which is why Indonesia have a LOT of similarities with Malaysia when it comes to food because of this shared history.
    If you check out the cuisines of the native Melanaus in Sarawak – they too share stark similarities to some Filipino cuisines.
    Modern geopolitics have separated this large Nusantara region in several different nations – but before that it is like one huge country (albeit with different empires, but with similar diaspora of people).

  93. Made a similar version of this recipe last year after researching about 25 different versions,and it was the BEST thing I’ve ever made. My dinner guests talked about it all year long!
    This year I made it with lamb and let me tell you, it was even better. Something about a good quality lamb shoulder combined with these spices and aromatics, simmered for over 2.5 hours just made for one of the best dishes known to man kind. Add a couple table spoons of fish sauce. It gives it a really nice subtle ‘umami’ note that blends really well with the other notes in the dish. One of my foodie guests said it was ‘the best thing I ever put in my mouth.’ Now that’s a compliment.

  94. Melanie Kramar

    I’ve commented before but never got a reply. I want to know why does your Chinese cooking not contain water chestnuts, bamboo shoots or bean sprouts which are 3 very important ingredients in authentic Chinese food most particularly Chow Mein and Chop Suey?

    I’m a great fan of your and try 90% of your dishes! (I was married to a Chinese (South African)

    • Hi Melanie – Where did you leave the comment? Chop Suey is an Americanized Chinese food and you will not find that in Asia. Authentic Chinese food don’t always have water chestnuts, bamboo shoots or bean sprouts….chow mein in Asia is very different from the chow mein here in the US. In the old times, there weren’t a lot of Asian ingredients and the Chinese chefs improvised the recipes based on what thye can get…bamboo shoots and water chestnuts are available in cans so they somehow become mainstays in Americanized Chinese food.

  95. Grace

    hi, recipe sounds fab. how many does it serve? i am making it for very large men from northern england so need to make sure i have enough!

  96. Tomislav

    I’ve tried this recipe twice so far and the only thing I’ve got to say about it is this dish is extremely tender and flavorful :D simply delicious! thank you for the recipe!

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