Singaporean style Beef Rendang is a variation on a dry curry dish that originated among the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra. From there it spread throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and into Singapore.
Rich and intensely flavorful, this Singaporean beef rendang is popular all over Singapore. It is also a favorite dish on the menu for Muslims in the country, who traditionally eat it during “Eid al-Fitr“, when they break their annual thirty day Ramadan fast and celebrate with a feast.
Singaporean Beef Rendang Recipe-
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless beef short ribs, chopped into small cubes
- 5 tbsp. pure peanut oil
- 1 cinnamon stick, about 2″ long
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, cut into 4″ lengths and pounded
- 1 cup fresh water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp. tamarind pulp, soaked in warm water, and then seeds removed and discarded
- 6 fresh kaffir lime leaves, sliced fine
- 6 tbsp. toasted coconut
- 1 tbsp. palm sugar, or to taste
- salt, to taste
- freshly steamed rice, to serve as accompaniment
For the Spice Paste-
- 5 shallots
- 1″ long piece fresh galangal
- 3 lemongrass stalks, using the white parts only
- 6 large cloves garlic
- 1″ long piece of fresh ginger root
- 12 dried Thai red chili peppers, rehydrated in warm water (Note: for extra hot and spicy paste, leave seeds in. For less hot and spicy, remove and discard the seeds)
- Rough chop all the ingredients for the spice paste, and then blend them in a food processor or electric blender until smooth.
- Heat the oil in a cooking pot over medium high heat, add the cinnamon, cloves, star anise, spice paste, and cardamom, and stir-fry them until nice and aromatic.
- Add in the beef cubes and the pounded lemongrass and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Now add in the tamarind juice, water and coconut milk, and simmer on medium heat, stirring often. Keep cooking until the meat is nearly, but not quite, cooked all the way through.
- Next, add and stir in the toasted coconut, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves, and cook, stirring well, to blend thoroughly with the meat.
- Turn the heat down to low; place the cover on the pot, and gently cook at a simmer for about 1-1/2 hours, or until the meat is falling apart tender and the gravy has mostly condensed away.
- Season with salt to taste. Check to see how sweet the mixture is – if desired, add in some more palm sugar.
- Serve your Singaporean Beef Rendang right away, while nice and hot, with an accompaniment of freshly steamed rice. Leftovers will keep in the fridge and taste great reheated the next day.
Note: For more great recipes from Singapore, click here.
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