Beef Rendang Recipe: The King of All Curries

Beef rendang recipe is not just a dish; it’s a culinary masterpiece celebrated across Malaysia and beyond. Renowned for its deep flavors achieved through slow ...

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Calvin Lamb

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beef rendang recipe

Beef rendang recipe is not just a dish; it’s a culinary masterpiece celebrated across Malaysia and beyond. Renowned for its deep flavors achieved through slow cooking, this curry stands out with its unique combination of spices and coconut milk. Often considered the king of curries, beef rendang makes a special appearance during festive gatherings and family meals. Its rich texture and aromatic appeal make it a favorite for anyone looking to impress their guests.

Choosing the Right Beef

What makes beef rendang truly special? The choice of beef. Opting for the right cut is crucial for achieving the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that rendang is famous for. But how do you pick the perfect beef cut for this recipe? Let’s explore.

Seasoning Your Rendang

The seasoning process in beef rendang is no small feat. It involves a meticulous blend of local spices that provide the dish its signature taste. Which spices are essential, and how should they be prepared to maximize flavor? We delve into these aromatic secrets next.

Recommended Cooking Equipment and Effective Usage

To bring out the authentic taste of beef rendang, using the right equipment is as important as the ingredients. One of the most effective tools for making beef rendang is a slow cooker. Here’s how to use it to its fullest potential:

Slow Cooker Mastery for Beef Rendang A slow cooker is ideal for beef rendang due to its ability to maintain a consistent low temperature over many hours. This slow cooking process allows the beef to gently braise in the spice-laden coconut milk, becoming incredibly tender while absorbing all the complex flavors.

Steps for Effective Use:

  1. Preparation: Start by sautéing the spice paste in a separate pan until it’s fragrant. This initial step is crucial as it unlocks the flavors of garlic, ginger, galangal, and lemongrass, which are foundational to the dish.
  2. Layering Ingredients: Add the sautéed spice paste to the slow cooker along with the beef chunks. Ensure that the beef is well-coated with the paste.
  3. Adding Liquids: Pour in the coconut milk and enough water to just cover the beef. The liquids should not be excessive, as the slow cooker will not allow much evaporation.
  4. Setting Time and Temperature: Set your slow cooker on low and let the beef rendang cook for 7-8 hours. The long cooking time helps soften the beef and intensify the sauce.
  5. Finishing Touches: Towards the end of cooking, if the sauce is too watery, remove the lid and set the cooker on high. Let it simmer to thicken the sauce to your liking.

Using a slow cooker for beef rendang not only simplifies the cooking process but also enhances the flavors, making every bite worth the wait. Let’s pause here and check if you’d like to proceed with the comprehensive recipe details, including the list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions.

Comprehensive Beef Rendang Recipe

Yield: 6

Beef Rendang Recipe

beef rendang recipe

Beef rendang recipe embodies a culinary adventure that transcends borders. Every bite offers a symphony of deep, aromatic flavors that captivate the senses. Preparing this dish feels like a celebration of tradition and craftsmanship, making it not just a meal, but an experience to savor and cherish.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours


  • 1 kg beef chuck steak, cut into chunks
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

For the Spice Paste:

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 inches galangal, peeled and minced
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 dried chilies, soaked and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder


  1. Prepare the Spice Paste: In a blender, combine lemongrass, garlic, ginger, galangal, shallots, dried chilies, and turmeric powder. Blend until smooth. You can add a little water or coconut milk to facilitate blending.
  2. Browning the Beef: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the spice paste and sauté until fragrant. Add beef chunks and brown all sides. This enhances the flavor through caramelization.
  3. Slow Cooking: Transfer the browned beef and spice mixture into the slow cooker. Add coconut milk, tamarind paste, kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and star anise. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Thicken the Sauce: If the sauce is too thin after cooking, remove the lid and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Seasoning: Taste and add salt as needed. The flavors should be a harmonious blend of spicy, sweet, and tangy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 560Total Fat: 40gCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 35g

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Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes

Beef rendang is traditionally served with coconut rice, which complements the rich flavors of the curry. A side of simple cucumber salad can add a refreshing crunch. For a more indulgent meal, serve with roti canai (flatbread) to sop up the delicious sauce.

Cooking Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid Rushing the Cooking Process: The slow, prolonged cooking is essential for the flavors to fully develop and the beef to become tender.
  • Monitor Fluid Levels: Ensure there is enough liquid during the slow cooking process, as it can dry out if too low.
  • Spice Balance: Be careful with the spice blend. Over or under-spicing can significantly alter the dish’s authentic taste.


Mastering the beef rendang recipe might take a bit of practice, but the result is undoubtedly rewarding. This dish not only offers a gastronomic experience but also a taste of Malaysian heritage. Whether for a special occasion or a weekend meal, beef rendang promises to be the showstopper at your dining table.

With this detailed guide, you’re now equipped to make this exquisite dish at home. Embrace the process and enjoy the delightful complexity of flavors that beef rendang has to offer!

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