We all know Rendang is usually referred to a popular food in Southeast Asia particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, but did you know Philippines have its own version? Riyandang or Randang a Filipino Maranao dish made of beef slowly cooked with spices and aromatics in coconut milk and toasted coconut meat.

Rendang, we all know this delicious dish as it was voted as the World’s Best Food multiple times. A dish that originated in a country with diverse local culture and tradition it is understandable why this dish has tons of variety; in fact, we have our own version in the Philippines called Riyandang or Randang. Typically associated with the cuisine of the Muslim Maranao people of Mindanao this version of Rendang is less spicy and it uses a native spice mix called palapa. There were two claims on how this Filipino version originated, one of the story states that an Indonesian Islamic scholar, brought the recipe with him during the 1950’s when he visited Lanao del Sur. He then married Babu Sipur Mabaning, a Marinaut, Marawi local who learnt the recipe from her husband and in turn taught her neighbours, family and friends which had spread across Lanao through different generations. On another story, it states that it was created even before the 1950’s and was believed to happen during Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage in Mecca when Indonesian pilgrims shared the dish and recipe to Filipino Maranao pilgrims which they did brought home and cooked locally, either way we all know the origin was from Indonesia.

Like the other Southeast Asian rendang the commonality between the different rendangs are the long process of meat in coconut, spices, chilis and seasoning. The Maranao version tend to be less dry compared to the Indonesian counterparts as many Filipinos prefer dishes with a bit of sauce. In the Philippines usually goat and beef are used but there are other varieties that chicken and seafood are also used as the main ingredient to this dish. It is the pride of the Maranao people and is usually prepared and served on special occasions like the kanduli festival, family celebrations and specially during Eid’s, so if you visited Mindanao and got served this then you know there’s something special going on.

For me I love this version, I may be biased since I am Filipino, but I think my palate is just used to the spiced used on this Maranao dish, I felt its more savoury rather than heavy in spice.

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Riyandang or Randang a Filipino Maranao dish made of beef slowly cooked with spices and aromatics in coconut milk and toasted coconut meat.


Units Scale


  • 1 kg stewing beef or beef brisket, cubed
  • 1 cup grated mature coconut meat (niyog)
  • 4 pcs bay leaves
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • lime zest
  • salt


  • 1/4 cup raw jasmine rice, pan roasted
  • 1 1/2-inch turmeric, thinly sliced
  • 1 inch galangal, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, white sections only, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red capsicum, sliced


  • 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • 4 pcs spring onions, white sections only, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 pcs birds eye chillies


  1. Using a mortar and pestle place the pan roasted rice and pound until coarse in texture but not fully pulverised. Remove from mortar and pestle then set it aside.
  2. Using the same mortar and pestle place all palapa ingredients together then pound until it becomes a paste.
  3. Add the remaining marinade ingredients then continue to pound until the spices releases its natural oil. It does not need to become a smooth paste.
  4. In a bowl combine beef, roasted pounded rice and pounded spice paste, gently mix by hand until all beef pieces are coated with the spices. Set it aside for 30 mins.
  5. In a non-stick pan add grated mature coconut meat, place over medium high heat then toast coconut meat until golden brown. Remove from pan then set it aside.
  6. In a large wok, add a bit of oil, heat it up over medium heat then add the marinated beef together with all of the spices. Cover the wok, let beef sweat and cook slowly in its own for 15 minutes.
  7. Open the wok add the bay leaf, coconut milk, soy sauce, toasted coconut and lime zest, cook while scraping the bottom. Bring to a boil then simmer in low heat for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until cooked and beef is tender. During the cooking process mix everything in wok once in a while to prevent it from sticking at the bottom, add water if its drying out. During the last 5 minutes bring heat to high, reduce the sauce and let the coconut milk extract its natural oils.
  8. Season with salt if needed, serve.


4 Responses

  1. Eha says:

    In spite of it not being particularly healthy I love the Malaysian rendang curries and cook them often with a number of favourite recipes in hand. Had no idea of the Filipino variant(s) and am hugely interested! At the first read-through cannot quite find the flavours I know on my ‘pretend-tongue’ Am hugely interested and shall try soonest – thank you so much for the recipe !!!!!!

  2. Once again, a wonderful combination of flavors here — and it is so interesting to learn how dishes travel across Asia, each country leaving its mark. I hope you all had a Merry a Christmas and I wish you a happy, healthy, and flavor-filled New Year!

  3. That looks saucy and jam packed with flavours!

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