Adam Liaw's beef short rib rendang

Adam Liaw
Beef short rib rendang.
Beef short rib rendang. Photo: William Meppem

A rendang might have a long list of ingredients, but it all goes into a blender, then into a single pot.


2 large onions, peeled, roughly chopped

2 large red chillies, seeds and stalk removed (optional)

5cm galangal, peeled

5cm ginger, peeled

8 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tsp belacan (shrimp paste), or 2 tbsp fish sauce

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

3 stalks lemongrass, each trimmed to around 12cm in length and bruised

5 makrut lime leaves

2.5kg beef short ribs (or 2kg chuck steak), cut into 8cm pieces

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

400ml coconut cream

½ cup dessicated coconut 

cooked rice, to serve


1. Combine the onion, chilli, galangal, ginger, garlic and belacan (or fish sauce) in a blender and blend to a paste. You can add a bit of water if you need to. Heat a heavy casserole dish over medium heat and add the oil and paste. Half-cover the pot to stop it spitting and fry the spice paste for about 10-15 minutes until dry and starting to brown, stirring frequently to stop it from sticking to the pot. Add the turmeric, cinnamon, star anise, lemongrass and 3 of the lime leaves and mix well, then add the beef and mix well. Add the salt, sugar, coconut cream and 500ml water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally. 

2. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a dry frying pan, stirring constantly until it is hazelnut-brown. Watch it carefully as it can burn easily. Set aside to cool. Finely shred the remaining 2 lime leaves. 

3. Uncover the rendang and stir through the caramelised coconut, then simmer for an additional 45 minutes until the mixture is oily and a little dry, and the beef is tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required, then scatter with the shredded lime leaves. Serve with rice. 

Also try: Adam Liaw's cucumber and onion in sweet vinegar

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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