Sayur Lodeh - Indonesian Vegetable Stew in Coconut Milk

5.0 from 19 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Serves: 8


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 Indonesian bay leaf (Indonesian: daun salam), omit if you don't have this
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
  • 800 ml water/chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa), or to taste
  • 1 Chinese eggplant (Indonesian: terong ungu), cut into wedges
  • 6 Thai eggplant (Indonesian: terong hijau), quartered
  • 10 snake/long bean (Indonesian: kacang panjang), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 250 gram (1/2 lb.) soybean tempeh, diced
  • 1 tomato, quartered
  • Spice paste (grind the following together)
  • 6-8 (100 gram / 4 oz.) shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 2 teaspoon terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, toasted (or 2 tablespoon dried shrimps (Indonesian: ebi), soaked and drained, lightly toasted)
  • 1/2 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1/2 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 3 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (Indonesian: bubuk ketumbar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (Indonesian: bubuk kunyit) (*)
  • 5 red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah) (*)


  1. Heat oil in a soup pot/wok over a medium-high heat. Fry the spice paste until fragrant. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Add daun salam (if using) and thinly sliced chilies (if not included in the spice paste). Stir for another minute.
  3. Add coconut milk, water/chicken stock, season with salt and palm sugar. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add long/snake beans, eggplants, soybean tempeh, and tomato. Once it boils again, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are fully cooked and tender. Adjust the amount of salt/palm sugar as needed.
  5. Turn off the heat, transfer to a serving bowl, and serve immediately with steamed white rice.


  • (*) If you prefer a white-colored broth, don't include turmeric and red chilies when you make the spice paste. Instead, thinly sliced the chilies and add them in step 2, and completely omit the turmeric.

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