Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging)
September 30th, 2008 207 Comments

Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging)

Beef Rendang (Rendang Daging)
Beef Rendang (Rendang Daging) pictures (5 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.

Click Page 2 for the Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging) Recipe
Tagged as:

207 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Salt N Turmeric says:

    That beef rendang looks like how my aunt usually made them. Can you believe tht iv never made rendang before? lol.

  2. veron says:

    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?

  3. Nate-n-Annie says:

    Ooh, beef rendang!

    Props to you for making it from scratch. But as you said, you were handsomely rewarded.

  4. Sharon says:

    I’ve never made rendang all the way from scratch, but I can see how delicious yours is!

  5. Manggy says:

    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!

  6. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    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.

  7. Rick says:

    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 says:

      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.

  8. allenooi says:

    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.

  9. syrie says:

    mmmmm, one of my favourite beef curries. Looks great! My second fave is massaman.

  10. tigerfish says:

    I thought you did not post a beef recipe because you are not a red-meat lover?

    Yum yum rendang….where is my rice?

  11. Tina Noor says:

    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. :(

  12. Piggy says:

    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. ;-)

  13. Smashing Cook says:

    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.

  14. ChichaJo says:

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

  15. Escoofield says:

    Brilliant! this is so awesome and absolutely fantastic!
    It is truly amazing and very interesting! Thanks for this! Delicious!!!
    Escoofield -

    Have Fun!
    Don’t forget to visit my blog!

  16. Passionate Eater says:

    Thanks for catering to us beef lovers Bee, I will have to try this soon!

  17. Mandy says:

    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.

  18. Fearless Kitchen says:

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

  19. MyF says:

    i just devoured i bowl of rendang with lemang. urs look nice too!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Would it work just as well to use dried galangal instead of fresh? If so, how much should be used?

  21. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    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!

  22. Anonymous says:

    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.

  23. Terri @ A Daily Obsession says:

    i can smell it, almost taste it. u r bad, bee, making me suffer.

  24. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Fay – I have never used dried galangal before so just use double the amount, or you can use more ginger.

  25. Rasa Malaysia says:

    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!

  26. Cynthia says:

    This is bookmarked to try. I am drooling here :) Will email you sometime soon.

  27. worldwindows says:

    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!!

  28. ashan says:

    Help! Whenever I try to make beef rendang the meat always turns out like dried leather — tough. Any advice?

    • kitchenut says:

      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.

  29. luv0food says:

    You sure know your rendang well! YOur delicious looking beef rendang really whets my Indonesian appetite.

  30. Simply...Gluten-free says:

    My mouth is literally watering right now – delish!

  31. Yvonne says:

    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.

  32. chuck says:

    Rasa, I can’t wait to make this dish. I love spicy food and Indonesian spices. Your photo looks so good too!

  33. J.Y.Aguilera says:

    Where are you in the US? I would like to visit you (to try on those food) I miss Malaysian food so much!

  34. Terri @ A Daily Obsession says:

    passed u an award. pls check on my site!

  35. regina says:

    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.

  36. Arfi Binsted says:

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

  37. Kevin says:

    That looks tasty! I am looking forward to trying Beef Rendang.

  38. Michelle says:

    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 :-)

  39. Andy says:

    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?

  40. Cooking Queen says:

    Looks yummy will have to try this .

  41. Anonymous says:

    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.

  42. Anonymous says:

    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!

  43. Sabrina says:

    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?

  44. Moaz Mojaddidi says:

    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.

  45. vincent says:


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
    and benefit from their exposure on

    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on “Add your site”

    Best regards,


  46. Kindra says:

    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.

  47. Mel R says:

    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!

  48. Jason says:

    this looks absolutley amazing. my girlfriend is vegetarian. would tou work with this recipe instead of beef?

    • Meat is key to rendang dish and what makes rendang flavorful. If you really have to, I supposed you can try it with potatoes, carrots and chickpeas. But not tofu.

      • Jason says:

        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.

  49. hey…thanks for the receipe. Here’s my attempt.

    Didn’t (couldn’t!) leave it long enough for the sauce to go totally dry – but it was superb nethertheless.

  50. ita says:

    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.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Thanks for visiting Rasa Malaysia, #9 most popular cooking blog. Please like Rasa Malaysia on Facebook, join email or RSS for new recipes!

Facebook  |  Email  |  RSS