30 March 2010

Beef Rendang

I love the aromatic spices that fills my kitchen when I make this dish. The weather has started to turn chilly the past couple of days, and whats better than sitting in front of the TV with a warm bowl of spicy coconut beef stew ??

It usually takes me about 3 hours from beginning to end to make this, but it is so worth it. :)

Whenever I do make this now, I try to make a big pot, so that at least it lasts a bit longer. The leftovers always taste better the next day or two.

If I really wanted Beef Rendang right now, then I'll resort to my pressure cooker recipe. But in terms of taste, this recipe from Rasa Malaysia is still ahead by a long way. I don't think I've gone back to my pressure cooker recipe ever since I discovered this one.

My local Asian Butcher doesn't understand what Beef Short Rib is, so I settle for Gravy beef or Chuck Steak instead.

Beef Rendang
Recipe from Rasa Malaysia.com

  • 1 1/2 pound boneless beef short ribs (cut into cubes)
  • 5 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 2-inch long)
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 lemongrass (cut into 4-inch length and pounded)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp (soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (very finely sliced)
  • 6 tablespoons kerisik (toasted coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar/palm sugar or to taste
  • Salt to taste
Spice Paste:
  • 5 shallots
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 3 lemongrass (white part only)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 10-12 dried chilies (soaked in warm water and seeded)
  • Chop the spice paste ingredients and then blend it in a food processor until fine.
  • Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry them until aromatic.
  • Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked.
  • Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar/palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.
  • Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up.
  • Add salt to taste. If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste.
  • Serve immediately with steamed rice and save some for overnight.
  • To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the grated coconut to a dry wok and stir continuosly until they turn golden brown.
Additional Notes:
  • I found that about 1 hour in (maybe because I have a rather fierce gas stove), the gravy had mostly dried out. I added in probably about 1/2 cup of water and gave it a bit of a stir every 15 mins or so. Until the 1 1/2 hour mark was reached.


  1. I love beef rendang! I've only made it once, and it was from a packet (but it was really good)=] I've always wanted to try making it from scratch- but there's too many ingredients involved! It sounds and looks delicious though- I'm having cravings for a stew right now.....

    btw, my local butcher didn't know what beef brisket was!! (he was chinese) But then, I didn't know either.....

  2. mademoiselle.... i agree .. its so so good with rice.. :)

    von..... i used to make it from the packet too (ayam brand rendang kit).. but after the first time i tried it from scratch...i never went back.. :)


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