Beef Rendang with Modified Lemang

Another long weekend has come to an end for the Malaysians and I trust that you have enjoyed the Raya celebrations, or for the non-Muslims, enjoyed holidays. I don’t have any close Malay friends in KL, so my Raya celebration involved a lot of cooking and spending time with half my family, namely my mother and my brother.

I thought I’d use the opportunity to finally conquer the ultimate Malaysian/Indonesian dish: Beef Rendang. This has been on my to-do list for a long long time. For Raya’s sake, I finally purchased all the ingredients and set myself for a long day of cooking (night, rather). Despite the long and almost intimidating list of ingredients, it actually is not all that difficult to make, as long as you have the time. I started mine in the middle of the night. But then again, I’m just weird. Heh.

The recipe I’ve used come from Rasa Malaysia. Her instructions are simple to follow and the result is great! I’ve never tasted Beef Rendang so good, seriously. I pretty much followed it to the T though I tweak the amount somewhat as I’ve used less beef. Thanks so much, Bee!

Our family dinner spread

Beef Rendang (Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

Serves 4-6

1 pound boneless beef short ribs or chuck steak (I used both), cut into large cubes
4 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)
110ml thick coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon tamarind pulp (soaked in some warm water for the juice and discard the seeds )
3 kaffir lime leaves (very finely sliced)
3 tablespoons kerisik (toasted coconut)
1 tablespoon sugar/palm sugar or to taste
Salt to taste

Spice Paste:

3 shallots
1 inch galangal
2 lemongrass (white part only)
3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
8 dried chilies (soaked in warm water)


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 3 hours, stirring occasionally or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up.

Nearly 4 hours of minimal labour but totally worth it.

Add salt to taste. If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste.

I’ve actually left this overnight for the flavours to develope. And the next day I’ve made some Steamed Coconut Glutinous Rice. It’s not exactly “Lemang” as I didn’t cook it in bamboo. It’s simple enough though. Soak 3 cups of Glutinous Rice overnight. Mix in 100ml Coconut milk and Salt to taste. And steamed on high heat for about 20-30 minutes until rice is soft.

I then thought of using a heart-shaped measuring cup to shape them. Aren’t they just so adorable?

Sometimes inspiration just strikes

To serve, I’ve also fried up some Curried Cabbage on the side. I can’t enjoy a meal without some extra fibre. I’ve roasted some turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds and cardamon pods and then fry the cabbage and dry chilli in that mixture. Easy Peasy!

Is this not the Prettiest plate of ‘Curry and Rice’?

Needless to say, all of us attacked our plates with gusto. The coconut rice was fragrant but not cloying, perfect match for the rich and strong meaty stew. The level of spiciness was just ok, I think I’d more even more adventurous next time and add chili padi to the mix. The crunchy cabbage does help to cut through the overall richness. Quite an unforgettable meal.

Good news is that Beef Rendang keeps well in the fridge (or even in the freezer if you need to keep for longer), so no need to worry about having this for the next X number of meals. Though I won’t complain about that either.

So did you go to any open houses over the weekend? Or cooked up a storm?

(Submitted to Bizzy Bakes: Recipe Box #11)

23 thoughts on “Beef Rendang with Modified Lemang

  1. Yummy looks good! I tried making the paste yesterday but mine didn’t become a paste :( so I dunno what to do and didn’t dare to continue! So ended up making kecap manis beef instead haha oops! Was your paste very fine? Help!

    1. I had to keep scraping down the sides to make sure the paste is well blended. Though there are still bits of lemongrass fibre floating about. Your soy sauce beef looks fanstastic too!

      1. Hehe guess I had to be a bit more patient. I kept the paste do will try it again when I’m not rushing hehe

        Thank you! Was yummy! :) different from the usual beef dishes I cook! So was very happy it turned out well hehe x

      1. Are you sure?? But i’m worried that I wont get the ingredients rightttt and I do have a PINK blender ahaha just had to stress that it was PINK :P I might get Ricky to try not me hahaha

      2. Just make sure you don’t miss any ingredients hehe. It’s just blender and scraping down from time to time. And your kitchen aid is PINK too! Lucky you.

      3. Alrighty then I should be able to handle it hehe :) I love PINK i also have a pink ice-cream machine hahaha can’t wait to try this and i wanna make the heart shaped rice too hehe

  2. The images bring a lot of drooling. I remember the aroma around the apartment when you were constructing this. It was making me dizzy and had my stomach curious. Good work Chief.

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