Beef Rendang, Legendary Padang Food

Beef Rendang, Legendary Padang Food. Who doesn’t know Rendang? Due to its popularity, rendang is one of the most delicious foods in the world. The spicy and refreshing taste makes Rendang very popular with many people. Therefore, it is not surprising that the term Padang cuisine is always associated with the existence of Rendang.

beef rendang

Because of the popularity of this rendang, surely many who want to make it themselves to serve this legendary dish at home as a daily menu or iftar in the month of Ramadan. Unfortunately, cooking beef rendang is not as easy as we imagine. If cooked properly, rendang meat becomes tender, rich in spices, and tastes perfect. On the other hand, if cooked incorrectly, rendang will taste dry, tough, or even burnt.

To avoid unpleasant things or failures when preparing beef rendang, of course we need to know how to cook it properly.

What is Rendang Beef?

Rendang is an authentic Indonesian meat dish originating from Minangkabau. This dish is made with various spices and coconut milk after a long low-temperature cooking process. Cooking takes several hours (usually about four hours), until only the meat and dark bran are left. Rendang can be stored at room temperature for up to several weeks. If the rendang meat is still not thick and the coconut milk is not dry, then it is called kilo.

Rendang Padang restaurants are now available all over the world. This dish is very popular in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Thailand. In the Minangkabau area of ​​his hometown, beef rendang is served in various traditional ceremonies and special events.

In 2011, Rendang was named one of the 50 most delicious foods in the world by CNN International. In 2018, Rendang was officially recognized as one of the five Indonesian cuisines.

Rendang Meat Philosophy?

Rendang comes from Minangkabau, West Sumatra, there are 4 important elements, each of which has its own meaning. Today, rendang is a symbol of Indonesian cuisine and culinary traditions in West Sumatra.

Andre Setiawan, Head of the West Sumatra Provincial Transportation Service, explained 4 Philosophies about Rendang:


Rendang is made from beef or buffalo, it turns out that the choice of meat is not arbitrary. Instead, it has philosophy and meaning, symbolizing respect for parents or elders.

Coconut cream
The coconut milk made from coconut has a rich taste and makes the rendang meat more tender and delicious. But coconut milk itself symbolizes the “ulama” or intellectuals who sustain people’s lives.


Rendang tastes a little spicy because of the use of chili peppers to add flavor to this iconic dish. According to Andrei, pepper symbolizes religious figures or scholars who adhere to Islamic teachings in society.

Lots of spices

Beef rendang is made from many herbs and spices when cooked. One of them is cardamom, garlic, red chili, ginger, galangal, turmeric, coriander, nutmeg, and cumin. But all these spices actually symbolize the “people” in Rendang cuisine.

Characteristics of Rendang Meat

There are many versions of rendang in Indonesia, but the ones made by the Mining people are always the best and most indulgent. The most delicious rendang is black rendang. Because it takes several hours to cook until the coconut milk is dry.

The long cooking process absorbs the spices and leaves a reddish oil when cooking on low heat. Rendang can be stored at room temperature for 34 weeks. This is one of the uniqueness of Minang cuisine.

How to Cook Rendang Meat To Make It More Tender

The process of cooking Padang cuisine is very complicated. Even though it has been cooked for a long time, beef rendang should have a soft texture. If you have trouble getting tender rendang meat, you can try the following tips:

Boil the meat first

The first technique to tenderize Rendang meat is to cook the meat first. Cut the beef to the size you want and cook in water. No need to season boiled meat. Also, make sure the meat is submerged in water. Boil the meat over low heat and wait until the water boils and the meat becomes tender.

Use pineapple

To get tender meat, you can also use ground pineapple. Spread the pineapple puree on the washed meat. Press the meat over it and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then rinse the meat with boiling water before processing.

Papaya leaf

In addition to pineapple, papaya leaves can also be used to soften rendang meat. Wash the meat, then wrap the meat with papaya leaves. Prick the meat with a fork and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

How to Cook the Right Rendang Meat

Well, to get the right taste of this beef rendang, we have to cook it properly. How to? Check out the full review of how to cook it below!

Use the right piece of meat

Rendang is cooked for a long time so that the spices seep into the meat evenly. Therefore, for beef rendang, use solid parts like the thighs, especially the outer thighs. Avoid using softer cuts of meat, such as deep hashed meat, as this type of meat tends to break if cooked for a long time.

Process the meat and seasoning properly

To maximize the taste, rendang seasoning should only be made from fresh ground ingredients and not in a blender. Once mashed into a puree, pour the coconut milk, then add the spices and bring to a boil. Once thickened and oily, add the meat and cook until done.

Use enough coconut milk

Coconut milk is one of the main ingredients that make beef rendang rich in taste. Therefore, the use of sufficient coconut milk plays an important role in the taste of Rendang. Usually, the ratio of meat to coconut milk is 1:3, meaning every 1 kilogram of meat must be cooked with thick coconut milk from 3 coconuts. If you want to make spicy rendang, you can make spicy rendang from 250 grams of chili and 4 coconuts per kilogram of meat.

Cook rendang on low heat

In order for the spices to absorb perfectly and the meat to be tender, you have to boil the rendang over low heat for a few hours. If you like dry rendang, cook for 56 hours. If you plan to cook wet rendang, cook for about 4 hours. If you cook for only 3 hours, you won’t get rendang, but beef kalio which is soggy and contains a lot of mixture of coconut milk and spices.

Stir enough rendang

As long as the rendang is cooked with spices, you don’t need to stir the meat often so it doesn’t break. However, the rendang must also be stirred occasionally so that it does not burn. Thus the information we can convey about beef rendang, the legendary Padang food. If you are lazy to cook it yourself and want to eat rendang which is super delicious without the hassle, you can contact or you can order it directly via the web at

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