Daily Cooking Quest

easy Indonesian recipes

Tongseng Ayam - Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken Stew

Tongseng is a stew dish with meat (typically mutton, beef, and sometimes chicken) with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), coconut milk, shredded cabbage and tomatoes. This dish originates from Surakarta, popularly known as Solo, a city steeped in history and one of the only two cities in Indonesia with surviving Javanese court (keraton). Aside from tongseng, some of the more popular dishes from this city includes nasi liwet, nasi timlo, serabi, gudeg Solo, andkimlo.

Tongseng Ayam - Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken Stew

Tongseng Ayam - Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken Stew

Tongseng Ayam - Javanese Sweet Soy Sauce Chicken Stew



Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Serves: 4


  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 500 gram chicken meat, cut into bite sizes
  • 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 3 cups thin coconut milk (or 1 1/2 cup water + 1 can coconut milk)
  • 4 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • 8 cabbage leaves (Indonesian: daun kol), tear into bite sizes
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into cubes
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander (Indonesian: bubuk ketumbar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (Indonesian: bubuk jinten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (Indonesian: bubuk kari)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Indonesian: bubuk pala)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil in a wok and sauté spice paste until fragrant.
  2. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, coconut milk, and sweet soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is tender.
  4. Add cabbage leaves and tomatoes, and cook for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables started to wilt.
  5. Turn off heat, transfer to serving bowls, and serve with steamed white rice.


  • Esther says:

    I just found your website! It’s amazing! All recipes are well written and easily followed! I will be this particular recipe soon! :)

    • Anita says:

      Thank you for the lovely comment Esther :) I hope you will love this recipe.

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