Posted by: Jonjon | July 15, 2009

Asian – Rendang Minangkabau 9/10 for flavor,

Asian – Rendang Minangkabau 9/10 for flavor,


2 lbs beef
2 cans coconut cream – 400 ml can 1/4
1 piece Asam keeping = Tamarind Skin
2 – 3 pieces tumeric leaves – tear up

Ingredients to be ground:
1/2 cup bird’s eye chilies/chilly api 1/6 cup -Next time use 2.
1 inch knob galangal, peeled 0.6cm
1 inch knob ginger, peeled 0.6cm
1 inch knob turmeric, peeled 0.6cm
2 stalks lemon grass (used only the bottom ½ stalk
white tender part)
1 lb shallots, peeled 453/4 = 113g
1 whole bulb garlic, peeled ¼ bulb

4 – 5 pieces kaffir lime leaves 1 piece
1/2 cup Kerisek 1/8 cup
2 teaspoons salt or to taste ½ teaspoon

To prepare the kerisik.
The best is of course, to get freshly grated coconut.
Spread this on plate in a thin layer and microwave it on high for 3 mins, stir and microwave again for 1 min. Repeat until the coconut is totally dry and starts to brown a little.

Use dessicated coconut in a can.

Transfer dessicated coconut into a heated wok (no oil, no water) and over a SLOW fire, fry until it is fragrant and browned. Keep stirring ALL the time. If you undercook, it won’t release it’s oil when pounded. If it’s overcooked, it will taste burnt. This is a slow process and you will just have to be patient. I would say the color of the kerisik when it’s ready is close to the color of the skin of toasted almonds (the regular almonds, not the small dark almonds).
While browned coconut is still hot, pound it until it is very fine and oil is released. A food processor won’t do the job. You can either pound it in a (granite) mortar & pestle or use a spice mill. The paste will look smooth but not smooth to the touch and should feel only slightly gritty. Set it aside. You will know you have made perfect kerisik when after sitting for a while, the oil rises to the surface and the coconut paste ‘sets’ at the bottom. When you insert a spoon to scoop it out, it seems that the coconut paste has hardened but it’s not. If you drop it by the spoonful, it will for about 2 seconds hold it’s shape and then spread. This kerisik, if you care to taste it at this point, doesn’t taste good – bland and just very slightly bitterish. It is however, very fragrant.
Kerisik keeps well refrigerated in an air-tight container – I’d say about a month or so. You will need to let it come to room temperature before using it, or it will break your spoon trying to scoop it out! I have also freezed kerisik successfully.

To cook the Rendang
Cut beef into 1/2 inch thick slices with the grain. Set aside.
Into pressure cooker, put ingredients A and B. Add enough water so that it is above the meat. Close the lid and pressurized for 15 – 20 minutes.
Remove lid when pressure is released totally.
Check meat to see if it is tender enough.
Return pot to the fire , add kerisik, kaffir lime leaves and continue simmering, stirring all the time, until meat is tender and gravy thick.
Stir in salt to taste.

I just made the sauce. Adding dried kaffir lime leaves really worked. I didn’t use any tumeric leaves. I used one bird eyes chilli, but that wasn’t enough, because the curry wasn’t spicy. I used about the same amount of water to coconut cream. The sauce didn’t taste that good before salt was added. But after salt was added, it really turned the bitter taste of ground shallots and garlics into something more fragrant. The Kerisek was quite nice. I used shredded coconut flakes, then ground them up in a processor, and then microwaved them on high for 30 minutes, then again for 30 seconds each about three times at 30 minutes intervals because I was busy doing something else. Anyways, the kerisek was like baked dissicated coconut, losing a bit of their sweetness and gained more bitterness and fragrance from the browning process. They did become slightly oily after grinding them up, but never saw any oil surfacing. After adding them to the curry sauce, it added the fragrance coconut taste and gave the sauce a gritty texture which I thought was a great marriage of flavors and textures.


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