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Malaysian Rendang

Lamb Rendang
Lamb Rendang pictures (2 of 4)

It has been more than three years since I posted my Beef Rendang recipe. I am pleasantly surprised that to this day I still get the occasional inquiry and request with regards to protein substitution, alternative cooking methods, or the usage of a different spice mix to make the paste. Especially after September of last year, when Rendang topped the readers’ choice list of CNN’s “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods”. I am guessing that should be a plausible factor as to why Rendang suddenly scrambled on to a lot of people’s “to-cook” list.

South-East Asian curries are unique with their own distinctive tastes and names. Rendang, Panang, Kari Ayam, Massaman, just to name a few. All in all they share different takes and preferences on blended spices and other fragrant aromatics. For those of you who have yet to be acquainted with the exotic delicacy that is Rendang, it is in a nutshell, a mildly spicy, rich and flavorful, semi-dry curry that is popular throughout the South-East Asian region, especially in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. And it is one of the main dishes that is served during Malay weddings and festivities.

Lamb Rendang

This delicacy is especially dear to my heart because it brings back fond memories of how my mom used to break out her cache of spices tucked neatly away in an airtight Tupperware container marked “Rendang” and carefully measure each and every spice with her traditional mini brass metal kitchen scales that resemble an upright stickman dangling a wok on each hand.

As I’ve pointed out back in my Beef Rendang post, no two Rendang can turn out the exact same way. Mainly due to the varying amount of spices used and the ever crucial reduction process to allow the absorption of the spices into the meat yet not over-drying it. This time around, I am going to make Rendang using lamb, with a slight variation of the spices, and braising it in a crock pot/slow cooker. This was actually quite a leap for me as my preferred method have always been to stew it on the stovetop. But lo and behold, it turned out to be every bit as scrumptious as depicted.

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39 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. teo ai li

    Hi, just a question here. Do I have to fry the chilli paste till the oil separates like your beef rendang? I had to fry for at least 40mins for the chilli paste as in your fantastic beef rendang recipe. Thanks for your help!

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Its totally up to you. I just did 5 minutes on med-high since I used a generous amount of oil to get it going, and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work!

  2. Myen Smart via Facebook

    Either way…different meat speak their own flavor and all are delicious in their own way…still beef rendang is the best of all :)

  3. soyamilk fan

    Hi, this looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it. Just a quick question: is tamarind paste the same as tamarind juice?

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Tamarind paste is a concentrated form of tamarind juice yield from soaking block tamarind in warm water. For this recipe, to get 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate, you will need to soak 1/4 oz of block tamarind with 1 tablespoon of warm water. Its so convenient to use tamarind paste and both tamarind blocks and paste can be easily found in most Asian grocery markets.

  4. Pepy@Indonesia Eats

    Looking good, Bee! I made lamb rendang about a year ago and pairing it with pacri nanas. I bet you know pacri nanas too :)

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Thanks! And thanks for reminding me about Pacri Nanas. Have not had it in a while. It does sound good after a rich, savoury Rendang meal.

    • Rasa Malaysia

      Yes, of course. Towards the end of the braising process if you feel the Rendang chicken is bit dry, you may add bit water.

  5. I love this and I will be making it for guests on Wednesday along with coconut rice. Any suggestions for starters to lead up to this or some first courses? Thanks!

  6. your pic is making me drool :S i loveee rendang but sometimes i get so lazy to prepare it + source for all the spices that i take the shortcut and use a rendang paste! love the one from prima taste as it tastes like the real thing.

    when i feel like getting down to do some serious cooking i’ll try out this recipe of yours! :)

  7. Christina

    This looks great! I have three questions, though. Do you use sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut? Can I substitute japanese yams for the potatoes? Do you know what temp to cook this in a dutch oven, rather than a crock pot? Thanks so much!

  8. Christina

    Oh no! I just discovered that kaffir lime leaves have been banned in the states for the last six months or so. I am planning to make this for a party tomorrow. Can you recommend a substitute??

  9. Wegner

    Many thanks for the recipe.
    Just wondering if you can just use a normal pot on the stove to cook the meat for one and a half hours rather than using the slow cooker? (cause I see that you don’t use a slow cooker in your beef rendang and I am student the is not that rich enough to buy a slow cooker)


  10. fitri

    Rasa..can you tell me what the specific differences between Malaysian Rendang with Indonesian Rendang? (sorry if there is the same question). Oh, ya.. Have you ever tried to eat them?

  11. lilianti

    Hi, can i substitute coriander seeds to powder form, if yes, what is the measurement still 1 tsp ? Thanks, i love your recipe

  12. Emmeline Yeo

    Hi Bee,

    I just wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to you for teaching us this recipe on the Beef Rendang. I made this for our church group’s Easter picnic (mind you, all the aunties and uncles in this group are very experienced cooks in their own right!) and they all raved that my rendang was amazing! What a great feeling that was. I can’t take all the credit, as I have to accredit that to your well crafted recipe and guidance.

    I followed your instructions carefully, but I also added more chillies, and doubled the portions of overall ingredients as I was cooking for 32 people who could stomach very spicy Asian food. Haha! When they found out I made my own rempah, they were astounded! LoL!

    Thank you so much for your generous sharing of recipes and dedication to this website, and your uncompromising commitment to preserving authenticity, especially in Nonya cooking and other traditional recipes (in a world that has one too many quick and adulterated shortcuts these days) which is something I truly respect and admire, and hope you will keep up! :-))

    Looking forward to impressing others with more of your recipes!

    P.S. So glad your website is back to normal and no more Deer Hunter app game advertisement banners popping up on your home page! Eek, hope I didn’t jinx this by saying it… hehe… ;-)

    Warm Regards,

  13. Thanks Bee, for this recipe. I love your blog and made this recently in a church dinner. My friends love it! One of my friends even said ‘it tastes like homeeee!’ God Bless you

  14. Siew Leng

    Hi Bee, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I have been trying to replicate this dish ever since I tasted it at my fav nasi padang stall. Went through many recipe books without success until I stumbled upon your site. Now I can make this dish anytime my craving strikes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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