Malaysian Recipe: Beef Rendang

Food, Recipes  / 

Kuala Lumpur’s food ambassador and chef, Norman Musa shares his traditional Malaysian Beef Rendang recipe. This is one for a lazy afternoon when you have plenty of time for the beef to simmer away and absorb the flavours. Enjoy!

Serves 2 | Ingredients

4 tbsp dried chilli paste
1 tbsp blended ginger
1 tbsp blended garlic
1 tbsp blended onion
2 tbsp blended galangal
6 tbsp blended lemongrass
6 tbsp cooking oil
4 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white sugar
½ tbsp dark coconut sugar block, broken into small pieces
200ml water
4 tbsp coconut milk
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised bottom half
4 kaffir lime leaves
500g beef, topside, cut into thin slices
2 tbsp kerisik (roasted coconut)


Top tip: “Beef Rendang is a time-consuming dish as it requires long simmering, but the result is outstanding. It’s heavily infused with lemongrass and rich in coconut flavour.”

1. Heat up the cooking oil in a saucepan. Add the blended lemongrass and galangal. Cook for 5 minutes until the aroma rises.

2. Next add the blended onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for a further 5 minutes until it turns brown.

3. Add the blended chilli paste, tamarind juice, white sugar, salt and dark coconut sugar. Cook until the oil separates.

4. Next add the fresh beef, bruised lemongrass and 100ml water and simmer on a low heat until dry.

5. Once dry add the coconut milk and the remaining 100ml water and simmer again on a low heat again until the oil seperates. The simmering in total takes about an hour. This will make the beef tender and give it plenty of time to absorb the rich flavours of the other ingredients.

6. Finally add the lime leaves and roasted coconut and cook for until 5 minutes so that the coconut blends in well. Serve with rice.

Norman Musa Profile PictureNorman Musa is co-founder of Ning restaurant, in Manchester, and he also has a culinary studio and restaurant in Banting, Malaysia.

“This dish is the pride of Malaysia. Our Beef Rendang Hari Raya (the Muslim festival of Eid alFitr) is celebrated with rendang served with lemang (glutinous rice and coconut milk grilled in cut bamboo.) There are many versions of rendang in Malaysia but I make mine a lot simpler – especially with my ‘secret’ method of doing kerisik (roasted coconut) which gives rendang its unique taste sensation!”

Hungry for more? Try Norman Musa’s Malaysian street food recipe…

Find out more about Malaysian cuisine at 


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