By Iyath Adam
For this time’s Love this Dish article, we tried the Beef Rendang by Girl from A Thousand Isles.
Girl from A Thousand Isles makes different Malay and Thai inspired packs – with a new dish for each month. We had already seen her Nasi Kerabu with Kapitan Chicken and Thai Panang Chicken Curry packs (they looked delicious by the way!), so when she opened up for Beef Rendang packs recently, we knew we had to try it!
Rendang is a meat curry dish, made by braising meat in a mixture of coconut milk, herbs and spices. Rendang can be made with chicken, beef, lamb or even goat. Although the dish is originally from Indonesia, versions of it are wildly popular in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.
Beef rendang (or rendang daging) is made by slow-cooking beef in coconut milk with spices, and chillies. The spices include cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise. Fresh aromatics such as lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and galangal are also used to deepen the flavour.
The beef is cooked for 2-3 hours over low heat, which tenderises and caramelises the meat, turning it a deep brown colour. This cooking also infuses the meat with all the lovely spices and aromatics, creating a rich, buttery flavour.
Now, onto our Beef Rendang dish! The first thing that hits you is the delicious aroma of lemongrass and spices coming from the rendang. The rendang was an appealing deep brown colour, and we couldn’t help but dig in.
We are happy to report that the Beef Rendang tasted as good as it looked and smelled! The slow-cooked beef ribs were so soft and had a melt-in-your mouth quality. It wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy, but a complex mix of sweet and savoury, with the infused spices standing out.
The Beef Rendang came with a side of white rice, cucumber salad, boiled egg, and prawn crackers. There was also a small container of traditional Malay chilli sauce. The rice was fluffy and perfectly cooked, the fried onions on top as garnish went well with the rendang. The cucumber salad, prawn crackers and sauce really complemented the whole dish and made us feel like we were eating from a mamak stall (Malaysian food stall).
Girl from A Thousand Isles only opens up for orders a couple of times a month, so keep your eyes peeled for her next Malay/Thai-inspired dish. We definitely recommend trying them out!