Ease into Eastern Flavors with Maya


Indonesian Beef Stew (Rendang)

Indonesian beef stew

The aroma of lemongrass and star anise danced in my grandmother’s kitchen, and every pot of steaming Indonesian beef stew whispered memories of that place.

My senses are filled with nostalgia for joyous occasions as I stir—laughter, some stories, and generations together by a simple yet elegant dish.

Homemade delicious rendang

Rendang is not just food; it is a vessel bearing the weight of customs. With its rich flavors, every bite is a trip through time.

My favorite alternative to beef stew is Indonesian soto ayam. Don’t forget to check it out!

Secret of Making the Perfect Beef Stew: Toasted Coconut

Toasting coconut is the culinary secret that unlocks the extraordinary taste of Indonesian beef stew. This transformative process involves gently browning shredded coconut until it achieves a golden, nutty essence.

The secret to have better taste of beef stew

Here are a few steps on how to easily toast coconut.

·   To toast coconut, spread shredded or flaked coconut in an even layer on a dry pan over medium heat.

·   Stir continuously to prevent burning and ensure even toasting.

·   Keep a close eye, as coconut can quickly go from golden to burnt.

·   Once it reaches a golden-brown color and releases a nutty aroma, remove it from the heat immediately.

As the coconut infuses into the hearty broth, it harmonizes with the myriad spices and slow-cooked beef, adding layers of complexity to the dish. This culinary alchemy elevates Indonesian beef stew from a simple meal to a masterpiece.

Ingredients of beef stew

Extra suggestions on how to enhance the flavor of your beef stew.

Here are some more pointers to make your Indonesian beef stew, or rendang, simply delectable.

● Marinate the beef for a long time: Before cooking, let the chopped beef sit in a small amount of the spice paste for at least 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge for a richer taste. As a result, the meat gets to absorb more of the flavorful seasonings.

● Use fresh, grated coconut: Use fresh coconut if you can get your hands on it, rather than coconut milk from the supermarket. For a more flavorful and genuine flavor, grate the coconut and strain the milk.

● Slow cooking on low heat: Slow cooking is the key to rendang. Simmer the stew for a long time—ideally, two to three hours—on low heat.

● Reheat for enhanced flavor: Letting the flavors mingle until the next day makes the rendang even more delicious. Prepare it ahead of time if you can, then reheat it right before serving.

Side dishes that go well with this stewed meat

A wide range of side dishes that go well with Indonesian beef stew – Rendang, enhance its rich and Savoury taste character. To go with your rendang, try these delectable side dish options:

● Steaming Rice

A traditional option that helps counterbalance the stew’s strong tastes. For a hint of fragrance, use basmati or jasmine rice.

● Naan or Roti Canai

Roti Canai’s flakiness and Naan bread’s softness make them ideal for mopping up the flavorful rendang sauce.

● Nasi lemak

The richness of rendang is complemented by this Malaysian coconut rice dish, which is typically served with cooked eggs, peanuts, and anchovies.

● Ketupat or lontong

In Indonesia, ketupat or lontong, which are compressed rice cakes, are common side dishes. They offer a distinct texture that takes on the taste of the stew.

●  Belacan Sambal

A fiery chili paste condiment that gives it an additional kick. It’s an amazing way to adjust the spice amount to suit personal tastes.

● Pickled Veggies

a cool counterpoint to the flavorful and hearty stew. Try achar (pickled mixed veggies), cucumbers, or carrots pickled in brine.

● Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers

To add some freshness to the dinner, serve a simple salad with slices of fresh cucumber and tomatoes.

●  Keropok (Shrimp Crackers)

Crispy, light shrimp crackers offer a delicious contrast in texture and a touch of seafood flavour.

● Fried Onion Rings or Shallots

Crispy deep-fried shallots or onion rings are a delightful garnish, contributing a crunchy and savoury element to each bite.

● Fruit Salsa

Put together a tropical fruit salsa using lime, pineapple, and mango. The freshness of the fruits enhances the thick stew.

● Vegetable Sambal

To add a spicy and Savoury twist, prepare a side dish of stir-fried or sautéed veggies to pair with the beef stew.

How do I store Indonesian beef stew?

After it has cooled down, store any leftover Indonesian beef stew in the refrigerator in an airtight container. use within 3–4 days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container for extended storage. To fully appreciate the rich tastes, thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Processing of beef rendang

Final note

In the process of creating Indonesian beef stew, we’ve embraced the rich flavors of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. May this stew bring as much happiness to your kitchen as it does to mine. Feel free to make it your own and share your creations. Happy cooking!

Indonesian beef stew

Beef Stew

Beef Stew is not just food; it is a vessel bearing the weight of customs. With its rich flavors, every bite is a trip through time.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indonesian, Malaysian
Servings 4
Calories 468 kcal


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1  kg beef, diced
  • 2 lemongrass, bruised
  • 5  bay leaves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 star anise
  • Palm sugar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cube chicken stock (optional)
  • 180 ml light coconut milk
  • 250 ml thick coconut milk
  • 200 ml water (more if desired)
  • Toasted coconut

Ground Spices

  • 250 gr. shallot
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 5 red chilies
  • 2-inch turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 5 candlenuts


  • Combine shallots, garlic, red chilies, turmeric, cumin, and candlenuts in a food processor until a smooth mixture is achieved.
  • In a big saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. When aromatic, add the spice paste and sauté. Add chopped meat.
    All the spices and meat
  • Stir in star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, and bruised lemongrass. Allow the fragrances to blend together by stirring.
  • Sprinkle palm sugar and salt to taste. You may also optionally add a cube of chicken stock to give it even more flavor. Blend well.
  • Add water and both light and thick coconut milks. Give it a good stir to allow the flavors to come together.
  • Lower the temperature to a low simmer. Allow the stew to simmer for two to three hours, or until the sauce thickens and the meat becomes tender. To keep it from sticking, stir from time to time.
  • Add some toasted coconut to the meat once it's soft and the sauce has thickened. It will taste deliciously creamy.
    Blended toasted coconut
  • Serve your homemade rendang with your preferred side dishes or over steaming rice. You won't soon forget the deep, Savoury stew as a taste of Indonesia!
    The creamy rendang is ready to serve
Keyword Beef Stew

Maya Sari

I'm Maya Sari, a passionate East Culinary food blogger here to share with you the secrets of the mouthwatering flavors of East Asian cuisine

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