Sayur asem
( Sour Dish/Tamarind Dish)

Sayur asem is a clear soup with assorted vegetables such as melinjo (gnetum gnemon), melinjo leaves, sweet corn (still on the cobs), peanuts, zucchini/chayote and tamarind.

Tips: If you are in Europe or USA, it’s difficult to find melinjo or melinjo leaves, also chayote and if they are, they’re mostly expensive. Use another vegetables that you can easy to find and cheap, because in Indonesia this dish is one of the most cheapest dish that you can make.

Usually I spent Rp. 3000 or Rp. 4000 to buy the ingredients, and you can eat them with the whole family, at least you can feed 10 people with this budget.

So don’t bother if you can’t find melinjo or melinjo leaves. Here is some vegetables that you can use to make sayur asem, and the taste is still the same anyhow you use another vegetables for this dish.


• White cabbage, chopped

• Green Beans

• Jackfruit (in can, mostly you can buy at the Chinese store)

• Red beans (in can, wash and drained)

• Young corn (in can)

• Tamarind

• Bay leaves

• Chilli pepper

• Sugar

• Salt

• Onions, fine chopped


1. Boiled some water (about 3 liter) add Bay Leaves, whole chilli pepper and chopped onion. Let them cooked.

2. Add Red beans, jackfruit and young corn.

3. Meanwhile make tamarind water with boiled water, add the juice to the dish.

4. Add sugar and salt. Taste it. If you want sweet add more sugar. The taste has to be sweet sour.

5. And the last if you already taste it, add chopped white cabbage an green beans. Let hem cook.

Served cold, it’s the most delicious if you served cold.

Very tasty if you eat with sambal terasi and some raw vegetable and salty dry baked fish (jambal). And with warm rice, hummmm.

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