This Vegan Mushrooms Rendang is full of flavors and packed with wonderful aromatics.
Rendang is a popular dish in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is often served at kenduri (celebration), Hari Raya, or special ceremonies as this dish often takes a long time to prep and cook. Traditionally, the meat is slowly simmered in a mixture of chili paste, coconut milk, and finished off with toasted coconut paste (kerisik). Personally, I didn’t get to try many traditional rendang dishes made from meat but I love mushroom rendang made from lion’s mane mushrooms or mushrooms stems from home.
After doing a lot of research about this dish, I decided to tackle this dish using King Oyster mushrooms. This dish does take some time to cook, especially making the spice mix from scratch and cooking it down to a paste. Despite the time needed, this dish is worth the effort.
Vegan Mushroom Rendang Steps
First, prepare the kerisik (toasted coconut) by toasting some desiccated coconut in a heated non-stick pan, without oil, until golden brown. I used frozen coconut flakes–desiccated coconut is a great alternative as well.
My favorite ingredient to use is lion’s mane mushrooms or seasoned mushrooms stem normally sold as mock mutton. Since it’s harder to source these ingredients here, I decided to use King Oyster mushrooms instead. Instead of slicing the mushrooms, simply tear off the mushrooms so it has that fibery mouthfeel after you cook it.
Part 1: Prepare the spice paste (rempah)
Here I’m using dried chilies which I’ve removed the seeds and then boiled the chilies until soft. Other spices include lemongrass, shallots, garlic, candlenuts or sub with macadamia, and galangal. Feel free to use some turmeric if you can find fresh ones. My recipe is for guidance and you can always adjust the spicy level but adding more chilies or more lemongrass if you like the taste. I do prefer to put less garlic than shallots but some like to use the same amount.
Traditionally, mortar and pestle are used to pound the spices but I’m using a blender. A food processor is another great one to use if you like your rempah with a fiber-y look.
Part 2: Cook the rempah
Cook the rempah in a heated pan with oil. I added pandan leaves and bruised lemongrass stalk for the aroma. While stirring constantly, cook the chili paste until you see the oil starts to separate from the chili. This step can take between 20-30 minutes depending on the volume of your chili paste.
How to put everything together
Once the rempah turns darker, add in the coconut milk and King Oyster mushrooms and toss everything until well combined. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the mushrooms to absorb the rempah. Then, season with sugar, salt, and finally add in the kerisik and some chopped lime leaves before serving. Serve with some Nasi Kunyi (Turmeric Rice) and Acar (Nyonya Pickle vegetables).
Check out my other Mushrooms recipes:
This Vegan Mushrooms Rendang is
- Spicy and Flavorful
- Delicious and Aromatic
- Packed with delicious mushrooms
- Fragrant with wonderful spices
- Tasty and Appetizing!
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Mushrooms Rendang
- ¼ cup [3oz] desiccated coconut used frozen
- 20 oz King oyster mushrooms hand torn into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar or coconut sugar (adjust to taste)
- green part of lemongrass from the rempah
- a handful of lime leaves and/or turmeric leaves sliced thinly
- a few pandan leaves knotted (optional)
- 1⅓ cups [~300ml] of coconut milk
- oil for cooking
Rempah to make Chili Paste
- 25 dried chilies seeds removed, boiled until soft
- 150 g [6-8] of shallots
- 30 g [½ bulb] of garlic
- 5 candlenuts (buah keras) or macadamia nuts
- 5 slices of galangal or 2 slices of ginger
- 3 stalks lemongrass white part only
- 1 teaspoon salt
How to make the Kerisik (Coconut Paste)
- To make the kerisik (toasted coconut), place the frozen desiccated coconut in a heated non-stick pan.
- While stirring continuously, toast coconut until golden brown, then transfer to a mortar or food processor. Pound or pulse until fine. Skip this step if your desiccated coconut is super fine. Set aside until ready to use.
How to prepare the mushrooms
- Prepare the mushrooms – Clean mushrooms with a damp towel, then cut off the tough ends.
- If your mushroom is large enough, slice it in half, then tear each half into 2, so you'll have 4 parts. Repeat until you are done with all the mushrooms.
How to make Chili Paste (Sambal)
- To make the chili paste, place all the rempah ingredients in a blender, then add enough oil (about 2 tablespoons) to get the blender running. Blend or pulse the ingredients into a smooth paste.
- Heat a large non-stick pan, then add about 2-3 tablespoons of oil.
- Slowly pour in the chili paste and add in the green part of the lemongrass, and pandan leaves (if using). 'Fry' the chili by stirring continuously over low-medium heat.
- Cook the chili paste until it turns darker or when you see some oil is starting to separate from the mixture.
How to put everything together
- Add in the coconut milk and cook for another 30 seconds, then add in the mushrooms and cover the pan with a lid.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes or so until the mushrooms are fully cooked through.
- Season with salt, sugar, and let it simmer for another minute or so.
- Finally, fold in the toasted coconut and lime leaves.
- Discard the lemongrass stalk and pandan leaves before serving. Enjoy!