Beef For Rendang


Beef for Rendang is a rich, flavourful combination of spices that is best served over rice for a simple, hearty and fulfilling meal. Rendang originated in Indonesia, but is based on a similar dish from India, which has been modified over the years. Rendang is a spicy, savoury and (if you like your food nice and hot) an absolutely delicious dish. But what do you know about the ingredients in Rendang?

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang – the best and most authentic beef rendang recipe you will find online! Spicy, rich and creamy Malaysian/Indonesian beef stew made with beef, spices and coconut milk.

Easy authentic beef rendang recipe with beef, spices and coconut milk in a bowl.

What Is Rendang?

Rendang is a rich and tender coconut beef stew which is explosively flavorful and beef rendang is the most popular rendang.

Beef Rendang

Called “rendang daging” in local language, it’s arguably the most famous beef recipe in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Origins of Rendang

Beef rendang is of Indonesian origin, a delicious concoction from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia.

It’s often served at ceremonial occasions and to honor guests.

I believe the dish came to Malaysia when the Minangkabau settlers from Sumatra migrated to the southern part of the Malay peninsula during the era of the Melaka Sultanate.

This dish is well loved by many Malaysians, especially the Malay community.

Rich and creamy Malaysian/Indonesian beef stew made with beef, spices and coconut milk in a bowl.

While beef rendang is the poster child, there are variations such as chicken rendang and lamb rendang.

They are all absolutely delicious and best with rice, or Malaysian coconut milk rice (nasi lemak).

Beef Rendang Malaysian/Indonesian style ready to serve.

What Kind of Beef for Rendang?

I used boneless beef short ribs or stew beef. The cut of beef will ensure that you have soft and tender beef once it’s cooked.

You have to cut the beef into small pieces to ensure that after the slow cooking, each chunk of beef is tender with the aromatic rendang curry paste.

Secret Ingredient of Rendang Sauce

To make the best rendang, you need to have the secret ingredient which is kerisik or toasted coconut.

You also need to cook on low heat to slowly stew and simmer the meat and reduce the rendang sauce.

I read that the Minangkabaus save the dish for months as the complex taste and flavor develop over time.

The Best and Most Authentic Rendang

I suggest that you make a big portion so you have some leftover. The flavors and aroma become more intense the next day.

Do try my recipe because it’s the most delicious and best beef rendang recipe you will find online!

How Many Calories per Serving?

This recipe is only 416 calories per serving.

What to Serve with This Recipe?

Serve this dish with rice, noodles or bread. For a traditional Malaysian meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.

Beef Rendang

The KING OF ALL CURRIES is here!!! Beef Rendang has incredible depth of flavour, with complexity and many layers of spices. It’s straight forward to make, though it does take time and perhaps a trip to the Asian grocery store (though Sydney-siders will find everything at Woolies). Watch the video and drool!

The King of all Curries, Beef Rendang is straight forward to make and has incredible deep, complex flavours. Quick recipe video provided!

Beef Rendang

This Beef Rendang recipe is from a payroll lady at a company I used to work for. It’s her Malaysian mother’s recipe. I still remember, so many years later, how we used to bond over food at the water cooler!

I actually first published this recipe a couple of years ago but I’ve made some minor improvements that will make your life easier without changing the flavour at all. Plus I made a recipe video!

Beef Rendang is the king of all curries!

The King of all Curries, Beef Rendang is straight forward to make and has incredible deep, complex flavours. Quick recipe video provided!

What is Beef Rendang?

Beef Rendang is a Malaysian curry and is considered by many to be the king of all curries! To say it’s extravagantly delicious is an understatement. There are very few curries in this world with such amazingly complex flavours.

Originally from Indonesia though now more well known as a Malaysia curry, the sauce is made with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom and star anise as well as fresh aromatics including lemongrass, garlic, ginger and galangal.

Unlike many curries, Beef Rendang is a dry curry which means there is not loads of sauce. However, the meat is so ridiculously tender and has a thick coating of sauce on each piece, so when the meat literally falls apart at a touch, it mixes through rice, flavouring it like saucy curries.

If you love South East Asian curries, Beef Rendang is without a doubt one of the best!

Here in Sydney, you can get all the ingredients for Beef Rendang at Woolworths and Coles. Seriously!

Beef Rendang Spice Paste

How to make Beef Rendang

Though there’s a fair few ingredients in this, some of which may not be familiar to you and are certainly not everyday ingredients even in my world, it’s actually quite a straightforward recipe:

  1. Blitz curry paste ingredient in food processor;
  2. Brown the beef;
  3. Cook off the curry paste – releases amazing flavour!
  4. Add everything else in and slow cook until the beef is ultra tender.

An interesting cooking method with Beef Rendang is the way it gets the deep brown colour. All throughout the video, right up until the very end, you will notice that the sauce is a pale brown colour. It’s not until the very end when the sauce reduces right down and the oil separates that it turns brown, essentially the browning of the beef in the oil of the sauce.

The King of all Curries, Beef Rendang is straight forward to make and has incredible deep, complex flavours. Quick recipe video provided!

This Beef Rendang can be made in a slow cooker, but I find it easiest to make it all on the stove. Especially given it starts on the stove with the browning of the beef and spice paste, then finishes on the stove with the reducing of the sauce and browning of the beef (this part cannot be done in a slow cooker).

This is one of those recipes that just gets better with time. So whenever possible, I try to make this a day or two in advance. It also freezes extremely well.

Beef rendang & turmeric rice

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:40 mins
    • Cook:2 hrs and 30 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

Cover beef shin in coconut milk and spices and add toasted desiccated coconut to thicken the rich sauce in this slow-cooked Malaysian favourite

  • Freezable


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2kg beef shin or skirt, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bashed (see ‘Tip’ for how to prepare)
  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1 ½ tbsp chicken stock powder (we used one from an Asian supermarket)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the paste

  • 15 dry chillies
  • 6-8 baby shallots
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, chopped
  • thumb-sized piece galangal, peeled and chopped (use ginger if you can’t find it)
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, chopped

For the rice

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 700g jasmine rice
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder


  • STEP 1For the paste, soak the chillies in boiling water for 15 mins. Drain, remove seeds and whizz with the rest of the paste ingredients in a small food processor until smooth.
  • STEP 2Heat the oil in a wok or a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish. Fry the paste for 5 mins until the aroma is released. Add the beef and the lemongrass, and mix well. Once the beef starts to lose its pinkness, add the coconut milk and 250ml water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer, uncovered. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking, and more often towards the end.
  • STEP 3Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a frying pan on a low heat for 5-7 mins until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Using a blender, coarsely blend it to finer pieces – but not too fine. Put to one side.
  • STEP 4After 2 hrs, add the coconut, kaffir lime leaves, chicken stock powder, tamarind paste, sugar and salt to the pan. Simmer for 30 mins more. You should start to see the oil separating from the mix. It’s ready when the meat is tender and almost falling apart.
  • STEP 5For the rice, use a heavy-based saucepan with a lid. Heat the oil in the pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start popping, add the turmeric, curry leaves (if using) and rice, and mix well. Add the chicken stock and 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest simmer and cook, covered, for 5 mins. Remove from the heat, with the lid on and leave to steam for 25 mins.

Peel off the first layer and use the bottom, less fibrous part only, discarding the top 5cm. Any leftovers freeze well.

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