Rendang is a fragrant meat dish originally served in Indonesia. However its rich spicy flavour made it so popular that it is also commonly served in Singapore.
Beef rendang is one of Daniel’s favourite Singapore cuisine and a must-have when we visit. However he has high expectations of this dish. While he’s happy to eat rendang anywhere, my aunt’s homemade from scratch rendang is his favourite. No restaurant or hawker has come close to replacing Daniel’s favourite. How much of it is sucking up? To be honest I have no idea since a simple request of rendang often results in a wide spread of all his favourite dishes for dinner the next day – all cooked by my aunt.
Rendang is something I’ve never (and maybe never) cooked from scratch. The list of ingredients scares me to death and the actual cooking time required tests my patience. Most importantly, I have no confidence in recreating anything as close as my aunt’s rendang – not even 50% as close. Therefore, it is one of those dishes that I’m happy to use premix paste for.
I found Prima Taste’s Rendang at an Asian supermarket in town and decided to give it a try. I had my fears. It takes less effort than cooking from scratch but I hate ruining dinners. What if it tastes terrible?!
Thankfully, my two hours effort of cooking this dish didn’t go to waste. It was flavoursome, creamy enough (add just enough water to immerse the meat but not make the rendang watery) and the meat turned out tender.
I’ll admit that it is not like my aunt’s rendang but it’s excellent quality given that it’s from premix paste! I love rendang when it’s “dry” because it means that the meat has soaked up lots of the spices. The ones that have too much gravy left over tend to be diluted and less satisfying. I also love adding potatoes to my rendang and then serving the dish with a bowl of steaming hot white rice. As a kid I’ve always loved to mash my potatoes, mix them with rice and rendang (or any curry!). That to me is a good dinner.
Note: Recipe can be found here.