Malaysia Recipes – Shukri Shafie’s Beef Rendang

Danielle Melnyczenko

Image: Danielle Melnyczenko

Ingredients (Serves 6, cooking time 90 minutes)

Rendang Paste:

  • lemon grass
  • onions
  • galangal
  • ginger
  • garlic

Finely chop and pound the paste ingredients to a smooth paste.

Other Ingredients:

  • • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • • 4 star anise pods
  • • 8 cardamom pods
  • • 15 cm cinnamon stick
  • • 8 cloves
  • • 2 kg topside or lean chuck steak of beef or preferably water buffalo
  • • milk/cream of 1 coconut
  • • kafir lime leaves
  • • turmeric leaves
  • • tamarind juice
  • • chillies
  • • salt and black pepper to taste
  • • meat of 1 coconut, dry fried or toasted till bronze and dry


1. Heat the oil in a wok and once hot, add the whole aromatic spices – star anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and fry for 1 minute.

2. Add the rendang paste and fry till the colour darkens. Add the meat stirring well into to the paste for 3 or 4 minutes

3. Tear up the turmeric leaves and kafir lime leaves and add to the beef mixture, stirring them in.

4. Pour in the coconut milk and stir into the mixture and add 2 tablespoons of tamarind juice.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste and leave to simmer slowly for 1 or 2 hours until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.

6. Add the toasted coconut and stir into the mixture to soak up the remaining juices. The result should be quite dry and incredibly tender, flavoursome beef.

Serve with glutinous rice.