Aromatic spices make this rich, creamy, dry style Malaysian Chicken Rendang a favorite of many Malaysians. It is a must-try!
It’s a long time in coming but I finally made Malaysian Chicken Rendang when I visited my family in Kuala Lumpur recently. I cooked several dishes with ingredients hard to find here in the US, like kaffir lime, pandan, and turmeric leaves, amaranth leaves, lala (Textile Venus clams), ikan cincaru (torpedo/hardtail scad), and pork belly. I will be sharing some of these recipes here in the days ahead.
What is Rendang?
Rendang is a dry style of curry that is simmered until the gravy thickens. Classic rendang is usually made with beef, but chicken is also popular. Beef Rendang takes twice as long to cook and so Chicken Rendang is a delicious alternative. It is somewhat lighter and “brighter” in taste and appearance. In my version, I used only fresh spices to allow the aromatic kaffir lime leaves to shine.
Kerisik (Toasted Coconut Paste)
One very important ingredient in preparing rendang is kerisik which helps thicken the sauce and provides additional flavor and texture to the dish. Kerisik is usually made with fresh grated coconut but since that is impossible to get here in the US, I used frozen grated coconut in this tutorial, Kerisik (Fried/Toasted Coconut Paste). For this Chicken Rendang recipe, I used Kerisik made with dessicated coconut or dried shredded coconut processed with a blender.
A Popular Way To Serve Malaysian Chicken Rendang
You can serve Chicken Rendang with Roti Jala (Malaysian Net Crepes, Nasi Biryani/Briyani, or just plain rice. The most popular though is to serve it with Nasi Lemak. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It is truly delicious!
Similar Tools Used in Making This Malaysian Chicken Rendang
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Ninja BL770 Kitchen Blender System
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Round Braiser
Pyrex Prepware 1-Cup Measuring Cup
Malaysian Chicken Rendang
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (60ml)
- 1 stalk lemongrass (cut into two and bruised)
- 6 bone-in chicken thighs (cut into 2 pieces)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 turmeric leaf (sliced) (optional)
- 1½ cups coconut milk (360ml)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1½ tsp salt (or to taste)
- ⅔ cup kerisik (fried coconut paste)
- 8 dried chilies (seeded, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, and drained)
- 4 red chilies (seeded, and cut into pieces)
- 1 inch galangal (peeled and sliced)
- 1 inch ginger (peeled and sliced)
- 1 inch turmeric (peeled and sliced)
- 1 lemongrass (cut into rings)
- 8 shallots (or 1 big onion) (peeled, and cut into quarters)
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled and halved)
- 4 candlenuts
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (cut into strips)
- Blend all spice paste in a blender until fine. Add some water if necessary. Transfer to a bowl.
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium sized pot. Add spice paste and lemongrass. Stir fry spice paste over medium heat until fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add chicken and give it a good stir to coat with spices.
- Then pour in coconut milk. Add kaffir lime and turmeric leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Do give it a stir occasionally.
- Add sugar, salt, and kerisik (fried coconut paste).
- Continue to cook for 15 minutes until chicken is tender and only a little gravy remains.
- Serve with roti jala, nasi briyani, or white basmati rice.
I hope you will give this Malaysian Chicken Rendang recipe a try. I think you will enjoy it. Please don’t forget to check back for the Kerisk made with dessicated coconut or dried shredded coconut tutorial tomorrow. See you soon!
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