Don’t be mad at me if I tell you this rendang recipe is a new twist for health conscious people. Please have a first bite.. then tell me what you think. I have been thinking of making a healthy version rendang for a very long time, after I tasted one that my friend made back then in Minnesota, when I was in college. I was surprised, I mean really really surprised when she said she didn’t throw even a drop coconut milk and oil in her rendang. I could not tell the difference at all. The recipe? I didn’t get.. but she has inspired me a lot.
But why took me years to try myself? To get the rendang flavorful , spicy as the original authentic one yet keeping the saturated fat lower, quite tricky to me. A few trial and errors helped me a lot to figure out the do’s and don’ts .
The trick here is kerisik ( coconut paste) that keep this rendang slightly creamy with coconutty flavor that you get from a normal rendang . I know kerisik still fatty , use it in moderation plus kerisik adds fiber to the rendang. 2-3 tablespoons would do the trick. Another must is shallots. Please see the head notes for details.
Of course, I will take other suggestions too.. feel free to share if you don’t mind.
For now, I can enjoy my rendang, , healthy kitchen rendang to be exact, with less guilty feeling without having to scarify the flavor. My husband loved it so much.. another bonus to me.
Rendang Tok(Chicken) -(Serves 5-6 people)
Shallot has very mild oniony flavor, slightly sweet and aromatic too. Mostly used in southeast Asian cookings .It’s a must for this recipe. So for the Kerisk.. please do not skip both for best result.You can find shallots in Asian grocery stores.. sometimes regular grocs market carry it, look at the fresh produce section. Slow cooking is very important to makesure the meat and the spices are incorporated well.
- 1/3 cup coconut paste (kerisik) ( See Notes)
- 2 lbs ( approximately 1 kg) beef tenderloin, trim the fat and sliced ½ inch thick
- 3 – 4 Tablespoons java brown sugar / palm sugar
- 2 Asam gelugor
- 5 kefir leaves or lime leaves (daun limau purut), torn
- 2 tumeric leaves ( if available)
- 1 stalk lemon grass, pounded
- 2 Tablespoons match stick sliced fresh ginger
- Salt to taste
Into a blender:
- 15 dried red chili , soaked in hot water and drained or 2-3 Tablespoons chili paste
- 8 shallots or 2 medium purple onion
- 3 Tablespoons diced fresh ginger root
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 2 Tablespoons sliced galangal
- 2 fresh tumeric or 1 ½ teaspoon tumeric powder
- 3 candlenuts ( buah keras) [optional]
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds }
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds } ground in a mortar
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds} until fine
- 1/2 Tablespoon black pepper seeds}
- 2 star anise}
- 3 cloves }
-Blend thoroughly to form a smooth paste.
1. Pour the beef chunks, the paste and enough water to cover the beef into a large wok. Let them cooked slowly on low heat until the meat gets tender but still firm, about an hour.
2. When the meat becomes tender at this point, the gravy starts to thicken, toss in the remaining of the ingredients; brown sugar/palm sugar, salt , coconut paste (kerisik), kefir leaves (daun limau purut) , sliced ginger root and asam gelugur. Adjust sugar and salt to taste. Let them continue to slowly cook on low heat.
8. Keep stirring , every 2-3 minutes to avoid burning on the bottom.
9. Continue stirring until almost all liquid is vaporized ,meat and spices are well blended. Rendang will look dark brown and pasty when it’s done. If you like your rendang slightly saucy , stop at the point you like your rendang . Most importantly, the meat is tender and the spice is well cooked.
10. Ready to serve with rice, pulut kuning (steamed glutinous rice)etc .