Serunding: A Malaysian Delight of Shredded Meat and Coconut

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Serunding is a beloved Malaysian staple, a rich and flavorful condiment made with shredded meat, coconut flakes, and a symphony of spices. Often compared to Indonesian abon, serunding boasts its own unique character, gracing both everyday meals and festive celebrations.

About Serunding

Serunding is one of the traditional foods inherited from the Malay community It’s just popular with the Malay community itself, in fact it has reached out to all nations in the world Malaysia. Serunding originally came from the Javanese people on the island of Java, Indonesia and has been around started to set foot in Malay land through Kelantan State through Kelantan’s good relations with Majapahit Kingdom at that time. Serunding from Java Indonesia which is better known as “Serondeng” refers more to grated coconut as the main ingredient which is roasted for a long time with hundred spices that have been mixed.

Nowadays in Malaysia it is better known as serunding Coconut is used as an accompaniment to foods such as lontong and nasi ambeng. While serunding in Malay land is a traditional food of the Malay people resulting from the creativity of the Malay ethnic group in using techniques to preserve protein source materials from beef, chicken and fish naturally through the use of hundreds of spices and chili. This makes serunding last a long time even if it is not stored in a refrigerator at the time. The process was adapted from the Javanese method of making coconut “serondeng”.

A symphony of flavors

The base of serunding is typically shredded chicken, beef, or fish, simmered with fragrant spices like turmeric, chilies, lemongrass, and shallots. The star ingredient, however, is shredded coconut, which adds a touch of sweetness and a delightful textural contrast. Malaysian cuisine celebrates diversity, and serunding is no exception. While chicken (serunding ayam) and beef (serunding daging) are popular choices, seafood lovers can indulge in serunding ikan (fish) or the tiny anchovy-based serunding ikan bilis. Spice levels can also be adjusted, from mild to fiery, depending on your preference.

Source: Kuali

Serunding transcends the role of a mere condiment. It elevates steamed rice, adds a burst of flavor to curries and soups, and even finds its way into spring rolls and popiah (fresh spring rolls). For a delightful snack, serunding can be enjoyed on its own or sprinkled over toast.

A taste of tradition

Serunding holds a special place in Malaysian culture, particularly during festive occasions like Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji. The dish is traditionally homemade, a labor of love passed down through generations. The aroma of simmering serunding filling the air is a sure sign of celebration.

While homemade serunding is a treasure, readily available options abound. Look for them in local markets or online retailers. Serunding makes a wonderful addition to your pantry, offering a taste of Malaysia’s rich culinary heritage with every spoonful.

Article by Mika Natalia