Recipe courtesy of Anita Lo

Rendang: Cold and Hot

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 4 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 3 hr 50 min
  • Yield: 12 appetizer portions
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Hot Rendang:

1 fresh coconut

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 short ribs, cleaned and cubed (about 2 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons Malaysian curry powder

2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger

1 tablespoon thinly sliced galangal

15 dried chiles, seeded, soaked in hot water until soft and drained

5 shallots, sliced

3 pieces lemongrass, centers thinly sliced, tops reserved and pounded

3 whole cloves

3 whole star anise

3 cardamom pods, crushed

1 large stick cinnamon

8 kaffir lime leaves

1 heaping tablespoon tamarind pulp

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons palm sugar, plus more as needed

Fish sauce

Cold Rendang:

1 fillet of beef, cleaned and julienned (about 1 pound)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Lime juice, as needed

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Thai bird chili, finely chopped, as needed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped shallot

Fish sauce, as needed

Sriracha, as needed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh Coconut Sauce:

1/4 cup coconut milk (prepared from scratch or canned)

2 tablespoons palm sugar, plus more for seasoning

Pinch cinnamon

Fish sauce

Chopped peanuts, for garnish

1 kaffir lime leaf, very finely julienned, for garnish

3 pieces per serving sabudana poha (Indian rice chips), deep fried and salted, for garnish

2 pieces each order Korean chili threads, for garnish


  1. For the hot redang: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Crack open the fresh coconut and reserve the coconut water. Process three-quarters of the fresh coconut meat with 2/3 cup hot water in a food processor, and then strain the mixture to extract the coconut milk. Grate the remaining one-quarter coconut and toast in the oven until golden brown, stirring to prevent burning.
  2. Heat a large saucepot suitable to hold all the meat over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle the short ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Then remove to a bowl.
  3. Place the garlic, curry powder, ginger, galangal, chilies, shallots, lemongrass in a food processor and run until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same pot. Then add the cardamom, cloves, star anise and cinnamon and cook over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove. Tie up the cooked spices plus the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass tops with cheesecloth to create a spice packet.
  5. Add the prepared curry paste to the pot same pot. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, scraping up the browned bits in the pot. Add the browned short ribs and any remaining juices, prepared coconut milk, reserved coconut water, tamarind, prepared spice packet, chicken stock, palm sugar and toasted coconut. Bring to a boil, stir, and then place over low heat and cover. Add more chicken stock as necessary to keep the meat covered. Cook 3 hours, and then remove the lid. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is very thick, about 30 minutes. Season with the fish sauce, salt and pepper and more palm sugar if necessary. Remove the spice packet and refrigerate, covered. Reheat as needed.
  6. For the cold redang: Mix together the beef, oil, lime juice, garlic, Thai bird chili, brown sugar, shallots, fish sauce, Sriracha, and some salt and pepper. Then taste and adjust.
  7. For the fresh coconut sauce: Mix the coconut milk, palm sugar, cinnamon and fish sauce together and taste and adjust.
  8. To serve: On a cold plate, place a spoonful of the fresh coconut sauce left of center. Top with a small mound of the tartare and garnish with the peanuts and a few strands of kaffir. Dot the plate with a small bit of Sriracha. Reheat a piece of the cooked rendang and place to the right of center. Garnish with the sabudana poha rice chips and chili threads and serve.