Daily Cooking Quest

Home / All Recipes / Indonesian / Sayur Lodeh - Indonesian Vegetable Stew in Coconut Milk

Sayur Lodeh - Indonesian Vegetable Stew in Coconut Milk

You will eat more vegetables when you cook lodeh (Indonesian vegetable stew in coconut milk). Perfect for festive events with lontong, opor, and sambal.
Ingredients to prepare Indonesian sayur lodeh: Chinese eggplant, Thai eggplant, snake/long bean, tomato, soybean tempeh, coconut milk, terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, palm sugar, salt, coriander, garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and candlenuts.

Ingredients to prepare Indonesian sayur lodeh: Chinese eggplant, Thai eggplant, snake/long bean, tomato, soybean tempeh, coconut milk, terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, palm sugar, salt, coriander, garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and candlenuts.

Sayur lodeh is Indonesian vegetable stew in coconut milk. Like its cousin, sayur asem, sayur lodeh has no fixed rules on which vegetables to use.

As long as you have the ingredients to prepare the spiced coconut milk broth, you can create your own version of lodeh from an assortment of vegetables you have in your home.

To me, cooking a batch of lodeh is a great way to clean up my fridge from the odd carrot, celery, and whatnot. :)

What are the typical vegetables that go into an Indonesian sayur lodeh?

It is true you can use an assorted mixture of vegetables to prepare sayur lodeh, but here is a list of the more commonly used vegetables in a typical Indonesia sayur lodeh:

  • snake/long bean (Indonesian: kacang panjang)
  • Thai eggplant (Indonesian: terong hijau)
  • Chinese eggplant (Indonesian: terong ungu)
  • Indonesian tempe/soybean tempeh, if you want, you can use my recipe to make homemade tempeh
  • firm/extra-firm tofu
  • tomato
  • corn (Indonesian: jagung)
  • cabbage (Indonesian: kol)
  • chayote (Indonesian: labu siam)
  • melinjo leaves (Indonesian: daun melinjo)

Those are just the more popular and more common vegetables you see in a typical lodeh. You don’t have to use all of them, just pick at least 3 vegetables, then choose either tempeh or tofu for the protein, and you should get a proper Indonesian lodeh. :)

Vegetables and protein that I use to prepare Indonesian sayur lodeh: Chinese eggplant, Thai eggplant, snake/long bean, tomato, soybean tempeh.

Vegetables and protein that I use to prepare Indonesian sayur lodeh: Chinese eggplant, Thai eggplant, snake/long bean, tomato, soybean tempeh.

What are the spices to prepare sayur lodeh broth?

To prepare the coconut milk broth, you will need:

  • coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
  • water, or chicken stock
  • shallot (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah), I use Fresno chilies, but you can use bird-eye chilies or cayenne chilies too
  • toasted terasi/belacan/shrimp paste, or ground toasted ebi (dried small shrimps)
  • ginger
  • galangal
  • candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • ground coriander
  • ground turmeric
  • salt
  • palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa), or dark brown sugar
  • Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam), omit if you don’t have this

White color broth vs. orange color broth

If you prefer a white-colored broth, omit red chilies and ground turmeric when you make the spice paste. Simply slice the red chilies and add them with the vegetables when cooking the stew.

If you prefer an orange-colored broth like the one in my photos, please add the red chilies (plus 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, if you wish) when you make the spice paste.

I must say that most Indonesians prefer the white-colored broth though. :)

Sayur lodeh - Indonesian vegetables stew in coconut milk.

Sayur lodeh - Indonesian vegetables stew in coconut milk.

How do you cook sayur lodeh?

Sayur lodeh is one of the easiest vegetable stew you can make. Once all the prep work is done, please do the following:

  1. Heat oil in a soup pot/wok over 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 the 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.
Sayur lodeh - Indonesian vegetables stew in coconut milk.

Sayur lodeh - Indonesian vegetables stew in coconut milk.

What do I serve with sayur lodeh?

Sayur lodeh is one of Indonesian festive food. As such, it is usually served together with many other dishes, such as:

Sayur Lodeh - Indonesian Vegetable Stew in Coconut Milk

5.0 from 11 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 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) (*)

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  • (*) 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.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Mike Mike says:

    I attempted this recipe last night using only chayote since I didn’t have eggplants or tofu (so I cut down the cooking time to about 10 minutes after adding the chayote), no daun salam, and grinded the spices but, for some reason, there was an off-putting bitter aftertaste; I had to throw away the sauce but the vegetable still tasted good. I think I may have done something wrong but I’m not too sure. Do you possibly have an idea where it could have come from?

    • Anitaa Anitaa says:

      Hi Mike, I think the bitterness might have actually come from the chayote itself. Some people find chayote to be a bit bitter, and there is a way to reduce this bitterness by cutting the top part of the chayote (about 1/2" from the top most) and then rub the top part with the bottom part until white sticky paste emerge and rinse this away before peeling and chopping the chayote. Try watching this Youtube video for a better visual guide.

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    What a great way to get my kids to eat more veggies! This looks so colorful and tasty!

  • Deanne Deanne says:

    I love that I was able to use up the extra vegetables in my fridge. So tasty and comforting!

  • Genevieve Genevieve says:

    This soup looks so unique and delicious!

  • Denisse Salinas Denisse Salinas says:

    This soup sounds like it packs a punch of flavor! I am a huge fan of all Asian soups and especially creamy coconut milk based ones like this! LOVE

  • Michelle Michelle says:

    I absolutely love the broth in this recipe. So delicious

  • Dannii Dannii says:

    I love anything with coconut and this looks lovely and colourful.

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    What a great way to warm up on a cold, winter evening! Looking forward to enjoying this for dinner this week; sounds too good to pass up!

  • Jayne Jayne says:

    I love to try new stew recipes. With the coconut milk this looks amazing.

  • Emily Emily says:

    What a delicious sounding recipe, I can't wait to try it!

  • Kelly Anthony Kelly Anthony says:

    This lodeh terong dan tahu looks so colorful and bursting with bold flavors. The spice blend really takes this dish to the next level.

  • Milky Milky says:

    I took your "cleaning the refrigerator" mention to heart- using up a bag of fried tofu, a zucchini, 2 stalks of celery, and a sack of snow peas. Despite this eclectic vegetable matter, and possibly thanks to an investment in shrimp paste and candlenuts that I made a few weeks ago, it definitely had the flavor profile to remind me the handful of times I had soupy dishes in Indonesia.
    As a leftover, soups are a big winner in my book, and the spices and light richness of the coconut milk kept me satisfied for a number of days afterwards. I love a tasty, yet versatile, dish like this- and it makes the extra steps of spice-paste-making worth the work.
    Besides the veggies, the only other major substitution I made (besides red onion in place of shallots) was dried Thai chilies instead of fresh ones, and since they're... of dubious age, and I only used maybe 2 or 3. I'm sure the soup was far less spicy than typical. As leftovers sit in the fridge, the heat also tends to break down, so then I just ended up eating it for breakfast hahaha.
    I wanted to ask about the shrimp paste- do you think Filipino 'bagoong' would make a suitable substitute in a pinch?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Milky, I have not personally tried Filipino bagoong, but based on all the readings I've done, I would say it should be safe to substitute with the same amount of terasi/belacan. If you do experiment, please let me know how it goes. :)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: