Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cooking Frenzy: Lontong (no pics, sorry!)

I found some succulent 'Solo' seawater prawns at my local market, and remembered I had some grated coconut in my freezer, and so, what better than to use the prawns and fresh coconut milk to make Sayur Lodeh, to be eaten as Lontong. I bought a few more ingredients to go with it, and made the following recipe, which is adapted from this Sayur Lodeh recipe. Mine has much less ingredients and is much simpler, because I think the freshness of the ingredients makes the dish a real winner. Plus I am just too lazy, okay? :-)

This is what Lontong looks like: rice cubes in coconut milk gravy topped with spicy anchovies.
Hmm.. sorry no suitable picture, most people put bean sprouts and eggs in their lontong, which I consider strange. And somewhat off-putting. Whyyyy sprouts and hard-boiled eggs in absolutely everything??????

Mama Pongkey's Sayur Lodeh (serves 6)

To be finely chopped/minced:
  • 10 dried chillis
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm old ginger
  • 2 cm galangal (lengkuas)
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp (udang kering)
  • 2 tbsp dried anchovies (ikan bilis)

  • 2 stalks lemongrass - crushed
  • 400 gms prawns (I used large 'Solo' prawns ~ yummy!)
  • 1 carrot - sliced
  • 10 French beans - cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 100 gm cauliflower - diced
  • 1 firm tofu - diced
  • 3 packets of tempeh (the ones that come wrapped in banana leaves, they taste much better) - diced
  • 1 large piece of dried fermented soy 'pucuk' - broken up into squares
  • 1 handful of suhun (dried vermicelli)
  • 1 tablespoon organic powdered turmeric (the nonorganic variety usually has added cornflour, and much less taste)
  • 1/2 cup prawn stock (I boiled the shells and heads of the prawns to make the stock)
  • 1 liter coconut milk (mine is rather thin, so if you are using creamed coconut you might want to thin it down)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat up the oil in a pot and saute all the minced ingredients until fragrant.
  • Dump in the lemongrass and asam keping and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Dump in the coconut milk, turmeric powder, carrot, cauliflower, suhun, pucuk, tofu and tempeh. Turn the heat to low. The trick to cooking with coconut milk is not to overboil it, as it then starts to curdle and loses its flavour. Low temperatures are key.
  • When the mixture has been gently bubbling for a few minutes, it is time to dump in the rest of the ingredients. Watch the prawns, and turn off the heat when the prawns are just nicely cooked. Overcooked prawns taste like rubber, yucks.

Ta-da! Sayur Lodeh is traditionally eaten with compacted rice cubes boiled in coconut shoots (ketupat) and spicy dried anchovies cooked in chili (sambal tumis ikan bilis) or peanut sauce.

Mama Pongkey's Sambal Tumis Ikan Bilis Bertempe

  • 1 cup dried anchovies
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cili boh (boiled dried chillies ground into a paste)
  • 1 pack tempeh, diced
  • 2 pieces of asam keping/asam gelugor for its sour taste.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • oil for frying (1/2 cup, depends on the anchovies the oil needs to immerse)
  • Salt to taste
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • Heat the oil, then dump in the rinsed anchovies. Make sure the anchovies are dry, or things could get real ugly!
  • Turn down the heat and saute the anchovies crisp.
  • Add in the chopped onion, garlic and tempeh. Continue saute-ing.
  • When the onions are soft, and the tempeh has firmed up a bit, add in the chilli paste and water, and continue stirring.
  • You'll know it's ready when the chilli paste darkens. If the dish is too hot, just add a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Didn't I tell you I was lazy? I had mine with rice, not rice cubes. I am not about to hunt for coconut shoots, and I plain forgot to buy the banana leaves which could also be used to make rice cubes.

I was too busy wolfing down the whole thing to take pictures. I only remembered when it was all gone. Hahaha. Papa Pongkey didn't mind eating the whole thing with rice instead of rice cubes. He loved the Sayur Lodeh, he said the taste was spot-on. :-) Alhamdulillah... burpp! (It's not considered rude for us to burp after a meal.. hehehe.)

In a future entry, I will describe how I use the leftover spicy anchovies for another favourite dish, Nasi Lemak.

No comments: