8 Rendang Creations for Creamy Spicy Bliss

8 Rendang Creations for Creamy Spicy Bliss

Tender beef chunks slow cooked in aromatic spices – how can you resist the delightful rendang?

Originating from West Sumatra, the well-loved rendang has travelled far and wide across Asia and is now enjoyed with different key ingredients like seafood, chicken and vegetables. What gives rendang its distinctly rich flavors is the long cooking process (which often involves cooking till the sauce is on the dry side and the meat is caramelized), and the blend of coconut milk with spices like chilies, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves, turmeric and other locally sourced produce.

Traditionally served during special occasions like weddings and Hari Raya, it’s simply too hard to keep such a delicious dish to just celebrations. Today, you can find yummy rendang in both street stalls and restaurants alike for lunch and dinner. Make it yourself and whip it up at home with our different recipes below to satisfy that rendang craving!

How to Make Rendang Paste

Get the rendang base right, and the rest of the cooking journey is easy. Ili Sulaiman’s quick and reliable rendang paste is just what you need for any of your rendang dishes. Make it ahead of time and save it for busy weeknight dinners as it can be kept in the fridge for a month or in the freezer for a year. The best part? All the ingredients can be easily sourced from your local Asian supermarket.

Related: How to Make Rendang Paste

1. Beef Rendang

It’s really hard to beat the classic Beef Rendang with its rich, earthy flavors that go so well with the spice blend. This beef stew is simmered till it turns a dark brown – that’s when you know the amazing creamy stock has been well absorbed by the tender beef – and satisfaction is guaranteed with every bite. Pair with coconut rice to soak up the best of this yummy dish.

2. Beef Rendang Zongzi

Can’t get enough of Beef Rendang? It’s now tucked into a Chinese rice dumpling with a pocket of familiar herby rendang flavors of ginger, galangal, chili padi, creamy coconut milk and earthy, curried turmeric powder. The rice too, is slightly different this time - a mix of classic chewy glutinous rice and long-grain basmati rice for that perfect rendang-stew finish.  For spice lovers, this Beef Rendang Zongzi is definitely a treat to be had.

Related: Zongzi for Beginners: How To Make Rice Dumplings and 5 Recipes to Try at Home

3. Rendang Daging Cincang (Minced Beef Rendang)

While Rendang is usually served with beef chunks or chicken, Rendang Daging Cincang is a variation which uses minced beef to go with the well-loved fragrant coconut gravy. Go bold with a generous serving of minced beef wagyu rump that will easily soak up the flavors of the aromatic spices and rich coconut. Red meats such as beef pair well with the strong punchy taste of cardamom, giving you a mouthwatering main dish that goes so well with rice.

4. Beef Rendang Lasagna

Prepare your stomach for feasting, as Beef Rendang Lasagna is a bold and creamy carb load that will leave you patting your belly in no time. Rendang makes for a great lasagna filling as its equally meaty and definitely creamier than stir fried beef, sausages and onion (traditional lasagna filling). To top it all off, this modern rendang fusion is baked till the oozing cheese has melted and caramelized on the top, providing a soft crunch as you plunge your spoon into this glorious mix.

Related: 10 Gravy-Heavy Recipes Guaranteed to Fill You Up

5. Nasi Goreng Ayam Rendang

Nasi Goreng Ayam Rendang is a one-wok wonder that incorporates the bright spices and thick coconut milk of rendang right into fluffy rice so you can save on both time and washing up. It gives ordinary fried rice a spicy and flavorful twist and makes for an easy potluck main dish for sharing. Not a fan of peas? Swap them out for chopped veggies like carrots, celery and zucchini for added color and textures.

6. Rendang Udang (Prawn Rendang)

Prefer the lighter, salty taste of seafood with your rendang sauce? If so, this Rendang Udang (Prawn Rendang) is a choice dish to pair with your rice staple for dinner. When it comes to Rendang Udang, it’s better to use large, juicy king prawns for that classic chunky rendang presentation (and besides, who doesn’t like chomping down on huge prawns?). Keep the heads on when you whip up this mouthwatering dish as the oceanic-brine taste from the prawn heads enhances the overall taste profile of this spicy dish!

Related: 10 Must Try Seafood Recipes

7. Mushroom and Tempeh Rendang

Vegetarians don’t have to sit out on the rendang enjoyment, not when they can tuck into a fulfilling Mushroom and Tempeh Rendang that has all the goodness of a traditional rendang without the meat. Both tempeh and mushroom have a nice bite to them and hold up well in this thick sauce, while adding their own umami flavor profiles to the dish. Remember to add the fried tempeh last to retain its crunchiness!

8. Healthy Rendang Chicken

“Healthy” and “rendang” don’t exactly go together, but by substituting the heavy coconut milk with a lighter, more diet-friendly yogurt with toasted coconut flakes to compensate for the coconut flavors, it is possible to enjoy this Indonesian favorite without fretting over the calories. Healthy Rendang Chicken is a unique family sharing dish concocted by Ann Lian to provide her family with a yummy, healthier alternative to the often gravy-rich and oily Indonesian dishes, and uses the natural sweetness of dried raisins instead of sugar to balance the spiciness out as well.

Related: What Is Your Healthy Dish Horoscope?

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