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Learning To Cook Beef Rendang

I’ve been in Southeast Asia for two years, and my favorite food is Malaysian. Especially the street food. I’ve been holding out taking a cooking class here because I really wanted to find a place that teaches the street food. I haven’t been able to find a class, so I finally broke down and took a class at a school I’ve been eyeing over the past year and decided to learn Beef Rendang. I’m so glad I took this class! I’ve made Beef Rendang before, but have used store bought spice packets. I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to learn how to make it! Fairly simple, just A LOT of steps. No more pre-made spice packets for me!


I’ve been on market tours for most of the classes I’ve taken. I loved that this tour started with breakfast. We had a roti with tea before we walked through the market. Ana, the owner of LaZat Cooking School, walked us through the proper way to make a roti and the different kinds you can find in Southeast Asia. We then walked through and learned about all the ingredients we’d be using in the class. I love market tours, and even though I’ve already been, I learned a few new things in each which makes me never want to skip one when they’re offered.


I signed up for the Authentic Malay course. This class is only offered on Saturday mornings because making Beef Rendang takes time. We learned how to make three dishes Beef Rendang, Acur Timun, and Kuih Koci.

First up was Beef Rendang! It’s not very complicated to make; there’s just a lot of steps and A LOT of waiting. This dish is so worth the time to do from scratch. The secret is being patient.

The second dish we made was Kuih Koci, a rice ball dessert. I’ve made a form of these before in Cambodia, but they weren’t nearly as good as these! Kuih Koci is coconut, palm sugar balls that are wrapped in rice dough then covered in a coconut glaze and steamed. I’m not a big sweet person, but these are pretty amazing and best when eaten right out of the steamer.

Our last dish was Acur Timun, which is a cucumber and carrot salad cooked in a fish paste. I wouldn’t have thought to cook the carrots and cucumbers but just heating it through to where it’s still crunchy but warm gives it a surprisingly good flavor. This side dish went really well with the Beef Rendang. The spiciness of the rendang perfectly complements the sour and sweet taste of the Acur Timun.

I loved making all three dishes and will definitely make them when I get to a place that has a kitchen for me to cook in. This was my favorite class so far!


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