Labu Siam Tumis - Chayote in Spicy Coconut Milk

4.8 from 10 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6


  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 4 red Fresno chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah besar), sliced diagonally
  • 1 chayote (Indonesian: labu siam), about 300 to 400 gram, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa), or to taste
  • 500 ml coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
  • 1 block (1 lb./450 gram) of firm tofu (Indonesian: tahu putih), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 8 red cayenne chilies (Indonesian: cabe keriting merah)
  • 2 red Fresno chilies (Indonesian: cabe besar merah)
  • 4 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)


  1. Heat oil and sauté spice paste and Indonesian bay leaves (if using) until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add sliced Fresno chilies and cook until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add chayote sticks, season with salt and palm sugar. Stir so everything is mixed well.
  4. Pour coconut milk, stir, and cook on medium heat until boiling. Stir every 2 minutes or so, this is to prevent the coconut milk from curdling.
  5. Once the chayote is cooked, make sure it is still slightly crunchy, add the tofu, mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and serve immediately.

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