Malaysian Beef Rendang Recipe -
Malaysian Beef Rendang Recipe
  • READY IN 2 hr

Malaysian Beef Rendang

Recipe by  

"This dish has a unique flavor, and by varying the amounts of sugar and chilies a whole range of effects can be produced. Serve over rice."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 30 mins

    2 hrs


  1. Heat the coconut in a dry wok, stirring continuously until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the shallots, garlic, chilies, ginger, and lemon grass to a thick paste.
  3. Grind the coriander, fennel, cumin and nutmeg.
  4. Using the wok, fry the shallot paste in a little oil for a few minutes. Add the ground coriander, fennel, cumin and nutmeg; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Add beef; cook over a medium heat for a further 3 to 4 minutes, or until meat is browned.
  5. Stir in sugar, coconut, cloves, cinnamon stick, coconut milk , and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until most of the liquid has gone and the meat is tender (about 1 hour). Season with salt to taste.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 08, 2011

I am originally from Brunei, which is close to Malaysia. The recipe is missing tumeric powder; it is a special occasion dish, which tastes better by the 2nd or 3rd day. Also, blanched almonds with the shredded coconuts helps with buildling the sauce. A tip on making Beef Rendang is to use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices, if you could find one. It takes longer to use mortar & pestle, but you can taste the difference when you use a food processor. Also, palm sugar is preferred to white sugar. Otherwise, the recipe is quite authentic. :)

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 10, 2007

This dish needs constant stirring or it'll get burnt at the bottom of the pot. I find it a bit too dry so had to add a little more water to it. Overall, it tastes good.

Nov 10, 2004

This a great Rendang recipe. Very very easy to use. Don't skimp on the lemon grass as that is where the zing comes from. I omitted the nutmeg as I did not have any. Another trick is to make it in a pot and close the lid to let the meat tenderise for about 30 mins and then start evaporating the liquid. Perfection!

Dec 01, 2003

The flavor and especially the smell of this dish is very attractive. I found that my stew beef didn't get tender enough in the wok, so I used a pressure cooker to finish it off. Next time I'll skip the wok entirely.

Jul 26, 2005

After one hour trawling the Internet for a good Asian beef recipe I found this – an attractive recipe with all ingredients all obtainable in a local supermarket – no obscure spice or vegetable taking hours to find. My partner is Malaysian and food critical. Attempting Rendang was a risky being universally known as difficult to achieve authentic results. I used real cocoanuts, smashing them and then grating the white flesh, remembering once being told that the secret of Rendang lies in the cocoanut. There is definitely a balance to be reached on cooking times. I had all the right weights and timings. Things seemed fine 15 minutes into the “simmer” then 15 minutes later the liquid had dramatically vanished – even just starting to stick and burn. Yes, it was a low heat. Further, the meat didn’t seem that tender. Panic I decided to put scrape the whole thing into a pan with a closed lid and added more water and give it another 20 minutes. The final result, very good, everyone liked it. The taste was really close to the “real thing” – but I was advised that the meat should actually be quite hard and have the coconut sticking to it. That’s the art and challenge I believe. Once that I am sure this recipe is capable of delivering with practice and care on liquids Vs Cooking times. I am going to stick with the Wok as I am sure they wouldn’t put a Rendang in a pressure cooker, useful though they are.

Oct 15, 2006

Paired this recipe with Spiced Basmati Rice by McCormick - a truly fabulous taste combination. My only recommendation is that you use a tender cut of beef or increase the water amount and cook for up to 3 hours to prevent the meat from being chewy.

Jun 07, 2006

I give it 5 stars, because although I didn't do a great job with it, I know it has potential. This was my favorite dish at a certain restaurant, and this recipe is a pretty faithful reproduction of it. I recommend less coconut (I used 1.5 cups, and that's pretty generous), and make sure you don't overcook the will be crunchy in the final product if you do. Also make sure you take it off the burner when it still has plenty of liquid...the sauce pairs excellently with the white rice.

Jul 03, 2003

Great flavor with a BITE!


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  • Calories
  • 654 kcal
  • 33%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 24.9 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 63 mg
  • 21%
  • Fat
  • 54.5 g
  • 84%
  • Fiber
  • 7.6 g
  • 30%
  • Protein
  • 22.3 g
  • 45%
  • Sodium
  • 83 mg
  • 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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