Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

Beef rendang is a traditional Indonesian dish the place you gradual cook dinner beef is a mixture of spices and coconut milk. The result’s extremely tender meat, full of taste. Sure it takes a while, however it’s primarily palms off and most positively well worth the wait.

Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

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Whereas I grew up studying to understand completely different herbs and spices, their makes use of tended to be both extra European or Indian influenced. It wasn’t till I used to be in my teenagers that each my mother and father and I attempted Thai meals and began to understand the completely different flavors in that and different South East Asian cuisines. 

Over time, I’ve been fortunate sufficient to journey to the area just a few occasions, though there are nonetheless many extra locations I might love to go to. Some I’ve extra learnt to discover by eating places and at residence, for now.

Indonesian meals is in that class for now. Although fortunately our time in Australia no less than gave us a bit extra publicity to the meals and tradition. I rapidly grew to like the delicacies’s flavors, with great aromatics and (whereas much less so right here) a number of greens. This traditional dish is an excellent and scrumptious instance of Indonesian flavors.

Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

The place is rendang from?

Rendang is mostly traced again to sixteenth century West Sumatra. It was created by the Minang folks and is definitely extra concerning the cooking course of than a precise checklist of elements. Meat is gradual cooked in a mixture of coconut and spices till it turns into tender and the feel is kind of dry.

The tip consequence, if cooked correctly, truly preserves the meat very effectively and so the tactic grew to become common earlier than refrigeration. And the scrumptious taste has made it a agency favourite in lots of locations as effectively.

The Minang folks migrated to varied locations across the area which is why you discover the dish in Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere, in addition to Indonesia. 

Most usually, rendang is made with beef or generally water buffalo. You should use different meats in addition to greens as the bottom, although some might not be cooked fairly as lengthy.

Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

What is the distinction between Indonesian and Malaysian rendang?

Not like some dishes, the reply to this query isn’t all that simple. For one factor, you will see many variations inside the nations in addition to between them.

Malaysian variations extra usually use brown sugar quite than coconut sugar or simply counting on the sweetness within the coconut milk after an extended cook dinner. The spices can even have extra that is likely to be considered Indian-influenced. Although the spices can differ in all variations.

One important distinction, although, is that ‘dry’ rendang is much less widespread in Malaysia. You can argue that is what rendang actually is, no less than historically. It is the place the coconut milk cooks down so the oils launch and the liquid is nearly all gone.

In Malaysia, you usually tend to discover the ‘moist’ model which is extra of a red-brown shade and has extra sauce. That is primarily since you cook dinner it for much less time. Generally this type or stage goes by the identify ‘kalio’.

Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

The model I am sharing right here is predicated primarily on Indonesian variations so it is a bit of drier and takes some time to cook dinner. I’ve drawn on just a few recipes in creating this take, together with this What to Cook dinner Right now recipe and this Singaporean and Malaysian Recipes recipe.

Within the photos above, you see the preliminary cooking then the combination after round half-hour then 2 hours when the oils are separating, however it wants a bit of extra to get the great tenderness within the meat and dry, darkish sauce,

However as I point out above, it is largely palms off cooking. You simply must verify it at times however in any other case go away it to it. The great odor because it cooks will be very tempting, however attempt to be affected person!

Ingredient notes

You may discover a few of the elements rather less widespread, however it is best to be capable to discover all in any Asian grocery store. Under are some factors to remember. 

  • Beef – not that that is uncommon, however extra a be aware on what to get. The meat needs to be boneless and comparatively lean however you do not need to waste a first-rate minimize. Boneless rib, chuck or shank are all good decisions.
  • Makrut lime leaves (additionally generally referred to as kaffir lime leaves) are the leaves from a wide range of lime and have an exquisite citrus aroma. Search for contemporary ones within the chilled produce space quite than utilizing dried leaves. If you cannot discover them, a bit of lime zest might work as a substitute although it is not fairly the identical.
  • Galangal – this can be a relative of ginger and appears fairly comparable. It is a bit sharper and extra peppery, whereas ginger has a bit of sweetness, so it is price having each on this. If you cannot discover it, nonetheless, improve the ginger amount a bit of.
  • Lemongrass – whereas I exploit ready-minced lemongrass for ease in another dishes, right here I believe it is price utilizing a contemporary stalk if potential. They’re fairly extensively obtainable today within the chilled produce part.
  • Star anise – these are a star-shaped spice, therefore the identify. It is one of many distinguishing flavors in Chinese language 5 spice, although right here you need to use the entire spice to assist infuse the gravy.
  • Coconut milk – that is extensively obtainable today, however it’s such a key ingredient right here you need to use one. If you could find a Thai model then which may be your finest wager. Be sure to use an unsweetened one and never gentle/lite.
Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

Beef rendang is an Indonesian favourite, and it is simple to grasp why. It is full of spice and depth of taste, the meat is tender and melts in your mouth. Sure, it’s good to wait a short time to take pleasure in it, however it’s largely palms off cooking. And imagine me, it is well worth the wait.

Strive these different spicy meals:

Beef rendang

This traditional Indonesian dry curry has tender meat, tons of taste and a chili kick.

Prep Time15 minutes

Cook dinner Time3 hrs

Whole Time3 hrs 15 minutes

Course: Primary Course

Delicacies: Indonesian

Servings: 2 approx

Energy: 842kcal

Writer: Caroline’s Cooking



For spice paste

  • 2 shallots approx ⅓ cup as soon as diced
  • 2 cloves garlic approx 1 ½tbsp chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger (contemporary) approx ½in/1.5cm piece
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chopped galangal (contemporary) approx ½in/1.5cm piece
  • 1 stick lemongrass white half solely, approx 2tbsp chopped
  • 4 dry crimson chilis eg arbol chili or you should use cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

For remainder of dish

  • 1 lb boneless beef rib 450g, or chuck/shank
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ½ tablespoon tamarind paste softened in ½tbsp water then strained, or use 1tsp tamarind focus + 1tsp water
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 makrut lime leaves (or 3 if smaller)
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut 12g (see be aware)


  • Roughly chop the spice paste elements – shallots, garlic ginger, galangal and lemongrass and add all to a small meals processor/blender. (Relying on how sturdy your processor/blender is chances are you’ll need to -pre-chop roughly.) Add the dry chilis and turmeric and mix all the pieces collectively right into a paste. If wanted, scrape down the edges and mix once more. It might not be fully clean, however you need to keep away from having giant chunks.

  • Cube the meat into medium chunks, round 1in/2.5cm cube.

  • Heat the coconut oil in a medium pot over a medium warmth. Add the spice paste and cook dinner, stirring at times, for round 5 minutes till the paste is aromatic.

  • Add the items of beef and cook dinner a minute or two to softly brown the meat (you simply need extra of a delicate shade quite than a powerful sear).

  • Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and the opposite spices – cloves, lime leaves, cinnamon stick and star anise – in addition to the salt and coconut sugar. (You may as well add the inexperienced a part of the lemongrass stem, if you happen to like.) Stir in order that all the pieces is effectively mixed then cowl and produce the pot to a simmer.

  • Cut back the warmth to a really low simmer. After round 1 ½ – 2 hours you will notice the oils separate and rise to the highest with a brown gravy beneath. At this level, take away the lid and improve warmth barely, if wanted, to maintain the combination at a simmer.

  • Proceed to cook dinner till the coconut milk has largely evaporated and lowered to only a slight oiliness and the darkened paste, about one other hour. You should definitely verify on it at times as it’s cooking and stir a bit of to attempt to keep away from it cooking an excessive amount of on one aspect. Take away the entire spices from the combination, scraping again any sauce that’s caught to them into the pot.

  • Because the meat is cooking, gently toast the desiccated coconut both beneath the broiler/grill or in a dry skillet till gently brown. Add this to the meat combination as soon as the liquid is lowered to oiliness and blend in, then serve over rice.


Historically the coconut you add on the finish is contemporary, grated coconut that you simply then toast however it’s a lot more durable to search out so desiccated makes an inexpensive substitute. 


Energy: 842kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 49g | Fats: 64g | Saturated Fats: 42g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 2g | Monounsaturated Fats: 17g | Ldl cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 734mg | Potassium: 1080mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 306IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 9mg

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Beef rendang – Caroline’s Cooking

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