Friday, October 31, 2008

Rendang Minangkabau

More beef recipes and this type of rendang has been a craving since the 50's. As you all already know that i grew up in Seremban and the State is Negeri Sembilan. This state's is populated with Minangkabau - read about them in Wikipedia. This rendang is one of their cuisine which is so delicious, words cannot describe how good it is until you have tried it. In the good old days, there was a coffee shop besides the Plaza Theater and in this coffee shop was a Malay Food Stall which has the best Rendang. My classmate's family, ran this coffeeshop and i think it was called 'Kui Heng"(spelling?) Help!! any oldies from Seremban. This rendang has no spices but lots of aromatic herbs/leaves like tumeric leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, shallots and garlic, tumeric , chilly api and lots of coconut to make 'kerisek' and milk for cooking the beef in. When i was in Malaysia last, I made a batch of premixed with all the aromatics that was required and that was how i was able to make the rendang that i craved for. So sad, only one batch, have been looking for tumeric leaves with no success.

Have a look at this other rendang Kampong Johnson's Rendang



2 lbs beef
2 cans coconut cream - 400 ml can
1 piece Asam keping
2 - 3 pieces tumeric leaves - tear up


Ingredients to be ground:

1/2 cup bird's eye chilies/chilly api
1 inch knob galangal, peeled
1 inch knob ginger, peeled
1 inch knob turmeric, peeled
2 stalks lemon grass (used only the bottom
white tender part)
1 lb shallots, peeled
1 whole bulb garlic, peeled


4 - 5 pieces kaffir lime leaves
1/2 cup Kerisek
2 teaspoons salt or to taste


To prepare the kerisik.

The best is of course, to get freshly grated coconut.

Spread this on plate in a thin layer and microwave it on high for 3 mins, stir and microwave again for 1 min. Repeat until the coconut is totally dry and starts to brown a little.


Use dessicated coconut in a can.

Transfer dessicated coconut into a heated wok (no oil, no water) and over a SLOW fire, fry until it is fragrant and browned. Keep stirring ALL the time. If you undercook, it won't release it's oil when pounded. If it's overcooked, it will taste burnt. This is a slow process and you will just have to be patient. I would say the color of the kerisik when it's ready is close to the color of the skin of toasted almonds (the regular almonds, not the small dark almonds).

While browned coconut is still hot, pound it until it is very fine and oil is released. A food processor won't do the job. You can either pound it in a (granite) mortar & pestle or use a spice mill. The paste will look smooth but not smooth to the touch and should feel only slightly gritty. Set it aside. You will know you have made perfect kerisik when after sitting for a while, the oil rises to the surface and the coconut paste 'sets' at the bottom. When you insert a spoon to scoop it out, it seems that the coconut paste has hardened but it's not. If you drop it by the spoonful, it will for about 2 seconds hold it's shape and then spread. This kerisik, if you care to taste it at this point, doesn't taste good - bland and just very slightly bitterish. It is however, very fragrant.

Kerisik keeps well refrigerated in an air-tight container - I'd say about a month or so. You will need to let it come to room temperature before using it, or it will break your spoon trying to scoop it out! I have also freezed kerisik successfully.

To cook the Rendang

Cut beef into 1/2 inch thick slices with the grain. Set aside.

Into pressure cooker, put ingredients A and B. Add enough water so that it is above the meat. Close the lid and pressurized for 15 - 20 minutes.

Remove lid when pressure is released totally.

Check meat to see if it is tender enough.

Return pot to the fire , add kerisik, kaffir lime leaves and continue simmering, stirring all the time, until meat is tender and gravy thick.

Stir in salt to taste.



Anonymous said...


This recipe sounds great. It's a pity I can't pass you tumeric leaves ... there are still lots of leaves in my little patch but they will be drying out and disappearing soon.

Just to check ... will cutting the beef with the grain end up with tougher meat?


lilyng said...


harvest the leaves and freeze them, they are just as good frozen.

if the beef is cut across the grain, the meat will crumbled after too much stirring. Stirring is necessary when you want to dry out the sauce to prevent burning the bottom.

hey, you finally succeeded leaving your comment.

will post the dry chicken curry asap

Big Boys Oven said...

wow this is gorgeous.... just love rendang . . . my favourite dish!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aunty Lily!

I frequently check your blog and have tried a few recipes and it has been good!:)

I was just wondering if i cant find tumeric leaves, could i omit it and how long should i cook the meat if i do not have a pressure cooker?

Thank you! :)


lilyng said...


you can omit the tumeric leaves.

the cooking time depends on the type of beef you used.

one suggestion is to cook the beef in water until tender, then only add in the ground ingredients and coconut cream.

sweet nothing said...

Lily, iam cooking this rendang right now. iam from indonesia and yet dont know its minangkabau. i always called it rendang hitam. anyway,couldnt wait to see the result, this is family fav that no one was able to cook. i could be the hero, thanks to you ;p

ps: hope you are already feeling better.

Regards sunchen

Anonymous said...

Hi auntiy lily, what is kerisek and whre can I buy them? thanks, Jen

lilyng said...


i am afraid you would have to prepare your own kerisek unless you are in malaysia.

the way to prepare is in the beginning of the recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
2 cans of coconut cream - how much is that in ml or cups?

lilyng said...


i am sorry i did not mention the can size. it is 400 ml can, i like to use Savoy brand which has a higher content of saturated fat

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
I tried this recipe and the family loved it!
I don't have asam keping and substituted it with tamarind.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
I would like to try this recipe and it'll be my first attempt at cooking rendang. Could you tell me please which cut of beef is best used for rendang? Thanks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...