Malaysian Rendang is a spicy meat curry that can be made with either beef or lamb. It is immensely popular in Malaysia, and is often served along with another national favorite dish, Nasi Lemak.
Malaysian Rendang Recipe-
- 2 lb. beef chuck roast or 2 lb. lamb shoulder meat, cut into large bite-sized chunks
- 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1″ length of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped fine
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
- 4 large shallots (about 8 oz.), peeled and rough chopped
- 3 tbsp. red chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass (white parts only), trimmed and crushed
- 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 1″ length of fresh galangal, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. palm sugar
- 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- Place the coriander, turmeric, salt, shallots, garlic, chili flakes and ginger into a food processor and process until a perfectly smooth paste, devoid of any lumps.
- Heat the oil in a heavy duty cooking pot over medium high flame until shimmering. Sauté the meat chunks (you may have to work in batches, depending on the size of your pot), until well browned on all sides. Transfer the meat chunks to a bowl as they are finished browning. Set aside for now.
- Now add into the pot the kaffir lime leaves, galangal and lemongrass, and fry until softened and fragrant. Transfer this to the same bowl with the browned meat; leave the oil in the pot.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, and then add and stir in the spice paste. Stirring continuously, fry until very fragrant – about 12 to 15 minutes – and most of the moisture has evaporated. If your paste starts to burn, reduce the heat even more and add in a little water.
- Now add and stir in the palm sugar and coconut milk; return the meat and herbs to the pot, stir well to combine thoroughly. Adjust the heat to just a lively simmer, then place the lid on the pot, slightly ajar. You want some of the steam to be able to escape. Simmer-cook your Malaysian Rendang for a good 3 hours, even 4 is not too long – the meat should be fall-apart-tender when probed with a fork. Stir the mixture every now and then during the cooking.
- When the meat is very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, remove the lid and increase the heat to where any remaining moisture is boiling and evaporating out. You’ll need to stir the rendang continuously to keep it from burning, but this step is important. By now there will be quite a bit of oil (from the meat juices) in the pot. This is good, because you are now essentially concentrating the flavors as you fry the sauce.
- Malaysian Rendang is well done when the meat is a rich, deep dark brown, and there is almost no sauce remaining. If you have the time, allow it to sit overnight to allow the flavors to distribute evenly throughout the meat. By the time you are ready to serve the meal, the meat will have turned chocolate colored and the flavors will have deepened and become intensely rich.
- Serve your Malaysian Rendang with steamed rice or, as is traditional and popular in Malaysia, as a side accompaniment to Nasi Lemak.
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