Chef's Recipes

Vegetable and coconut soup (Sayur lodeh)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Vegetable and coconut soup (Sayur lodeh)

By Tony Tan
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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Vegetable and coconut soup (Sayur lodeh)


  • 60 ml vegetable oil (¼ cup)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, crushed
  • 30 gm dried prawns, soaked in water for 5 minutes, rinsed
  • 10 gm galangal (2cm piece)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 200 gm cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut into 5cm batons
  • 1 small eggplant (about 220gm), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 500 ml coconut milk (2 cups)
  • 200 gm cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 150 gm green beans or snake beans, cut into 5cm lengths
  • To taste: caster sugar
  • To serve: steamed rice
Spice paste
  • 5 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 candlenuts
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste, roasted (see note)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder


  • 1
    For spice paste, blend ingredients in a food processor, adding a little water if required, until smooth.
  • 2
    Heat vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add spice paste and stir-fry until fragrant (3-5 minutes). Add lemongrass, prawns, galangal and lime leaves and stir-fry to combine (1-2 minutes), then add cabbage, carrot and eggplant and cook until tender (3 minutes). Add coconut milk and 500ml water and bring to the boil, stirring frequently to prevent coconut milk splitting. Add beans and season to taste with salt and sugar. Simmer until vegetables are just soft (2-4 minutes). Serve with steamed rice.


Note Candlenuts are available from Asian grocers. Shrimp paste, known as terasi in Indonesia, is available from Asian grocers. It requires roasting before use: preheat oven to 200C, wrap shrimp paste in foil and roast until fragrant (5 minutes). This recipe is from the June 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

  • undefined: Tony Tan