10 Traditional Rendang Recipes That You Can Make At Home

Rendang, probably the most delicious and well-known dish from Indonesia, can be made into several unique versions with these rendang recipes. From the world’s top 50 food rated by CNN called Rendang Maman Gemencheh, to a fish rendang using tuna called Rendang Ikan Tongkol and Rendang Cili Api for the spicy lovers – here are 10 traditional rendang recipes you need to try!


10 Traditional Rendang Recipes You Need To Try

1. Rendang Tok

This type of rendang is a drier version as compared to the ones we are normally used to. It requires long hours with many spices and shredded coconut to make this wonderful dish, but it’s worth it!

The Star

Ingredients: 1kg beef, 10 red onions (ground), 5 garlic (ground), 3cm galangal (ground), 3cm ginger (ground), 5 lemongrass (ground), 5 tbsp dried chili paste, 2 turmeric leaves (sliced), 1 tbsp coriander (diced and ground), 1tbsp fennel seeds (ground), 1 tbsp cumin seeds (ground), 3tbsp shredded coconut, 1kg coconut milk, 50g palm sugar, 15ml tamarind water, salt, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 cardamom, 5 cloves, 5 star anise.


  1. Mix the beef with coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, and marinate overnight. Make sure spices are grounded.
  2. Then, place marinated beef into a wok with a little water, and cook with slow fire until beef is tender and place aside.
  3. Heat up oil in a wok and stir-fry the all the grounded spices with cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and cardamom until fragrant.
  4. Add beef and mix well. Then, add in coconut milk and shredded coconut and mix with slow fire without stopping until beef is even more tender.
  5. Finally, add in the tamarind water, palm sugar, turmeric leaves and mix until the spices dry up. Once it’s dry, add in salt to taste and serve.

2. Rendang Ayam Hijau

Yup, green rendang chicken. There’s not really much difference between this and regular rendang, except the green colour from green chillies and slight sweetness from the spices.

Ingredients: 1 chicken (cut into 12 pieces), 250ml coconut milk, 2 tbsp shredded coconut, sugar, salt, 2 pieces asam gelugor, 2 turmeric leaves (sliced),1/2 cup oil.

Blended ingredients: 4 lemongrass (finely sliced), 1 inch ginger, 1 inch fresh turmeric, 1 inch galangal, 30 green chilli padi, 4 stalks green chilli, 10 red onions, 1 big yellow onion, 5 cloves garlic.



  1. Heat up oil in a wok and fry the blended ingredients until it dries up.
  2. Then, put in the chicken and mix evenly.  Add in santan, shredded coconut, asam gelugor, salt and sugar to taste.
  3. Keep mixing on a slow fire until it is thick, then add in turmeric leaves.
  4. Once it’s dried up enough, it is ready to be served.

3. Rendang Sarawak

Ingredients A: 1 chicken or 1 kg beef, coconut milk (1 coconut), 4 turmeric leaves (finely sliced), shredded coconut (half coconut).


Ingredients B: 1 inch ginger (ground), 4 red onions (ground), 10 cloves garlic (ground), 1 tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp fennel seed, 2 lemongrass (pounded), chili padi (depending on your tolerance).


  1. Wash the chicken or beef until clean, then mix Ingredients B with the meat until coated evenly.
  2. Cook the mixture until the water is released from the meat, and add coconut milk slowly while stirring.
  3. Then, add in shredded coconut, turmeric leaves and cook until meat is tender.
  4. Once it’s tender, add it your salt and sugar to taste and cook until santan is dried up.
  5. Finally, turn off heat and let meat cool.

4. Rendang Ayam Opah

All rendang recipes are pretty similar, differing by only a few spices and ingredients for each. Take this rendang ayam opah for example, it uses candlenuts which gives it a distinct nutty flavour.


Ingredients A: 1 chicken, 2 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp shredded coconut, 2 turmeric leaves (sliced thinly), oil, salt and sugar

Ingredients B (blend): 21 dried chilli, 2 yellow onions, 4 fresh turmeric, 1 tbsp coriander, 2 candlenuts, 4 lemongrass stalks, 3 inch ginger, 3 inch galangal


  1. Fry Ingredients B until fragrant, then add in coconut milk and chicken to mix evenly.
  2. Close the lid on the wok and let it cook under low heat.
  3. Then, add shredded coconut and let it coat evenly. After that, add in salt and sugar to taste.
  4. Finally, add in turmeric leaves and it’s ready to serve.

5. Rendang Cili Api

This recipe is a rendang that’s perfect for spicy lovers because of the amount of chili padis’ used. It is best paired with lemang, white rice, and a glass of cold ice water.

Ingredients: 1 chicken, 1.5 box coconut milk, 2-4 lemongrass stalks (pounded), 2 tbsp dried chillies powder, 1 piece of asam gelugor, 4 kaffir lime leaves, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, salt, sugar, oil, turmeric powder.

Ingredients (ground): 10 red onions, 5 garlic cloves, 1 fresh turmeric, 1 inch ginger, 7-10 stalks chilli padi kampung, 4 galangal (sliced thin)


  1. First, heat up oil in a wok and pour in oil. Fry the ground ingredients, lemongrass and chilli powder until it dries up a little.
  2. Then add in chicken and cook until chicken shrinks.
  3. Next add in coconut milk and water to cover, and then add asam, salt, sugar and kaffir lime leaves (optional).
  4.  Cook until the rendang dries up and the oil comes out of the mixture.
  5. Finally, turn off the heat and it’s ready to serve.

6. Rendang Ikan Tongkol (Tuna)

Ingredients A: 1 tuna fish, 3 cups coconut milk, 2 tbsp shredded coconut, 3 pieces asam gelugor, 2 turmeric leaves (finely sliced), 3 kaffir lime leaves (squashed), 1/2 cup cooking oil, salt and sugar.

Ingredients B (ground): 15 stalks dried chilli, 5 chilli padi, 8 red onions, 3 garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger, 1 inch galangal, 3 lemongrass stalks, 2 fresh turmeric.


  1. Cut the fish into chunks and wash it clean.
  2. Heat up a wok of oil and fry Ingredient B until the oil separates from the paste.
  3. Put in the fish, coconut milk, shredded coconut, kaffir lime leaves, salt, asam gelugor, and cook until the oil separates.
  4. Finally, add in turmeric leaves, mix and serve.

7. Rendang Johor

Although minimal, rendang dishes differ slightly from every state in Malaysia. For example, rendang Johor requires frying your chicken and using tomatoes and lemon juice to give it a little sourness to the dish.

Ingredients: 1 chicken, 4 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tin evaporated creamer, 2 lemongrass (pounded), 2 kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice (half lemon), 3 cardamom, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, salt and sugar.

Ingredients (ground): 3 lemongrass, 2 inch galangal, 2 tomatoes, 5 garlic cloves, 3 onions, 4 candlenuts, 20 dried chillies, 5 red chillies.


  1. Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder and salt for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat up oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken until it’s half cooked.
  3. In a separate wok, fry cardamoms, star anise, cinnamon stick and fragrant. Then add in tomato puree with the other grounded ingredients listed above until the oil separates.
  4. Next, add in the chicken and evaporated creamer and mix evenly. Let the chicken simmer in the mixture until oil separates.
  5. After that, add in pounded lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and lemon juice. Add in salt and sugar to taste and water until the sauce reaches a consistency you like.
  6. Mix evenly until combined and let it simmer for a while. Finally, take it out and garnish with coriander leaves.

8. Rendang Kerang (Cockles)

If you love the umaminess of cockles and the flavours of rendang, this recipe is made for you. It’s not often we see cockles rendang, but this recipe is sure to impress any kerang lovers.

Ingredients: 3kg cockles (boiled and de-shelled), 5 red onions, 5 garlic cloves, 1 inch fresh turmeric, 1 inch galangal, 2 inch ginger, 2 lemongrass (chopped), 1 lemongrass (pounded), 15 dried chillies (boiled), 1kg santan, 1 piece asam gelugor, turmeric leaves, kaffir lime leaves and salt.


  1. Blend chillies with onions, ginger, lemongrass (only sliced), turmeric and galangal until you achieve a fine paste. Then heat up oil in a wok and fry the paste until the oil is separated.
  2. Then, add in santan and mix until the sauce thickens. Next, add in the boiled cockles, asam gelugor piece, and salt to taste.
  3. When the mixture dries up, add in turmeric leaves and kaffir lime leaves and the pounded lemongrass. Let it simmer a bit, and you’re finally done.

9. Rendang Lokan (similar to clams)

A recipe that uses a clam-oyster like mollusk called Polymesoda expansa, or better known as Lokan. This one-of-a-kind rendang calls for an additional fish curry powder that you can buy from any grocery stalls.

Ingredients: 1.5 cups of Lokan (de-shelled), 1 turmeric leaf (sliced thin), 2 kaffir lime leaves (sliced thin), 1/3 coconut milk, 1 tbsp shredded coconut, 2 tbsp chilli paste, 2 tbsp curry fish powder, 1 piece asam gelugor, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp gula melaka, salt and cooking oil.

Ingredients (ground): 5 red onions, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 inch ginger, 1/2 inch belacan, 1/2 inch galangal, 3 candlenuts, 1/2 inch fresh turmeric, 3 lemongrass.


  1. Mix the Ingredients (ground) with fish curry powder well. Heat up oil in a wok and fry the mixture until fragrant.
  2. Then, add it chilli paste, kaffir lime leaves and asam gelugor. Cook until the oil separates.
  3. Next, add in the water, coconut milk and mix until the sauce thickens. Put in the Lokan, shredded coconut and cook under low heat until sauce thickens.
  4. Once it thickens, add gula melaka and salt to taste, then continue cooking until almost dry.
  5. Finally, add in the sliced turmeric leaves, mix and turn off the heat.

10. Rendang Maman Gemencheh

The pride of Negeri Sembilan, rendang maman gemencheh uses maman leaves that is slightly bitter to taste. It is also rated top 50 World’s Most Delcious Foods by CNN in 2011!

Mr Manshor Kopitiam Power (FB)

Ingredients: 1kg beef/chicken/duck, 2kg maman leaves, 2kg santan, red chilli padi (depending on tolerance), 8-10 pieces asam gelugor, 2 fresh turmeric (ground), and salt.


  1. Wash the maman leaves and drain it.
  2. Add your preferred protein into the wok with oil and add ground turmeric and ground chilli padi.
  3. Add in santan and salt, then combine the mixture together evenly.
  4. Once the sauce thickens, add in the asam pieces and maman leaves.
  5. Remember not to mix too quick or harshly, or the water that comes out of the leaves will be too bitter.
  6. Finally, add salt to taste and serve.

Source: Resepi IBU (Facebook)

Also Read: 3 Ingredients Kopitiam Style Toast Recipe To Rekindle That Nostalgic Morning Rush

We would like to invite you to join our New Private Community Group! Here you are free to ask questions, share your love for food, and explore the Klang Valley community! We will also regularly post about casual promos and latest findings.

Click on the button below and hunt good food with us today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button