Many years ago, we brought Beef Rendang home to US, from Malaysia. Yes, vacuumed packed Beef Rendang.
Later, when we were still living in Texas, we flew from Dallas to California for Malaysian Food. And our order always included Beef Rendang. After we moved to Portland, Oregon, we drove 3 hours to Seattle to eat Beef Rendang from a Malaysian Restaurant. My craving for Malaysian foods was especially strong when I was pregnant. Thank God, my husband was kind enough to fly or drive with me.
One day, not long ago, I discovered the secrets to making this popular Rendang dish.
Secret 1: Use Beef Shank. Cook the beef shank until it is tender. It usually takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Secret 2: Use pre-mix Rendang sauce. In the past, I have used the Indofood brand and it tasted good. Yesterday night, I used a combination of Indofood brand and Hup Loong brand and it tasted even better. Photo shows a stalk of fresh Lemongrass and the two types of pre-mix for Rendang.
Secret 3: Use fresh Lemongrass. I cook the sauce with Lemongrass. When the sauce is cooled, I use a blender to “semi-puree” the sauce. The sauce will still have fibers from the Lemongrass. Don’t worry about it.
Secret 4: Use Coconut Milk. I use canned ones because we don’t have the luxury of fresh coconut milk in the US. I just use the brand that is on sale. I choose the can that has no dents, latest expiration date and sound “liquidish” when I give it a shake.
A note on Lemongrass
- Use only the bottom 3 or 4 inches of the Lemongrass.
- In room temperature, fresh Lemongrass shrinks over time and lose their fragrance from the outer layer first. So, I always choose the Lemongrass with the fattest bottom.
- When I have left-over Lemongrass, I bruise it and cook it with rice.
Finally, if you are interested to cook Beef Rendang from scratch, check out: Rasa Malaysia Beef Rendang Recipe.