Sayur Lodeh is a well-known Indonesian dish originated from Java and made of various of vegetables such as (to mention a few) chayote, long beans, carrots, jackfruit, coconut milk and aromatic spices.
I remember how often my mom made this. My mom loved to make rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves and this sayur lodeh is one of the must dishes to accompany the rice cakes. Few vegetables that I like to put in my sayur lodeh are chayote (labu), cabbage, carrots, green beans, and baby corns. You can pretty much put whatever you like in there, but to me having those kinda represent sayur lodeh better 🙂
This sayur lodeh calls for spices and herbs such as turmeric (kunyit), galangal (lengkuas), candlenuts (kemiri), and bay leaves (daun salam). All these are very commonly seen in Indonesian culinary. Candlenuts is very difficult (or impossible) to find here in Minnesota. I have some because my mom brought me some from Indonesia. The closest nuts you can use to substitute is macadamia. Pretty neutral in taste, but have roughly about the same oil content. Candlenuts are widely used not only for cooking, but also for hair and skin care in Indonesia.
My mom usually grind huge bulk of coriander, turmeric, galangal, and candlenuts into paste and store them in the jars and freeze them for future use. This helps to cut down of prep time because I hate to be grinding just a small amount and I still need to wash the same amount of dishes whether I make large or small batch.
This sayur lodeh taste pretty light despite there is coconut milk. My mom usually doesn’t make this spicy because we usually pair it with other spicy dishes like rendang, sambal, etc. I believe if you give this sayur lodeh a chance, you might find yourself liking it.
Vegetables in coconut milk (Sayur lodeh) (4-5 servings)
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 1 Tbsp galangal powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp Better-than -bouillon chicken base optional
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 large chayote peeled and diced into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 head of cabbage roughly chopped into about 2-inch pieces
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced
- 1/2 lb green beans cut into 2-inch length
- 10 oz of canned baby corn drain off liquid
- 2 cups of coconut milk shake the can before using
- Salt and sugar to taste
Spices to grind:
- 8 candlenuts substitute with macadamia nuts if you must
- 5 shallots peeled
- 5 cloves garlic peeled
Preheat a large pot with cooking oil. Add in the ground spices followed by galangal, turmeric powder and chicken base. Saute for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Add in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then add in all the vegetables except for baby corns. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and let the vegetables cooked until soft but not mushy
When vegetables are cooked, add in the baby corns, coconut milk. Once you add in the coconut milk, take care not to let it boil as it will "break" the coconut and make it frothy. Cook for another 5 minutes. Have a taste and season with salt and small pinch of sugar to your taste. Serve as part of multi-course meal
Recipe NotesYou can add in whatever vegetables you want. I sometimes add in egg plants and cabbage too.