Sayur lodeh is a vegetable curry commonly found in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The version I grew up with contains cabbage, eggplant, long beans, deep-fried tofu (and sometimes tofu puffs) and glass noodles. I made this for lunch today and it turned out perfect (really!) and so I decided to post the recipe here in case I forget how to replicate the dish next time. Cooking is a bit of trial and error sometimes, especially with Asian cooking. I think I've got the recipe down as accurately as I can, and it's super duper delicious with rice (or even on its own).
Malaysian Vegetable Curry (Sayur Lodeh)
1 packet (300g) deep fried tofu
1 cup sliced carrots
3 cups cabbage (about 1/4 of a cabbage), cut into 2 inch strips
2 cups green/long beans, cut into 2 inch lengths
2 eggplants (the long and slender type), sliced into 2 inch halves
2 pieces kaffir lime leaves, torn and crushed
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon ikan bilis stock powder
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chilli paste (made from dried chillies)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 handful glass noodles, soaked in water until softened
Spice paste (blend finely):
3 tablespoons dried shrimp (rinse with water and drain, then leave for 15 minutes to soften)
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1/2 inch galangal
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only (reserve the rest of the stalk to simmer separately in the broth later)
2-3 teaspoons toasted belacan
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- In a large pot, heat up the vegetable oil and fry the spice paste and chilli paste for 5-10 minutes. Add the kaffir lime leaf and reserved lemongrass stalk (the non-white part) and fry briefly. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour.
- Add coconut milk ikan bilis stock powder, sugar and bring to a simmer. Do not let it boil vigorously. Season with salt and soy sauce.
- Add the tofu and carrots, followed by the cabbage, long beans and eggplant. When it starts to simmer, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are just cooked. Just before serving, add the glass noodles until it's softened. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.