Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang holds the top 1 spot in CNN’s 2011 World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods‘, it is a spicy meat dish that originated in Indonesia. It was created by the Minang’s (people from the Minangkabau ethnic group in Indonesia) as a dish served during ceremonial occasions and to honour special guests. It proved to be good thus its popularity spread over the region like in Malaysia, Singapore, Southern Thailand and Southern Philippines.

The cooking method and ingredients of rendang is quite complicated, any meat can be used but the most common ones are beef and chicken. The dish contains a lot of spices like garlic, shallot, chillies, ginger, galangal, turmeric leaves, lemon grass to name some, these spices also serve as a natural organic preservative that’s why this dish can last for four weeks with no refrigeration. Rendang also takes a lot of time to cook and the really good ones usually four hours to prepare as meat are slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices until the liquid dries out, this process makes the sauce caramelize and the meat to absorb all of the spices and become really tender. This cooking method is the one responsible making the flavours complex and unique.

There are two types of rendang the Dried one which is also called the true rendang and the Wet Rendang or what is called Kalio. While both have nearly the same ingredients the cooking times is much different, dry rendang as I had said is prepared for four hours at least while Kalio can only consume one hour of your time.

I am lucky that I had tried these types of dishes when I lived in Malaysia and have lots of Malaysian and Indonesian friends that can prepare this for me; it certainly enhanced my culinary experience and develops appreciation for very complex tastes and textures. Now for those who haven’t tried this give it a shot and see why it was placed on the number one spot


1 kg stewing beef, cubed
1 cup desiccated coconut
6 pcs red chillies, chopped
2 pcs onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 thumb size galangal, sliced
1/2 thumb size ginger, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
1 turmeric leaf, finely chopped
6 pcs lime leaves, sliced
4 tbsp curry powder
1 cup beef stock
1 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp cooking oil of choice


1. In a blender pour the oil then add the chillies, onion, garlic, galangal, ginger and lemongrass, blend to a paste.
2. In a pan add desiccated coconut and lightly toast. Once toasted place in a food processor to grind.
3. In a heavy pot fry the spice paste, lime leaves and turmeric leaves. Stir continuously for 3 minutes or until very fragrant.
4. Add the beef, ground desiccated coconut, curry powder, coconut cream, soy sauce and beef stock. Bring to a boil and simmer in very low heat for 2 hrs.
or until sauce dries out. While cooking don’t forget to mix it regularly to prevent beef sticking in the bottom of the pan, also if water is not enough add several tablespoons to have some moisture.
5. Season with salt then serve with freshly steamed rice.

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30 thoughts on “Beef Rendang

  1. Completely drooling. This is so tender and yummy looking. I did not realize there were 2 different kinds. so is the one you prepared dry Rendang type? I am book marking this one! Take Care, BAM

  2. I have been on a real curry kick the last few months, planning to do a series on it this fall and beef rendang was one of the curry dishes on my list. I have a couple other recipes I was going to test and now I will add yours as well, it looks perfect. Great timing!

  3. I remember this list from your past post and I also remember this name of dish from you. I haven’t tried this before and it sounds shame as it’s #1 dish!! First I’d like to try how authentic one tastes like…You are so lucky to have such nice culinary experience Raymund. No wonder you do so well in cooking many kinds of dishes!

  4. I’ve never heard of this. How could I not have? #1 in the world? Jeez, I must live under a rock. Anyway, super recipe – I’ll need to try this to find out what I’ve been missing. Thanks.

  5. This looks delicious! I have a question, though: the ingredients list calls for “coconut cream,” while the directions say to add “coconut milk.” I can obtain either (we use a fair amount of coconut milk here) but they are different products where I live at least; coconut cream is very very sweet, while the coconut milk is just the coconut liquid with no other additives. Which one is used here? If I’m going to make this, I want to do it correctly! :-)

    • Apologies for the mistake, I used coconut cream but it is not sweet and it is like coconut milk but thicker consistency basically higher concentration coconut milk than water. You can use coconut milk just add an additional cup of it and thats what I use when I lived in Malaysia.

  6. Hi Raymund, I have missed some great posts here on your blog. And rendang? YUM! Can you come over and cook at our house? We love this at our house – but I have never yet made this from scratch. I tried to make it before – but couldn’t find lime leaves here… :(

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  8. galangal is called langkawas in ilonggo/kiniray.a… just use the lankawas rhizomes. you can also use the langkawas flowers as a vegetable when cooking with pork.. yum yum

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