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Rendang aTaste of Indonesia

Updated on January 21, 2015

How to Cook a Rendang

Do you rendang? It makes a startling change from the old Irish stew that hangs around in my childhood memories.

I don't know if the alleged Irish stew was ever eaten in Ireland, they probably get stuck into rendang themselves in the Emerald Isle.

Rendang is a mild meat curry - but it's really nothing like curry at all. It's basically a beef stew spiced up with galangal root, lemongrass, kerisik, lime leaves, and coriander seeds.

Don't know how much 500g is? It's roughly 1lb. Here's a handy Conversion table for anything else.

The authentic rendang recipe calls for kerisik but, here in Australia, I use a tin of coconut milk. (Coconuts don't grow on trees in the south of the continent).

It may not be 100% authentic but the taste is absolutely superb and, with the lemongrass and lime to lift the flavour, it's always a big hit with family and guests.

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 6


  • 500 g stewing beef chopped
  • garlic clove
  • stalk of lemongrass chopped
  • 4 medium onions chopped
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • half a cup of red curry paste or to your own taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • fresh red chili pepper finely chopped optional


  1. Place the beef in a medium saucepan, and add enough water to cover it. This is stewing beef and needs to be cooked a fair bit before you throw it in the wok. Cover, and simmer over low heat for at least an hour.Take it out, and set it aside. Better still, do this the night before.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  3. Add in the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds before stirring in the lemon grass and onions.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in the coconut milk, red curry paste, turmeric, and chili pepper.
  5. Now you get to the beef. Put it in the wok, mix it into the sauce and cover the wok.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat. Turn off the heat.
  7. Chop up your fresh coriander and stir it in briefly just before serving. (Save some for garnishing).
Cast your vote for Rendang Recipe

Simmer the beef for at least an hour


Make your own paste or buy a jar?

This quick and easy recipe uses red curry paste straight from the jar. If you're an adventurous cook you can make the paste in your blender with candlenuts, shrimp paste (terasi, belacan, blachang, mam tep) shallots, galangal, fresh turmeric, sweet chillies, lemongrass and toasted coriander seeds.

I don't have all of those ingredients sitting around in my cupboard, so I just use a jar of red curry paste. It's easy enough to buy

Ingredient : Kerisik

The authentic Rendang recipe calls for kerisik, which is toasted fresh grated coconut.

Can't get kerisik? I have trouble too. Use coconut milk instead.

Ingredient : Coriander

I believe that Coriander is called Cilantro in some places. At any rate, you can recognise it from this photo

Ingredient : Galangal

What's galangal? It's a rhizome - one of the group of knobby underground stems that are pungent and full of flavour. It's hot, and ginger-peppery.

Greater galangal is also called Laos Ginger, or Thai Ginger and sometimes even Siamese ginger.

This creamy white-fleshed rhizome can be found in Asian markets.

Rendang Ayam cooking demonstration

From Asia Downunder - a Chicken Rendang

Runtime: 4:15

Rendang in the Slow Cooker

First, take 1 and 1/2 kilos, about 3 lbs, beef suitable for stewingt, cut into chunky pieces. Put the beef in your slow cooker.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 9 hours 50 min
Ready in: 10 hours
Yields: 6


  • Place 1.5k chopped beef in slowcooker
  • In a blender or food processor combine-
  • 4 -6 red chilies
  • stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • one onion chopped
  • fresh ginger peeled and chopped small amount to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass- tough outer layers removed and the tender insides finely sliced
  • 1/3 cup tamarind paste combined with 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. Puree the ingredients in the blender until smooth, then pour over the beef.
  2. Stir in a medium size can of coconut milk and cook, covered, on the low setting for 6 - 8 hours.
  3. Open the slow cooker. Ladle most of the sauce into a small saucepan and cook on the stove top over medium high heat to reduce until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
  4. Pour the sauce back in the cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes to 1 hour longer.. Check if it's too thin (runny)
  5. Stir in 2 teaspoons sugar and season with salt to taste.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5

Total Time: 15

Serves: 4 - 6

Recipe : Serve with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

  • 4 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers peeled and diced
  • One chopped onion
  • Squeeze of lemon juice


  1. Place in a salad bowl.
  2. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  3. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  4. Chill.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5

Total Time: 25 - 30

Serves: 4 - 6

Recipe : Serve with Perfect Steamed Rice

  • 3 cups of Thai jasmine rice
  • About about 3 and a half cups of water


  1. Wash the rice.
  2. Put the rice in a heavy pot, add water. How much water? Put your hand in the pot - spread your fingers out on the base - the water should cover your knuckles.
  3. Bring to a boil, and let it boil uncovered, without stirring, until steam holes appear in the rice and the grains on the surface look dry. Watch carefully, it doesn't take very long!
  4. Reduce heat to very, very low, then cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5

Total Time: 5

Serves: 4 - 6

Recipe : Serve with Chunky Yoghurt Sauce

  • 3 cups plain or Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 1 green chili cut in chunks and deseeded
  • one chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a bowl, add the salt, pepper, to the yoghurt and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Add onion, green chili and mint leaves. Mix well.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with (oprional) roasted cumin powder.
  4. Refrigerate until required.

Indonesian Cookery

The Complete Indonesian Cookbook
The Complete Indonesian Cookbook

Treat yourself to an authentic Indonesian feast at home!


How about you?

Do you rendang?

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    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Ooo not had this before but looks so good

    • profile image

      blanckj 6 years ago

      Looks like something I want to try. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for the slow cooker version of rendang, I've been searching for ages for a good one.

    • profile image

      SHorsburgh 7 years ago

      I just absolutely adore beef rendang, it is my favourite curry. There used to be a place in Lonsdale St up near Queen where I used to run down at lunch time and grab one, and it was the best rendang I've ever had. Great lens. I must do one soon. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      yummy, this is delicious food, we should try rendang :D

      indonesia siap bersaing di serp

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 7 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Great recipe lens. I only wish you had a printable recipe card for me. Thanks for the side salad suggestion. Sounds perfect to complement the spicy rendang.

    • sugeng lm profile image

      sugeng lm 8 years ago

      Rendang is always my favourite. I love the taste and the color. My favorite is lamb rendang as I don't take beef. But due to my health, I have to reduce the intake of rendang. However, eating it once in a while is also good.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I really love Rendang. I however never use a curry paste for it, since it is in fact not a real curry. Instead, use ketjap manis, sambal manis, cumin, ginger along with the laos, lemon grass, garlic and coriander seed tot marinate the meat. It will need some time to soak in. Fry very shortly, drown in coconut milk and find something alse to do for an hour or two. Get back, take the lid of the pan and watch it dry up and get dark (and fill the entire house with its scent!)

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 9 years ago

      Sounds wonderful

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Looks great... I'd like to try the yoghurt sauce. Welcome to Culinary Favorites From A to Z.

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 9 years ago

      Welcome to 'The Cooks Cafe' group!

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 9 years ago

      Now I am hungry :) Great lens and a recipe that I will definately try out! Lensrolled and featured on my lens 'I Love My Wok'.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 9 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      This looks and sounds really nice.