Skip to main content

Cooking Around the World: Beef Rendang {Malaysia}

On Friday we went by tabletop to Malaysia. This is actually a dish we've had at our favorite Indonesian restaurant in San Francisco. But, until today, I've never tried to make it. It's incredibly simple. We'll definitely be making this again!

Here are some fun facts about Malaysia, a country that is split between peninsular Malaysia and east Malaysia with the South China Sea dividing them.
  • They drive on the left side of the road.
  • The official religion is Islam.
  • Traditionally you must remove your shoes when entering a Malaysian home.  Sometimes you will even have to remove your shoes in some stores.
  • You must point with your thumb, never with your finger.
  • The official language is Malay.
  • Being a sub-tropical nation, the average temperature is between 70 to 90 degrees; in the jungle, the temperature is often between 105 to 115 degrees.
  • Most of the coffees and teas are sweetened with a lot of sugar.
  • They eat lots and lots of rice.
Beef rendang is of Indonesian origin, from the Minangkabau ethnic group of Indonesia and is often served at ceremonial occasions and to special guests. But beware, beef rendang is not your everyday beef dish that you can whip up in a jiffy; I actually made this the night before and just heated it up for serving. I think that letting it sit overnight actually helped develop the flavors.

No beef rendang is made exactly the same, so I don't feel too badly about taking some culinary liberties with the dish.

1-2 pounds boneless beef, cubed
5 T coconut oil
2 shallots, diced
2 T crushed garlic
1 T minced ginger
1 cinnamon stick (about 2-inch long)
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1 lemongrass (cut into 4-inch length and pounded)
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 cup water
2 t tamarind pulp, seeds discarded
zest from 1 lime
6 T kerisik (toasted coconut)*
1 T honey
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound sliced crimini mushrooms

Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the shallots, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry them until aromatic. Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute until the beef is lightly browned on all sides. Pour in the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, other spices - cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender. Add in the honey, salt, pepper, and mushrooms. Cook for another 30 minutes until the sauce has begun to thicken. Serve  with steamed rice, topped with kerisik.

*To prepare the kerisik or toasted coconut, just add the coconut to a dry pan, stirring continuously until they turn golden brown.

These Global Table Ambassadors are signing off now. We'll be heading to the Maldives next. Stay tuned.


Popular posts from this blog

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir

Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé #Winophiles

This month the French Winophiles group is looking at affordable wines from Burgundy.  Host Cindy of Grape Experiences wrote: "Burgundy, or Bourgogne, is known for its wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir... as well as Aligote, Gamay, Sauvignon, César, Pinot Beurot, Sacy, Melon in lesser quantities. Many of the well-known wines are quite expensive, but there are plenty of values to be found." Read her invitation here. And there won't be a Twitter chat for this event, so you will have to dive into the articles themselves to read about our pairings and findings. Here's the line-up... Wendy Klik from A Day in the Life on the Farm enjoys Domaine Chevillon Chezeaux Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 2018 Paired with a Maple Pecan Chicken . Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares her love of Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé. Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick! explains why we should Look t

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce