Beef Rendang Recipe

How to make Beef Rendang

Traditionally served at Eid by the Malay Muslim community, this dish is infused with coconut and fresh spices and works perfectly with some simple steamed rice for a filling supper


Serves: 12

Prep time: 1 hr 20 minutes

Cook time: 3 hrs



3 cans coconut milk

2 tsp baking powder

1½ kg stewing steak, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

6 cups vegetable oil

2 tsp ground white pepper

2 tsp corn flour

¾ cup shallots, finely chopped

¾ cup onions, finely chopped

cinnamon sticks

1 tsp cardamom pods

1 tsp whole cloves

¾ cups lemongrass, finely chopped

¼ cup kaffir lime leaves

2 tbsp turmeric

5 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 tbsp garlic, chopped

1 tbsp red chili flakes

½ tbsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp gula malakka (palm sugar)

2 tbsp lemon juice                           

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp fennel seeds, ground

1 tsp cumin seeds

150g curry paste

1 tbsp soy sauce

½ cup coconut flakes, toasted until lightly brown


  1. Separate the water from the coconut cream in each coconut milk can. Discard the water and reserve the cream.
  2. Fill a large bowl with water and stir in the baking powder. Soak the beef in the water for about 10 minutes. Transfer the beef to a colander to let all the water drain and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a large container, marinate the beef with 1 tbsp of the oil, the pepper, cornstarch, and ½ tbsp salt for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  4. Heat 1/4 cups of the oil in a 12 – 14 inch skillet over medium heat, stir in the shallots, onion, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and onions are softened but not browned, (about 10 minutes).
  5. Stir in the lemongrass, lime leaves, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chili flakes and black pepper and cook, stirring, until barely golden, (about 30 minutes).
  6. Add the gula malakka, lemon juice, coriander, fennel seeds, and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the cinnamon sticks and lime leaves. Strain the mixture with a fine sieve and wipe the oil from the skillet.
  8. Put the strained spices back in the clean skillet and stir in the curry paste and soy sauce and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes.
  9. Pour in the coconut cream and simmer, stirring frequently, until the coconut cream turns golden, 20   to 30 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the remaining 4 cups of the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 162°C.
  11. Working in two batches if necessary, cook the beef in the oil for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander or strainer, and briefly run under hot water to remove the oil.
  12. Add the beef to the coconut milk mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces by about half, about 20 minutes more. Season to taste with more salt and sugar. Stir in the coconut flakes and serve immediately.

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