Chicken Rendang That Is Easier and Quicker Than You Think

I previously made beef rendang on the site with desiccated coconut. Now that I’ve found an Asian grocer that stocks fresh grated coconut, I decided to make chicken rendang! The heart of the rendang lies in the kerisik, coconut that has been toasted then ground to release the coconut oil. It is easier than you think it is and having a solid blender is half the battle won!

Chicken rendang

Serves 4

70g dried chillies, deseeded and soaked in hot water for half an hour

80g ginger

25g turmeric root

25g galangal

100g red onion

60g garlic

140g grated coconut

100g oil

3 lemongrass, bruised

2 cinnamon

5 cloves

5 cardamom

1 star anise

400ml coconut milk

1½ tsp salt

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

100g water

5 kaffir lime leaves

40-45g gula melaka, chopped

1. Squeeze out excess liquid from the chillies and blend them with ginger, turmeric, galangal, red onion and garlic to a paste.

2. Fry the coconut on low heat until dry and brown. Blend or pound the coconut until it turns into an oily paste.

3. Place the oil, lemongrass stalks and whole spices in a wok and heat over medium heat.

4. When the oil is hot, add the rempah and fry until the colour darkens.

5. Add the coconut milk gradually.

6. Turn the heat to low and cook until the mixture begins to bubble and exude oil.

5. Add salt, chicken pieces, water and kaffir lime leaves. Mix well and cook covered for 10 min.

6. Add the gula melaka and kerisik.

7. Continue to cook the chicken for another 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring constantly to reduce the gravy and melt the sugar.

8. Serve hot with rice (we had ours with turmeric rice). Keeps well too!



Pamelia Chia is a Singaporean chef and the author of the bestselling cookbook ‘Wet Market to Table’. After graduating with an Honor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the National University of Singapore in 2014, she decided to trade a food scientist’s lab coat in for chef whites. She has since been working in restaurants in Singapore and Melbourne, including Candlenut and Carlton Wine Room. Her deepest interest being the preservation and celebration of Singaporean food heritage and culture, she started Singapore Noodles in 2020 as a platform to share about Singaporean food to a global audience. Find her on Instagram @pameliachia.

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