If you’re looking for a delicious and flavorful dish, look no further than beef rendang.
This Malaysian classic is made with spices, herbs, and coconut milk and served as a stew or curry.
It’s rich in flavor and texture, making it the perfect main dish.
But what should you serve with beef rendang?
Beef rendang pairs well with a variety of sides. To keep the meal traditional, serve it with steamed white rice and a vegetable side dish such as stir-fried bok choy or green beans. For something different, try serving it with coconut rice or roasted potatoes. A spicy relish or chutney is also an excellent accompaniment.
In this article, I’ll share 15 of the best side dishes that pair perfectly with beef rendang.
From salads to noodles to vegetables – there are plenty of options to choose from!
Read on to find out more about each one.
What is Beef Rendang?
Beef Rendang is a traditional Malaysian dish that is made with beef, coconut milk, and spices.
The beef is slowly simmered in the coconut milk until it becomes tender and infused with flavor.
It’s usually served as part of a larger meal or as an accompaniment to rice dishes.
The main ingredients for Beef Rendang are beef (usually chuck steak), shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal (a type of root similar to ginger), lemongrass, turmeric powder, chili peppers (optional), kaffir lime leaves (optional), tamarind paste or juice, palm sugar or brown sugar, and coconut milk.
The spices used vary from region to region but typically include coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods and cloves.
All these ingredients are combined together in a pot over low heat and cooked until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened into a rich gravy-like consistency.
Beef Rendang can be served hot or cold depending on preference; either way, it’s sure to be delicious!
What to Serve with Beef Rendang: 15 Best Side Dishes
Beef rendang is a delicious Indonesian dish that’s packed with flavor.
But what should you serve it with?
Here are 15 side dishes that will pair perfectly with this flavorful dish:
1. Steamed Rice
Steamed rice is a simple dish made by cooking rice with water and then steaming it until fluffy.
It is a staple in many cultures, including Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
- How To Make It: To make steamed rice, combine 1 cup of long-grain white or brown rice with 2 cups of cold water in a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to low for 15 minutes for white rice or 45 minutes for brown rice (or according to package directions). Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- Variations: There are many ways to add flavor to steamed rice. Try adding herbs such as cilantro or parsley, spices like cumin or coriander, garlic powder or onion powder, diced vegetables such as carrots or peppers, chopped nuts like almonds or cashews, dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, canned beans such as black beans or chickpeas. You can also mix in cooked meats such as chicken or beef after the steaming process is complete.
2. Malaysian Roasted Cauliflower
Malaysian Roasted Cauliflower is a sweet and savory side dish made with roasted cauliflower florets, Malaysian satay seasoning, and lemon juice.
The combination of spices gives the cauliflower an exotic flavor that pairs perfectly with beef rendang or any other main course.
- How To Make It: Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and Malaysian satay seasoning. Toss to coat evenly and spread out in one layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, flipping once halfway through cooking time. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over top before serving warm.
- Variations: For more heat, add some chili flakes to your Malaysian satay seasoning mix or use a spicier version of it such as Madras curry powder or garam masala instead of plain satay seasoning blend. You can also add some chopped garlic for extra flavor or switch up the type of oil used for roasting – coconut oil works great too! If you want to make it vegan-friendly, simply omit the cheese from the recipe altogether or substitute it with nutritional yeast flakes instead!
3. Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes
Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes is a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with beef rendang.
This recipe combines potatoes, garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese to create a flavorful and comforting side dish.
- How To Make It: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut four large potatoes into quarters and place them in a roasting pan. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together until all the potatoes are coated evenly with the ingredients. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Variations: There are many variations you can make to this recipe depending on your preferences or dietary restrictions. You can use any type of potato such as sweet potato or russet potato instead of regular white potatoes. You can also substitute olive oil for butter if desired. Other herbs such as rosemary or thyme can be used instead of oregano and basil; other cheeses such as cheddar or mozzarella can be used instead of parmesan; and additional vegetables such as bell peppers or onions could be added for more flavor and texture if desired.
4. Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak is a popular Malaysian dish consisting of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and served with an array of accompaniments.
The term “Nasi Lemak” translates to “fatty rice” due to the richness of the coconut milk used to cook the rice.
- How To Make It: To make Nasi Lemak, first rinse two cups of long-grain white or jasmine rice several times until the water runs clear. Place it in a medium saucepan with three screwpine leaves (or pandan leaves), which have been tied into a knot, and salt to taste. Pour one can of coconut milk over top, followed by enough water so that it comes up about one inch above the level of the rice. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed by the grains. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- Sambal Ikan Bilis (Dried Anchovies Sambal): Start by finely chopping half an onion, 1 clove garlic, 4 shallots, 10 dried chillies and 1 teaspoon belacan (prawn paste). Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat and add chopped ingredients along with 1 cup ikan bilis (dried anchovies). Fry everything together until fragrant and lightly browned before adding ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir fry for another minute before removing from heat and setting aside to cool completely before serving as part of your Nasi Lemak meal.
- Variations: While traditional Nasi Lemak consists only of its namesake ingredient plus sambal ikan bilis (dried anchovies sambal) there are many variations on this classic dish. Common accompaniments include boiled egg, cucumber slices, fried peanuts and even chicken rendang.
5. Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce is a classic Thai dish made with marinated chicken, skewered and grilled, served with a creamy peanut sauce.
The marinade for the chicken typically consists of coriander, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, red chili pepper, shallot and other spices.
The peanut sauce is a blend of fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and other ingredients.
- How to Make It: To make the marinade for the chicken satay skewers combine the ground coriander, garlic cloves (minced), ginger (grated or minced), lemongrass (finely chopped), red chili pepper(seeded and finely chopped) and large shallot (finely chopped) in a bowl. In another bowl mix together fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, turmeric powder, vegetable oil and cumin. Mix both mixtures together until they are combined well. Place the chicken thighs into a shallow dish or plastic bag then add in the marinade mixture. Massage it gently onto each piece of meat so that all sides are covered evenly. Cover it up with cling wrap or lid then place it in refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours before cooking. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat then thread 3-4 pieces of meat onto each skewer. Grill them for about 8 minutes on each side until cooked through. Serve immediately with peanut dipping sauce on side.
- Variations: You can also use pork instead of chicken for this recipe as an alternative option. If you don’t have access to fresh ingredients like lemongrass or red chili pepper you can substitute them with dried herbs like ground coriander seed powder or crushed red peppers flakes respectively. For extra flavor you can also add in lime juice, sesame oil, or even coconut milk to the marinade. For the peanut sauce you can opt for a spicier version by adding in more chili peppers or even adding in a few drops of sesame oil.
6. Green Beans with Peanut Sauce
Green beans with peanut sauce is a popular Indonesian side dish.
It’s made with fresh green beans that are cooked until tender and then tossed in a creamy, nutty peanut sauce.
The dish is usually served as an accompaniment to beef rendang or other spicy dishes.
How To Make It
- Begin by washing the green beans and trimming off the ends.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the green beans.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes or until they are just tender but still crisp.
- Drain the beans and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons water (or more if needed) until smooth and creamy.
- Heat up some vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the cooked green beans to the pan along with the prepared peanut sauce mixture and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until everything is heated through.
- Serve warm as an accompaniment to your favorite beef rendang dish!
7. Roti Canai
Roti Canai is a traditional Malaysian flatbread.
It is made from wheat flour, water, salt, sugar and oil.
The dough is kneaded until it becomes soft and pliable, then rolled into thin circles before being cooked in a skillet or griddle.
How to Make Roti Canai
- Begin by combining the wheat flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Slowly add the water while stirring with your hands to form a dough.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into balls.
- Cover them with plastic wrap or damp towels so they don’t dry out while you work with one ball at a time.
- Flatten each ball of dough using your fingers to make an 8-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking (about 350°F).
- Place one flattened piece of dough in the pan and cook for about 30 seconds on each side until golden brown spots appear on both sides of the roti canai.
- Transfer it onto paper towels to absorb excess oil then serve warm with beef rendang!
8. Chinese steamed cabbage rolls
Chinese steamed cabbage rolls are a traditional dish made with cabbage leaves filled with seasoned ground pork and other ingredients.
The rolls are then steamed until cooked through.
This dish is popular in many parts of China and is often served as part of a larger meal or as an appetizer.
How to Make Chinese Steamed Cabbage Rolls
- To make Chinese steamed cabbage rolls, start by preparing the filling.
- In a bowl, combine ground pork, shredded carrots, chopped scallions, garlic powder, salt, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch.
- Mix everything together well until combined.
- Next prepare the cabbage leaves by carefully removing them from the head of cabbage without tearing them too much.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of filling onto each leaf before rolling it up tightly into a cylinder shape.
- Place the rolls onto a heat-proof plate or tray that can fit inside your steamer basket and steam for 15 minutes over medium-high heat until cooked through.
- Serve warm with soy sauce or chili sauce on the side if desired!
9. Sautéed Broccoli
Sautéed broccoli is a simple and nutritious side dish.
It’s made by quickly cooking fresh or frozen broccoli in a skillet with oil and seasonings.
The result is tender-crisp, flavorful florets that pair well with many different main dishes.
How To Make It
- Begin by washing the broccoli and cutting it into small, bite-sized pieces.
- Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the broccoli florets to the pan.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is crisp-tender.
- Add your favorite seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, or Italian seasoning blend.
- Continue to cook for another few minutes until everything is heated through and combined together nicely.
- Serve immediately while hot!
10. Easy Stir Fried Cabbage with Glass Noodles
Stir Fried Cabbage with Glass Noodles is a popular side dish to serve alongside beef rendang.
This dish consists of stir-fried cabbage and glass noodles, which are also known as cellophane or bean thread noodles.
The glass noodles are made from mung beans and they have a slightly chewy texture when cooked.
They absorb the flavors of the other ingredients in this dish, making it an ideal accompaniment to the flavorful beef rendang.
How To Make It
- To make this dish, start by soaking the glass noodles in hot water for 5 minutes until they become soft and pliable.
- Drain them and set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat and add garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and green onion whites.
- Stir fry for 1 minute until fragrant then add shredded cabbage and cook for 2 minutes more until softened but still crisp.
- Add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt to taste along with the glass noodles and toss everything together for 1 minute more until combined.
- Serve warm with beef rendang on the side!
11. Sambal (Malaysian Chili Sauce)
Sambal is a chili-based sauce that is popular in Malaysian cuisine.
It can be used as a condiment, dip, or marinade, and it is often served alongside dishes such as beef rendang.
Sambal is made with fresh chilies, garlic, shallots or onions, and other ingredients like tamarind paste or shrimp paste.
How to Make Sambal
- To make sambal at home you will need fresh chilies (red jalapeño peppers are a good option), garlic cloves, shallots or onion, sugar (or palm sugar), salt, tamarind paste (or lime juice) and fish sauce.
- Start by combining the chilies with the garlic and shallot in a food processor until everything is finely chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the mixture along with some water and blend until smooth.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly if needed.
- Serve your homemade sambal alongside beef rendang for an extra kick of flavor!
12. Malaysian Mango Salad
Malaysian Mango Salad is a traditional Malaysian side dish that is made with mangoes, onions, cilantro (coriander leaves), mint, sambal paste (or red chili paste), salt and sugar.
It is a refreshing and flavorful accompaniment to beef rendang or any other type of spicy curry dish.
How To Make It
- Peel and cube the ripe mangoes into 3 cups worth of cubes.
- Thinly slice the red onion into ¼ cup worth of slices.
- Chop the cilantro and mint together into 2 tablespoons each of chopped herbs.
- Mix in ½ teaspoon of sambal paste (or red chili paste) for some heat, as well as ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon sugar for added flavor.
- Gently toss all ingredients together until evenly mixed throughout the salad before serving alongside your beef rendang!
13. Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu is a delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with beef rendang.
It is made with tofu, sesame oil, garlic, and other spices.
The tofu is pan-fried until it’s crispy on the outside while still soft and creamy on the inside.
The flavor of the garlic and sesame oil adds a savory depth to this simple dish.
How To Make Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
- Start by pressing your block of tofu for about 15 minutes to remove excess moisture.
- Cut into cubes or slices depending on your preference.
- In a large bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional), and salt & pepper to taste.
- Add in the cubed/sliced tofu and toss until all pieces are evenly coated with the mixture.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or cooking spray if desired.
- Once heated, add in the marinated tofu pieces without overcrowding them in the pan (you may need to do this step in batches).
- Fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown then flip each piece over carefully using tongs or spatula before frying for another 5 minutes on the other side until golden brown as well.
- Take off heat once done frying, garnish with green onions (optional), serve warm alongside beef rendang!
14. Fried tempeh bowls
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.
It has a nutty, earthy flavor and can be used in place of meat in many dishes.
Fried tempeh bowls are a delicious and nutritious way to add some plant-based protein to your meal.
How To Make Fried Tempeh Bowls
- Start by preparing the vegetables: cut the broccoli into florets, mince or grate the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, and spring onion/scallion.
- Set aside.
- Slice the tempeh thinly (around 1 cm thick).
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking.
- Add the sliced tempeh and fry for around 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy on both sides – you may need to do this in batches depending on how large your pan is!
- Once done set aside onto kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil.
- In the same pan with remaining oil add all prepared vegetables except for the spring onion/scallion as well as salt and coconut sugar (if using) stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until lightly cooked through but still crunchy!
- Finally stir through cooked rice followed by fried tempeh slices, sambal oelek (or sriracha), pickles and lime juice if desired stirring everything together so that it’s evenly combined before serving with chopped fresh coriander leaves scattered over top along with extra sambal oelek (or sriracha) if desired!
15. Acar Timun (Indonesian Pickled Cucumbers)
Acar Timun is a type of Indonesian pickled cucumbers.
It is made from cucumber, carrots, shallots, Thai chilies, and a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and salt.
The vegetables are cut into small pieces and soaked in salt water before being mixed with the pickling liquid.
The result is a crunchy and tangy side dish that pairs perfectly with beef rendang or other spicy dishes.
How to Make Acar Timun
- Start by chopping the cucumber (remove seeds), dicing the carrots (peeled), cutting the shallots into small bite pieces (peeled), and removing stems from 15 Thai chilies (add more according to your liking).
- Soak these ingredients in 1 teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl mix together 2½ tablespoons white vinegar, 1-1½ tablespoon sugar (add more according to your liking), ¼ teaspoon salt (add more according to your liking), and ⅓ cup hot water until combined.
- Drain the vegetables from their soaking solution then add them to the pickling liquid.
- Mix everything together until all ingredients are evenly coated in the pickling liquid.
- Place everything into an airtight container then store it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving alongside beef rendang or any other spicy dish!
In conclusion, beef rendang is a flavorful and aromatic dish that pairs well with a variety of accompaniments.
Some of the best side dishes to serve with beef rendang are steamed rice, Malaysian roasted cauliflower, sautéed potatoes with garlic, nasi lemak, chicken satay skewers, green beans in peanut sauce, roti canai, lemang, steamed broccoli, and stir-fried glass noodles.
All of these dishes will add color, flavor, and texture to your meal.
So, when you’re looking for accompaniments to beef rendang, consider these side dishes and create a delicious, balanced meal for your family and friends.
What to Serve with Beef Rendang (15 Tasty Sides)
- Steamed Rice
- Malaysian Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Garlic Butter Parmesan Potatoes
- Nasi Lemak
- Thai Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
- Green Beans with Peanut Sauce
- Roti Canai
- Chinese steamed cabbage rolls
- Sautéed Broccoli
- Easy Stir Fried Cabbage with Glass Noodles
- Sambal (Malaysian Chili Sauce)
- Malaysian Mango Salad
- Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
- Fried tempeh bowls
- Acar Timun (Indonesian Pickled Cucumbers)
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a side for Beef Rendang in 30 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.