Malaysian beef rendang recipe

Malaysian beef rendang is similar to the chicken rendang recipe we learnt in Langkawi, but beef has a richer flavour and takes longer to cook.

Rendang literally means a dried curry in Malay and as the name suggests, it involves simmering the beef for hours (the longer the tastier) in coconut milk, until all the liquid has evaporated.

In Penang we took a course with the excellent Pearly Kee who taught us this recipe for Malaysian beef rendang (good for 4 people).

Recipe for Malaysian beef rendang with Pearly
Learning to make Malaysian beef rendang with Pearly Kee in Penang

Ingredients for Malaysian Beef Rendang curry paste

  • 15 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks finely sliced
  • 3 candle nuts sliced in half
  • 5 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 2 teaspoons of dried powdered turmeric)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh galangal (or use fresh ginger as an alternative)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 dried chillies, deseeded and sliced (use less to make less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried cumin

Other ingredients for Malaysian Beef Rendang

  • 600g of beef, cut into thin slices
  • 100ml of coconut milk
  • 30g of desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • half teaspoon of salt
  • half teaspoon of pepper
  • 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 500ml of water
Sebastien making Malaysian beef rendang
Sebastien making Malaysian beef rendang in Penang

How to make Malaysian beef rendang

1. Make the curry paste by placing all the ingredients (except the coriander, fennel and cumin powder) into a food processor and pulverise until it becomes a fine paste.

2. Mix in the coriander, fennel and cumin powders.

3. Heat up a pan and toast the 30g of desiccated coconut, on a medium heat, constantly stirring, around 5 minutes – until golden. Then remove the desiccated coconut from the pan into a separate plate to use later on.

Sebastien toasting desiccated coconut
Sebastien toasting the desiccated coconut

4. Heat 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan and cook the curry paste on a medium heat, for 2 minutes – until fragrant.

5. Mix in 500ml of water and bring the mixture to a boil.

6. Add the beef and cook for 1 minute on high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better.

7. Mix in 100ml of coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of sugar, half teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of pepper and cook for 1 minute, high heat, uncovered.

8. Mix in the toasted grated coconut to thicken, remove from heat and serve.

Malaysian beef rendang
Malaysian beef rendang complete

For more about our adventures through Malaysia, please check out our Malaysia travel video:


Try our beef rendang #travel #recipe from #Penang #Malaysia

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspireย you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

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