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Beef Rendang


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Hey Y'all. I just had beef rendang for the first time over the weekend and loved it. I would love to replicate it at home, but the recipes i'm finding on the web aren't very US-Friendly.

Does anybody have a recipe they would be willing to share?

thanks!

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Hi! There are MANY types of beef/chicken rendang (even in Malay cooking) although the ingredients are similar.

The most important ingredient would be the kerisik - grated coconut is fried (without oil) over low fire until it is deep golden color and then pounded until it becomes very fine and oily. You cannot use a food processor to achieve this, but if you have a dry spice mill, this is okay.

Making kerisik sounds easy, but making good kerisik needs patience & experience. It is only a few seconds between burning the coconut and getting it to the right stage. You can also microwave it but I do find the traditional method easier to achieve the perfect stage. What I normally do is toast it halfway in the microwave oven and then transfer into a wok and fry up to perfection.

When I was living in Canada, I used the dessicated coconut in cans and then fried it a few more minutes until deep golden brown. Worked okay. And you'll have to pound it while it's still hot.

Ready-made kerisik is never good as homemade though. For some reason, these commercial ones have an off-smell.

For a simple (but tasty nevertheless) version of rendang, you can use curry powder as a shortcut to finding all the different spices. You still need to find lemongrass, galangal, ginger, as well as tamarind. You can substitute with lemon juice or vinegar but the taste will be altered. And omitting any of these won't make the rendang a rendang. Some recipes uses fresh tumeric roots asl well.

For a more authentic rendang, you will have to find kaffir lime leaves and/or tumeric leaves.

If you are still interested in recipes, I'd be glad to share and help you through until you can make several recipes of rendangs! (I only know of Malay and Indonesian rendang)

Edited by kew (log)
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kew

Do share with us your recipes for beef rendang. I have one that I learnt in Rohani Jelani's class ... but think I haven't made it again since that class :biggrin:!

Shiewie, is your recipe similar to this one?

Rohani Jelani's Rendang

I am sorry but I do not consider that recipe rendang. Notice that it does not have kerisik. This is a much simplified version (butchered if you ask me .. LOL!). Also she promotes cooking the glutinous rice in a rice cooker. Horror! To make good pulut, it will have to be steamed. Heh heh ... however, you can still cook and eat the glutinous rice cooked in rice cooker.

I also saw Amy Beh's version of Rendang Tok - again no kerisik. I think they have chosen to omit this most important ingredient for the sake of simplicity and more appealing to the wider audience (sorry to generalise here) who usually do not know how to make good kerisik.

I will go hunt for my recipes (most of them do not have exact measurements as I cook by estimates) but I will try my best. I will also search the Net for what I 'read' as good recipes.

Also Shiewie, Adabi makes good Rempah Rendang (powdered spices for rendang) and if you follow the recipe on the packet, it does make quite a good rendang too. I've tried it. (But you still need kerisik)

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Oh, yes please, tell us whatever you can. :wub:

Signed, Another lover of rendang

I will.

Just be prepared for lots of work for just one dish. The good thing is, rendang freezes real well. I usually cook a huge wok of this and freeze portions of it. I've kept it frozen for 6 weeks the longest and it taste just as great.

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First off, prepare the kerisik.

The best is of course, to get freshly grated coconut. Spread this on a shallow pan in a thin layer and nuke it on high for 3 mins, stir and nuke again for 2 mins. Repeat until the coconut is totally dry and starts to brown a little.

Or, use the dessicated coconut in a can.

Transfer this dried coconut into a heated wok (no oil, no water) and over a SLOW fire, fry this coconut 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 it's 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. You will know your kerisik has gone bad if it imparts a very oily off-smell.

And since kerisik is such a laboriously thing to prepare, it is better to make more of it. I usually make 2 coconuts worth at one time. There are other dishes which uses kerisik which I am more than happy to share.

Here's a recipe I often use which is called Rendang Minangkabau (Indonesian in origin and often associated with the state of Negeri Sembilan , in West Malaysia. It seems that almost every state has it's own version of rendang.)

Ingredients:

2lb topside lean beef fillets - cut into 1/4" thick, about 2 X 3/4" strips.

Blend to a fine paste:

- 30pcs dried chillies (increase amount if hotter rendang is desired) - soaked in hot water. I usually use the ones from India which is about 5-6 inches long or so. You may want to seed them first.

- 10pcs bird's eye chillie (you can omit this but it's this chillie's sting that makes this a Minangkabau rendang)

- 1" galangal (I'd say abut the size of a walnut - too much will make the dish bitterish); sliced

- 1" old ginger root (can use fresh young roots, but use more) about the same size as the galangal; sliced

- 1" fresh tumeric (about half the size the galangal since it's roots are thinner); sliced

- 3 stalks lemongrass (discard the green/tougher outside 'leaves' and use the whitish insides, chop off the tops too where the white part ends). Use more stalks if all you can find are skinny ones.; sliced.

- 15pcs shallots (I use the purplish ones from India); sliced ('twin' shallots should count as 2 if they are big)

- 6pcs garlic; sliced

- enough water to help blend all this into a paste

Other ingredients needed:

Coconut milk from 1.5 coconut (the reason being, we use freshly grated coconuts here, so we grate 2 and keep the half grated coconut to make the kerisik, and the other 1.5 to squeeze the milk out)

2 stalks lemongrass - chop off the tops; bruised

1 pc asam gelugor (dried tamarind skin) or if you can't find this, use some tamarind juice, maybe 1T but will have to adjust the taste (this dish is NOT sourish)

salt to taste

1/2C oil for frying

5pcs shallots - sliced and fried till golden brown

3pcs garlic - sliced and fried till golden brown

1 tumeric leave

2 kaffir lime leaves

Marinate the beef with the blended ingredients in a big pot/wok for about 30 minutes.

Then add the coconut milk from 1.5 coconut. If using the cream (canned) add water. You can adjust the water in this dish until the beef is cooked. If during cooking, it begins to dry before beef is cooked, simply add 1/2C water. Repeat if necessary.

Over slow fire, heat this up, stirring once in a while, being careful not to burn the bottom.

Once it begins to boil, add 2 stalks bruised lemongrass, the tamarind skin and the leaves.

Simmer until beef is cooked and water has been reduced adn it has thickened. Remember to stir thoroughly and frequently. The gravy will begin to splatter everywhere at this point. Protect whatever needs protecting :raz: .

Stir in about 3T of the prepared kerisik and at this point, you will need to keep stirring until the rendang is very, very thick. (It will dry out further upon sitting. Like curries, rendang tastes better the next day. Just heat it up in microwave.)

Add salt to taste, as well as the fried shallots and garlic. Mix thoroughly.

The rendang's consistency should be like a very thick paste. Not watery.

Rendang can be eaten with Nasi Minyak (rice with ghee), Nasi Himpit (rice cubes), Nasi Lemak (coconut milk rice), Pulut Kuning (yellow glutionous rice) or just plain white rice or even bread or Naan.

I will share more recipes later - including the curry powder version that makes Rendang Johor. Takes a little time to get them translated and I have to also think about the measurements.

And excuse me for the not so 'recipe-book-like' instructions. :biggrin:

Edited by kew (log)
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Thank you for the Rendang Minagkabau recipe, kew.

The Rohani Jelani rendang recipe I got from her class is not quite the same as the on the kuali website. The cooking class one has kerisik in it . Will dig it out later and post it for you to see whether it qualifies as a real rendang in your books :biggrin:. Her nasi kunyit recipe from the class is properly soaked and steamed the traditional way :wink:.

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Thank you for the Rendang Minagkabau recipe, kew.

The Rohani Jelani rendang recipe I got from her class is not quite the same as the on the kuali website. The cooking class one has kerisik in it . Will dig it out later and post it for you to see whether it qualifies as a real rendang in your books :biggrin:. Her nasi kunyit recipe from the class is properly soaked and steamed the traditional way :wink:.

Alright!!!

Like I said, I think the recipes on that site are simplified versions.

You know ... my Mom is even more .. err ... picky. According to her the Rendang Minagkabau isn't *real* rendang because it doesn't have spices (like the coriander, cumin and the likes). But when I made it one Raya a few years ago (I usually make Rendang Johor to bring back home to my parents), she and Dad both said it was yummy but *not* rendang in the proper sense. We're Johorians, you see ..... :rolleyes::raz:

I will post more rendang recipes when I can.

edited to add : do you think my instructions on making kerisik clear enough for those totally unfamiliar with it? Please feel free to add anything else. :smile: I don't think Chinese cooking uses kerisik eh? Well, maybe the modern dishes but not the traditional ones, right? I know even the Chinese restaurants have sambal belacan and more nowadays!

Edited by kew (log)
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Kew i am forever indebted to you!

I can get lemongrass, galangal, kaffir like leaves and the other fresh spices.

the kerisik - i think was the word that threw me off in most recipes.

it seems almost like making a roux, with coconut instead of flour and butter. and I do have a marble mortar and pestles to mash it in.

one question i have is on the tamarind. I have some tamco tamarind concentrate - can i use that instead?

and yes please! more recipes!

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Yes, I think the Tamco tamarind will work. But you will have to adjust he amount by taste. Just remember that rendang does not taste sour. The use of tamarind is more to balance the heat (most dishes that are hot use tamraind juice). Some people add a teaspoon or two of sugar too. I don't coz I like it real hot.

I have LOTS of rendang recipes and more than happy to share them!

Rendang is like Stuffed Turkey on Thaksgiving as it is to us Malay celebrating the Eid. It's not an Eid feast if there isn't rendang!

And I hope you are also equally enthusisatic to learn other dishes which uses kerisik as well as dishes that goes well with rendang. Please just ask if you need to clarify anything.

Heh heh ... I hope your marble mortar is strong enough. I think you can try to buy the granite kind from a Thai shop. It's very cheap here. Remembrr to pound it while it's still hot or it'll be more difficult.

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Thank you Kew! To be honest - I'm just now getting into malaysian and indonesian food, as quite coincedentally 2 different malyasian/indonesian/thai restaurants have opened up and offer delivery in my area.

One of them I don't like very much. I was turned off by their food the first time I ordered. Some chicken dish. But the 2nd place I ordered the renadang from I was very impressed. They had string beans and potatoes in theirs tho.

I ordered rendang fromt he first place again last night, and realize now, it's not the food i dislike, it's the quality of this restaraunts food. *lol* their rendang doesn't compare at all.

From what i'm seeing on the menu i like that indonesian/malaysian food is based on lots of fresh ingredients, and I'm intrigued by the use of coconut and mango in ways I've never seen before, yet seem intuitive. (I'm Indian) My next taste adventure is going to be mango shrimp I think.

here's a question - i had gotten a mango and sticky rice thing for dessert. It was chopped up mango, with a sweetened coconut sauce and a sticky rice cake. The sticky rice wound up being too hard - but how was i supposed to eat it all together?

Also dishes that go well with rendang would be very helpful! I'd love to make it to eat as my evening meal, for the week after next.

Edited by tryska (log)
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Nice post. Maybe next time you make some you can post some pictures? Pictures of the kerisik and paste stages would be helpful. But I found the instructions clear enough to try out.

Edit: question, when you say marinate the beef with the "blended ingredients", do you mean the paste? All of the paste or just some?

Edited by bbq4meanytime (log)
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They had string beans and potatoes in theirs tho.

:blink: No authentic Malay rendang has anything besides meat in them. (Not to sound arrogant, but just trying to share). There is only one version which is called Rendang Tok from the state of Perak, in West Malaysia which has coconut strips in it.

If you could describe to me the rendang you had, perhaps I can try to better match it with one of the recipes I have. But surely you will try all when you can, if only to find one you like best - it is difficult to choose, I tell you! :biggrin:

The Rendang Minangkabau above is rather bright in color (reddish) because it doesn't use any dry spices. Rendang that uses these are darker in color. Not that one is more delicious than the other. :wink:

Tomorrow, I will post another recipe that uses dry spices, but an easy version which makes use of powdered curry.

If you'd like to try the Adabi Rendang powdered base I mentioned to Shiewie, I would be happy to mail a few packets to you. Just PM me your address.

Like I said - many recipes for rendang. The rendang dishes are all different, yet same.

Often times, (even 'authentic' Malaysian) restaurants outside of Malaysia will adapt the original recipes. Not that it's bad or anything.

But trust me, it is the kerisik that makes the rendang!

I am a Malay (in Malaysia) but I am quite familiar with some Thai dishes. They're very popular here.

The sticky rice sounds like it was either undercooked or dried up! It's supposed to be soft. I don't like this dessert but I have a recipe from a celebrity chef here - I will try to find it.

I will post some dishes that goes well with rendang ... and maybe some time after, the whole array of food we serve during the Eid.

And, you're most welcome. I am happy to introduce Malay dishes and share the recipes.

(I have some Thai as well as Indonesian T&T recipes as well)

Edited by kew (log)
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Well a lot of this restaurants "curries" had string bean and potato - judging from the way it was cooked - i would say the string bean and potato had been added just prior to cooking the meat dry. My best guess is they keep the rendang in a semi liquid state, and the "dry it off" before serving.

In any case it was dry large chunks of good quality meat - like i said with the string bean and potato (not a whole lot) And at first it tasted sort of sweet, and definitely coconutty. It was very tender and it was very dry. it was also a darkish brown.

the one i got from the second restaurant had no veggies - just meat, but not good quality meat, and it was very liquidy. it was hotter, and less obviously coconutty - a little redder than the original one.

what i would like is a rendang that has the dry tender coconutty quality of the first one, and the spiciness of the second one.

i'm also going to give the roti canai a whirl the next time i order form that place I'm getting excited about indonesian/malay food now! *lol*

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Nice post. Maybe next time you make some you can post some pictures? Pictures of the kerisik and paste stages would be helpful. But I found the instructions clear enough to try out.

Edit: question, when you say marinate the beef with the "blended ingredients", do you mean the paste? All of the paste or just some?

Heh heh ... I will definitely try to remember to take pictures.

Marinate it with the blended ingredients ie from the dried chillies to garlic - all of them.

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If you'd like to try the Adabi Rendang powdered base I mentioned to Shiewie, I would be happy to mail a few packets to you. Just PM me your address.

i totally missed this part. Thank you so much for the kind offer. So you like this powdered base then? is it simpler to use, or does yeild an authentic flavor.

You know I cook so rarely that I try to do everything from scratch for the challenge. My mom always tells me to use powders - but many of them just taste off, as opposed to using fresh.

In any case - i don't want to put you to any trouble - I've got a lot of asian stores here in Atlanta - i will search them first. (after making rendange from scratch of course!)

I just ran across Madhur jaffrey's recipe (who knew?!)

tell me what you think of this:

http://www.pepperfool.com/recipes/thai/rendang_daging.html

i'm intrigued because it uses curry leaves. and i have access to those fresh.

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Yes, some rendang calls for the beef to be cubed and others chopped into chunks. But for the rendang recipe above, it is cut into strips.

Your 'definitely coconutty' sounds like it does indeed have kerisik in it. You don''t just get that with coconut milk.

Darkish brown - means it has the dry spices in it. Not the Minangkabau version then. I posted this recipe coz it's the easiest. The other recipes mostly require you to stir-fry the blended spices over very low heat stirring constantly until it browns and oil separates. A lot of patience is needed.

The rendang you require sounds a lot like the one I make using the pre-blended spices I mentioned.

Oh ... you *must* try Roti Canai. You can eat it with so many things including just dabbing it in sugar! I have a recipe for you to try too. :smile:

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i totally missed this part.  Thank you so much for the kind offer.  So you like this powdered base then?  is it simpler to use, or does yeild an authentic flavor.

It is authentic as it is only the dry spices part that is packaged - therefore eliminating one step. And this brand ADABI does have a good blend/proportion. I was skeptical at first, but it was my Mom who recommended ... so .....

You still have to find all the other ingredients ... like the lemongrass, etc .. etc .... and make kerisik too .. it's like the recipe I posted with this spices I added ... hence I thought it will make a rendang that you want - hot but spicy as well.

Just let me know if you can't find this anywhere. Well, at least you ought to give it a try once.

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I just looked the Adabi rendang up on the web, so I know what the spice packets look like. When I get back from Florida this weekend, I will check our local markets out and see if I can find it.

so if i were to use the powder - i would mix it with the paste of shallots, lemongrass etc? and then marinate the beef in it?

Also - if i used the powder would i still need the tamco?

Edited by tryska (log)
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I just ran across Madhur jaffrey's recipe (who knew?!)

tell me what you think of this:

http://www.pepperfool.com/recipes/thai/rendang_daging.html

i'm intrigued because it uses curry leaves. and i have access to those fresh.

MMmm ... first off, like I said, it ain't rendang if it ain't got no kerisik in it. :biggrin:

He mentioned KALIYO - yes we Malays also have a dish which is called Kalio.

I dunno .... maybe that recipe is unique but to use more galangal than ginger is not done - galangal will lend a bitter taste if too much.... and a 3 inch cube is a bit too much unless it is bruised and added to the dish as opposed to blend it all in. Some chefs even recommend to squeeze some of the galangal juice out.

And it has more garlic than shallots which is not Malay cooking (generally speaking).

I don't think it's rendang as I know it. (Although it could be a delicious dish too, but not one I'm inclined to try)

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The recipe given at the back of the packet is good. I only tweak it just a tad (I'll check on this and let you know).

so if i were to use the powder - i would mix it with the paste of shallots, lemongrass etc? and then marinate the beef in it?

Yes.

Also - if i used the powder would i still need the tamco?

Yes.

I'm afraid I have to sign off for now (it's almost 1am here!).

Feel free to ask any questions and I will try my best to answer them. :biggrin: I am no certified chef or anything but just a homemaker who likes to cook and eat!

Edited by kew (log)
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