Beef Rendang

June 4, 2022


My first encounter with beef rendang is etched in my memory. A Malaysian eatery in a New Jersey strip mall served me one of the best dishes I’d ever had.

I expected it to be a challenging dish to prepare, given the variety of tastes it contained. However, aside from a few specialized ingredients, which can be obtained at most Asian supermarkets, the preparation is really straightforward.

To make a spice paste, a food processor or blender is utilized. Afterward, the meat is added, along with coconut milk and a few other ingredients.

Afterwards, all that’s left to do is simmer! It was well worth the wait. On a plate, deliciousness personified. Unusual for a weeknight meal, but definitely worth trying!

The best aspect about this Malaysian beef rendang recipe is that it can be made in advance, as the flavors only improve better after a few days in the fridge.

I know that’s why this beef rendang dish makes enough for eight people or more. Trust me when I say you’ll want extras. Beef rendang can be served with white rice and/or roti if desired.

Alternatively, our coconut curry chicken is always a nice option for those who prefer something simpler.


  • 12 shallots
  • 8 whole cloves, smashed into a powder
  • 8 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 6 stemmed red chilies
  • 4 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 3″ piece of peeled and roughly chopped ginger
  • 1 3″ piece of peeled and roughly chopped galangal
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 stalk of trimmed and crushed lemongrass
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • salt


  1. You may use a blender or food processor to purée the powdered cloves, turmeric, shallot/onion, garlic, ginger, galangal, and chilies into a smooth paste.
  2. Cook the meat for 3 minutes with constant stirring in the pot. The lemongrass, cinnamon, and star anise are combined with salt and pepper, to taste. Add water and bring to a simmer. To avoid burning, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  3. Make a paste by combining the lime juice with the lime leaves and brown sugar. The meat should be cooked and the sauce rich and black, at least another two hours of simmering. Salt and sugar can be used to modify the seasoning to your liking. It’s time to eat!
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