Indonesian staple rendang was created as a way to preserve beef by cooking it slowly in coconut milk and aromatics until all of the liquid is absorbed. This recipe combines the creamy, fragrant sauce with tender green beans, lemongrass, Thai lime, and ginger. It’s all soaked up by rice infused with turmeric, an earthy spice with a vibrant yellow color.
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
¾ cup jasmine rice
8 ounces green beans
1 lime, divided
½ ounce ginger
½ ounce lemongrass
½ tablespoon red curry paste
1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
2 Thai lime leaves
6″ small pot with lid
2 10″ medium pans
Coconut milk solids naturally separate from the liquids during transit. No worries—it will come together during cooking.
Thai lime leaves, whole ginger, and lemongrass release flavor and aroma into the sauce while it simmers, but they aren’t for eating! Remove and discard them before cooking the green beans.
1. Cook Yellow Rice
Heat ½ tablespoon canola oil in a small pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add spice mix and rice and stir to coat, 1-2 minutes. Add 1¼ cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir once, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until water is fully evaporated, 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, then cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
2. Prepare Ingredients
While rice cooks, rinse green beans and trim and discard ends (line up all the ends to cut them all together). Halve lime, then cut 1 half into 4 wedges and set aside for serving. Trim and discard skin of ginger. Using the back of a knife, hit lemongrass in several places—bruising the herb releases its citrusy aroma and flavor. Rinse scallion, trim and discard root, and thinly slice. Peel shallot and thinly slice into rings.
3. Sear Steaks
Pat steaks dry with paper towel and season all over with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Heat ½ tablespoon canola oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add steaks and sear until browned and medium rare, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.
4. Sauté Aromatics
Heat ½ tablespoon canola oil in a separate medium pan over medium heat (it’s best to use a new pan here so that your sauce can reduce properly in Step 5, without burning). When oil is shimmering, add shallot and sauté, stirring, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in curry paste to combine, about 1 minute more (curry paste is a little spicy—you could use less, but it’s what really flavors this dish!).
5. Simmer Rendang Sauce
Add coconut milk, Thai lime leaves, whole ginger knob, and lemongrass to pan with shallot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium high and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard lime leaves, ginger, and lemongrass from sauce (see Recipe Tip). Stir in green beans to warm through, 2 minutes more. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat, squeeze over juice of ½ lime, and set aside.
6. Plate Beef Rendang
Cut steaks against the grain into ¼-inch slices (finding the direction of the muscle fibers and cutting across it, rather than parallel, ensure tenderness). Serve with yellow rice and spoon over rendang sauce. Garnish with scallion and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over. Dig in!