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Flavors of Indonesia: William Wongso Indonesia’s Chef-Ambassador

William shares his beef rendang recipe an Indonesian culinary expert and icon, William Wongso knows almost everything about how to serve the country’s best traditional dishes.

And after nearly 50 years of cooking, he’s currently on a mission to share his recipes with the world and let people from both the country and abroad savor the flavor of Indonesia.

William describe Indonesian food, as only region cooking

There is no official ‘Indonesian food’ - only region cooking. You need to start with an appreciation of how food is created in each region. You may not like the food but you cannot say, "it’s bad". Every dish has been created for a reason.

Internationally acclaimed Master Chef and Food Ambassador for Indonesian cuisine, William Wongso is humble well beyond his accolades. With a following of almost 70,000 on Instagram, an award-winning cookbook to his name along with a television series which rates highly

Favorite version of Indonesian Rendang

Rendang has been cited by CNN and other media as one of the world’s most outstanding recipes. It was also a recipe featured in the National Geographic Unchartered filming. What’s your take on this dish and the secret to preparing your favorite version of Indonesian Rendang Pak William ?

Culinary pride

West Sumatran Carmelized Beef Curry.”

Rendang is the culinary pride of the Minangkabau Region of West Sumatra. In English, Rendang can be called “West Sumatran Carmelized Beef Curry.” As I told Gordon Ramsay, there are more than 20 versions of Rendang, with every family having their own secret recipe inherited from their grandmothers. In West Sumatra, each village has its own spices paste composition and ingredients. The method that most Indonesian cook and are familiar with never cooks less than 4 hours due to the quality of the beef and the need to tenderize the meat by prolonged, slow cooking. But all Rendang recipes share caramelization as the finishing touch. Western Sumatra has the very best quality of ripe coconuts that yield thick coconut cream that is combined with chili and other spices on Rendang’s trip to the dining table.

After previously sharing Ramsay's rendang recipe, here is the rendang recipe used by William

Rendang Padang

Serve: 16 to 18 pieces


  • 1 kg topside beef (diced into 4 x 4 cm cubes)

  • 1.5 liter coconut milk or coconut cream

  • 2 g tamarind

  • 30 g lemongrass

  • 1 turmeric leaf

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves

  • salt to taste

Chili paste:

  • 150 g red chili

  • 40 g shallots

  • 40 g garlic

  • 30 g candlenuts

  • 1 g cloves

  • 60 g galangal


  1. Blend red chili, shallots, garlic, candlenuts, galangal, cloves and turmeric into a paste.

  2. Prepare saucepan, add coconut cream and spice paste and mix well, bring to the boil.

  3. Add diced beef, mix well.

  4. Add kaffir lime leaves, tamarind and lemongrass and keep stirring until the color of the sauce changes to golden brown and the oil comes out from the coconut milk.

  5. Continue stirring on a low heat until the sauce color changes to dark brown and caramelizes and the meat is tender.

  6. Serve with steamed rice.

Start making your Rendang now. Good luck!

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