Authentic Malaysian Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang is a MUST TRY for curry lovers! This boldly spiced Malaysian Beef Stew is seriously tasty and has an incredible depth of flavour! The perfect meal for a fun weekend dinner party with friends.

Authentic Malaysian Beef Rendang Recipe

One thing I love about living in Canada, is the availability of exotic Asian ingredients. Back in Germany, cooking an Asian dish meant spending hours running about town in search of kaffir lime or shrimp paste. Here, I find everything I need in one single store and cooking Asian dishes all of a sudden became so much easier and more fun. Less time spent shopping means more time for cooking! 

Today’s recipe for Malayisan Beef Rendang is one of those Asian dishes which take a bit of time but every single step is super fun and the result is so worth the effort! 

 Beef Rendang has an incredible depth of flavour and the taste is bold, multi-layered and complex due to all the spices we are gonna use. You will love it! And have I mentioned that this tasty Malaysian beef curry was chosen  the number one dish of CNN International’s “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods ” ? 

Today’s recipe for Beef Rendang is a so called dry curry,  which means that there’s not a lot of sauce left in your pot when the meat is done. However, the meat turns out so tender and has a thick coating of grated coconut and thickened sauce on each piece. It falls apart as soon as you touch it with a fork and can be mixed with rice so easily! 

Authentic Beef Rendang Recipe from Malaysia

This is one of the recipes that requires a bit of prep work. First off, we make a quick spice paste from garlic, ginger and chilies! To thicken the Curry, we draw on a Malayisan Cooking Secret: kerisik, which is basically just toasted, desiccated coconut! That’s right! We toast some desiccated coconut in a pan until fragrant and golden brown! I like to blitz the coconut once it has cooled down a bit to get a finer texture. You can also use a mortar and pestle! And there you go, you have made kerisik!  Not only does it thicken our Beef Rendang, it also adds a wonderfully round and slightly sweet coconut flavour which is further enhanced by the addition of coconut milk.

Würziges Rindfleisch Rendang nach einem Rezept aus Malaysia

Seriously, this authentic Beef Rendang might be one of my new favourite dishes and I am SO glad I tried it even though it looks, well, rather unspectacular at first sight. The flavour, you guys, makes up for the visual shortcomings!

As with so many slow cooked meat stews, Beef Rendang gets better with time so you might want to double the recipe and save those leftovers for later.

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang is a MUST TRY for curry lovers! This boldly spiced Malaysian Beef Stew is seriously tasty and has an incredible depth of flavour! The perfect meal for a fun weekend dinner party with friends.

Course main
Cuisine Asia, Malaysia
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Let simmer 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 670 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


  • For the spice paste
  • 6 small dried chillies
  • 2 fresh red chillies f.ex Thai chilies
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 Shallots
  • For the Rendang
  • 2 lemongrass sticks
  • 80 g desiccated coconut
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick 4 to 5 cm long
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 450 g beef stewing meat
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Rice to serve


  1. 1. Soak the dried chilies in warm water for 10 minutes, then deseed and chop roughly. Halve, deseed and chop the fresh chilies. Peel garlic, ginger and shallots and roughly chop them. Put all the ingredients for the paste into the food processor, add a splash of water and blitz into a spice paste.
  2. 2. Remove the outer leaves of the lemongrass stick. Chop the tender part of the lemongrass stalk into thin slices. Cut the woodier, upper part of the lemongrass into 3 cm long chunks. Put those 3cm pieces on your cutting board and smash them with a heavy pan for a couple of times. This helps to release the flavour. Set aside.
  3. 3. Toast the coconut in a pan without the addition of any oil until golden brown and set aside to cool. You can blitz it in the food processor to make it a bit finer, if you want.
  4. 4. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat and add finely chopped lemongrass, the spice paste, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and let fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once in a while. Add 3 tbsp coconut milk and fry for 1 more minute.
  5. 5. Toss meat and the hard lemongrass chunks into the pan and fry for another 10 minutes, stirring to avoid any sticking.
  6. 6. Add the rest of the coconut milk, tamarind paste and 200 ml of water, put the lid on and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 30 minutes, then add lime leaves, 1 tbsp sugar, 0,5 tsp of salt and toasted coconut. Let simmer for 1,5 h until the sauce is thick and the meat is super tender. Season with salt and sugar to taste and serve with rice.
  7. Selamat Makan

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