Madam Woo Beef Rendang

Madam Woo Beef RendangA dry curry with mouth-wateringly tender beef and explosive flavours. This stunning recipe uses the sambal paste made from scratch that is also used in the  Madam Woo Sambal Prawn recipe.  Sambal is a popular condiment in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, it is a spicey mix of chili, dried spices and aromatics.  A note from The Wine Lists food editor Laura Faire: This is a great recipe to arm yourself with before heading off to your local Asian Specialty store.  I find that most of these ingredients keep well, either in a darkened spice drawer or even the freezer.

I have left the measurements as supplied by the chef, a little bit of common sense can be used here at home though, a pinch of salt would suffice for 1 gram, (1 teaspoon of salt is 4 grams).

Beef Rendang 

1  cinnamon quill

2  cloves

1 cardamom pod, crushed

1 star-anise 

25mls canola oil 

500g  beef chuck, diced 5cm

65g   sambal basic (see below)

17g   lemongrass frozen, bruised

60ml coconut cream (¼ cup)

2g  salt

1g   kaffir lime leaves, julienne 

10g  dark palm sugar

15g  ginger garlic paste (blend equal quantities)


  1. Toast all the spices
  2. Crush the lemongrass
  3. Heat the oil and fry the ginger garlic paste, once fried well add the sambal, the spice, and lemongrass. Reduce the sambal to a thick consistency. 
  4. Then add the coconut cream. Bring it to boil, add the diced beef, palm sugar, and salt.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook on a very low-heat 
  6. Cook till the meat is tender and the sauce thick and almost splitting. This will be between 1.5 - 2 hours 
  7. To serve garnish with toasted coconut and coriander 

Chili Sambal 

90g shallot, peeled 

15g garlic cloves

50g cooked dried chili * see below

15g candlenut, * or use macadamia or cashew

100mls canola oil 

20g caster sugar

4g salt

How to cook dried chili Add the dried chili into a pot of boiling water, and continue to simmer for 1/2hr.  Strain into a colander, keep in the container. 


  1. Cut the shallot in small pieces, and then using a  blender,  blend the shallot, garlic, cooked dried chili, and candlenut until a smooth paste.
  2. In a thick based pot, heat the oil on medium-low heat, and sauté the raw chili paste in a small batch at the time with constant stirring so the paste does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook until paste is not bitter.
  3. Add in the sugar and salt to caramelise the paste, continue to cook until the paste becomes dark red in colour, oil will split. 
  4. Leave to cool before storing the sambal in a clean, dry storage container

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