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Rendang Sapi: Beef braised in spiced coconut milk

Rendang Sapi: Beef Rendang (Beef Braised in Spiced Coconut Milk)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Category: Beef & Lamb
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Halal


Beef rendang, or beef braised in spiced coconut milk, is possibly Indonesia’s most famous dish. This recipe calls for the coconut milk to be reduced until the spices caramelize and the meat is a rich, dark brown.


  • 1kg top round beef, cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 250 gr big red chillies, chopped
  • 10 shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlics, peeled, chopped
  • 4 cm fresh galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 4 cm fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • 2 lemongrass, bruised, knotted
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 fresh turmeric leaves (optional)
  • 1.5 litre fresh thick coconut milk, or if not available substitute it to 1 litre water and 400 ml canned coconut milk.

Beef Rendang ingredients


  1. Using a blender or food processor, blend the chillies, shallots, garlic, galangal and ginger into a smooth paste.
  2. In a big, non-stick pan, put the beef chunks, then add the spice paste, along with tamarind, salt, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaves.Beef rendang add in ingredients
  3. Add the coconut milk.
  4. Mix everything together, then stir constantly under medium heat.
    Beef Rendang: stir constantly
  5. When the soup boils, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking.

    Beef Rendang: let the liquid evaporate

  6. Keep stirring and cooking until the meat is tender and the liquid has evaporated, leaving moist, sumptuous paste and tender tasty beef.


  • Use lean cuts of beef such as topside or round for the best result.
  • The key to making good rendang is low heat and constant stirring during the whole cooking process, especially during the first hour, and the last half an hour. The preparation itself is quite simple, but the cooking needs to be attended to for approximately 2.5-3 hrs. So please make sure you have enough time when cooking rendang.
  • As seen in the picture in this recipe, the gravy paste is still moist and not yet dry, and it’s because I prefer it that way. If you prefer drier rendang, just continue cooking until it becomes darker and drier.

Keywords: Common ingredients, beef, rendang, coconut