Beef Rendang

Prep Time
Cook Time
3h 45m
Ready In

"A thick and spicy Malaysian curry. Recipe from Fine Cooking magazine, March 2012. I have found that although the flavorings of Malaysian cuisine may have long ingredient lists and a bit of extra work, the taste is complex and worth every minute spent. The original recipe called for 2 pounds of beef, I am upping that to 3-4 pounds as suggested by Engrossed; but if you like yours really saucy you could go with what the original recipe called for."

Original is 7 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (773.9 g)
  • Calories 1474.6
  • Total Fat - 89.9 g
  • Saturated Fat - 29.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 242.1 mg
  • Sodium - 1227 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 90 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Sugars - 33.9 g
  • Protein - 78 g
  • Calcium - 272 mg
  • Iron - 11.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 23.3 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.7 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Make the seasoning paste: If using dried chilies, soak in hot water until they soften, then removed the stem and seeds.

Step 2

Put the chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal (if using), and 1/4 cup water in a food processor and process to a coarse purée. If you used the dried chilies, they will not fully incorporate and you may see bits of them in the paste.

Step 3

Make the spice blend: In a small bowl, combine the cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, and cinnamon pieces. In a second small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric, and pepper.

Step 4

Make the rendang: Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet or wok until shimmering hot.

Step 5

Add the whole spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, until the cinnamon sticks ununcurl and the cardamom cracks open, about 1 to 2 minutes; be careful not to burn them. Add another 2 Tbs. of the oil and the ground spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture sizzles and becomes fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds more (if the spices stick to the pan, add a little more oil to prevent burning).

Step 6

Add the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the seasoning paste and cook, stirring, until the it is intensely reddish-brown, about 10 minutes.

Step 7

Raise the heat to medium, add the beef and cook, stirring, to coat it with the spices, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tamarind concentrate, lime leaves, and lemongrass and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.

Step 8

Reduce the heat to low, add the sugar and salt, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, stirring more often as it beomes thicker, about 1 3/4 hours total (meat will not be tender just yet).

Step 9

Squeeze liquid from the coconut with your hands.

Step 10

In a 10-inch skillet, toast the coconut over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden-brown, about 10 minutes; set aside.

Step 11

Stir the toasted coconut into the stew and continue to stir until it becomes thick, about 15 minutes. Add 1 cup water if you prefer a saucy consistency. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is fork-tender, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Step 12

Fish out as much of the unchewablke spices as you can (lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, etc.) and garnish meat with cilantro and lime wedges before serving.

Step 13

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.


No special items needed.

1 Reviews


Fantastic recipe! My Hubby made this as part of my Malaysian Birthday Feast and we all loved it! The beef chuck was tender and falling apart, and the sauce was full of flavor. I'm not a anise or fennel fan and could taste them in this, but they melded well with all of the other exotic flavors. I was worried this would be too spicy hot but it wasn't at all. Next time I would use 3-4lbs of beef since it seemed like there was a lot of sauce for the amount of beef when it was done cooking. Thanks for posting this Sue!


review by:
(12 May 2013)

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