Black Bear Rendang

Create bold flavours with a blend of spices and coconut cream when you make this Indonesian rendang. Simmering bear with fresh ingredients breaks down the meat fibers into tender goodness, and the long-simmering process ensures it’s always well done.

Prep Time


Cook Time


Total Time

3h 30m






  • 2-3 lb black bear roast
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp cloves, ground
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, bashed


Note: If using lemongrass, remove the green section and the outer sheath and use only the white portion. Bash the stalks with a mallet to release flavour. You can purchase tubes of fresh lemongrass in most grocery stores; one tablespoon replaces one stalk.


  1. Slice the roast very thinly across the grain. This is easier when the meat is partially frozen. If you have a big roast, cut it into smaller portions before slicing.
  2. Stir together all the spices: garlic, red chili flakes, onion, ginger, turmeric, coriander, salt, sugar, cardamom, cumin, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a wok and sauté the spices over low heat until aromatic. They should form a paste.
  4. Add the coconut cream and lemongrass to the wok.
  5. Add the bear slices and cook over medium heat, until the coconut cream comes to a boil.
  6. Simmer mixture over low heat and add a cup or two of water two or three times when the mixture starts to dry or thicken.
  7. Cook until the meat absorbs the flavour of the spices and the mixture turns a rich, dark brown. This could take three hours or longer. Add more water as needed.
  8. Serve hot with rice or naan bread.

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