Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging)
September 30th, 2008 205 Comments

Beef Rendang Recipe (Rendang Daging)

Beef Rendang (Rendang Daging)
Beef Rendang (Rendang Daging) pictures (2 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
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205 comments... read them below or add one

  1. HJ says:

    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!

  2. aaaa says:

    beef rendang is originally from padang.

  3. Jay says:

    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. :(

  4. Bessy says:

    I love Beef Rendang but I only ever ordered it never made – didn’t know it took so much effort!

  5. Fantastic Recipe! My mum and dad loved it.
    Though one thing is that I had to alter certain ingredients because of inavailability from the supermarket. Can’t wait for more!

    You can see how it turned out at

  6. mawarputih says:

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

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  8. LT says:

    I tried it and it was fantastic. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Roya says:

    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)

  10. cherie says:

    rendang is one of my all time favourites and your photo of the dish looks amazing.
    i was wondering if it could be made with a slow cooker and how long that would take if so?

  11. John says:

    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.

  12. Lila says:

    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.

  13. Nina says:

    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 =)

  14. Paul Lee says:

    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.

  15. Chris says:

    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?

  16. Alonna says:

    What kind of dried chillies do you use? Can’t wait to try the recipe. It looks perfect!

  17. david says:

    i’m cooking for 6 – how many does yr recipe cater for, pls?

  18. Noah says:

    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.

  19. Sunitha Sunil says:

    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!

  20. Just made this in my girlfriend’s mum’s aga. Great recipe – brought me right back to the first time I tried it in Melaka! Thanks.

  21. Ljuba Stajic says:


    • Ljuba – in my post, if you read carefully, I have stated very clearly that Rendang is originated from Indonesia.

      • Nora says:

        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 says:


  22. Erin says:

    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.

  23. Shirl says:

    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.

  24. lis says:

    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.. :)

  25. febby valbuena says:

    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

  26. Yvonne says:

    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!*


    • 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 says:

        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


  27. mama says:

    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!

  28. CX says:

    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!

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  30. Cookie says:

    Hi, I can only get dessicated coconut. How do I make kerisik out of that? Hope you can help. thanks!

  31. steve says:

    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

  32. kate says:

    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.

  33. Pingback:My Hand At Whipping Up That Tasty Beef RendangGourmetEstorie | GourmetEstorie

  34. Karie says:

    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.

  35. Simon says:

    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!

  36. bhavani says:

    Hi can i use mutton instead of beef ?

  37. Hewmun says:

    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!

  38. kitchenut says:

    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.

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  40. Frank says:

    What kind of chiles are you using?

  41. 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.

  42. John Chin says:

    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

  43. Thomas says:

    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)?


  44. Sarah says:

    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! :)

  45. Joe in Montreal says:

    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.

  46. Lee says:

    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!

    • Little C says:

      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.

    • jonathan turpin says:

      Tesco sell them!

  47. jashim uddin says:

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

  48. Joshua Aponte says:

    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!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Karen Moir says:

    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


  50. Michael says:

    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.

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