Ingredients

  • Serves 4 people
  • 250 g turnip (meng kuang) peeled and cut into 5 cm strips

  • 400 g chinese round cabbage (cut into bite size chunks)

  • 100 g long beans (cut diagonally into 5 cm lengths)

  • 2 daun salam (bay leaves)

  • 4 clove garlic

  • 4 shallots

  • 1½ stalk lemongrass (sliced)

  • ½ slice galangal

  • 150 g ikan bilis (soaked for 5 minutes)

  • 80 g carrot (peeled and sliced)

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • ½ tbsp fish curry powder

  • 500 ml coconut milk

  • 2 tbsp sambal chili oil

  • 3 pcs tau kwa (halved into triangles and deep-fried)

  • 3 instant lontong (rice cakes) (boiled and cubed)

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs (halved)

  • 60 g serunding (fried grated coconut)

  • 500 ml water

  • oil for cooking

  • palm sugar (to taste)

  • salt (to taste)

  • sambal chili (to taste - for topping)

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Recipe Courtesy of
Asian Food Network

Lontong

Lontong consisted of compressed steamed rice cakes soaked in rich coconut vegetable curry stew. Lontong is a dish that can be commonly found at cafes, hawker centres and restaurants in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It’s a hearty meal for any hungry diner who loves a tasty curry and vegetables.
  • Easy
  • 10 min
  • 30 min
  • 15 min
  • 2 steps
  • 23 Ingredients
  • Easy
  • 2 steps
  • 23 Ingredients
  • 10 min
  • 30 min
  • 15 min

How to Cook Indonesian Lontong at Home

Are you a veggie lover who enjoys having a toothsome bowl of curry on a rainy day? If the answer is yes, then you NEED to try Lontong!

Unlike Sayur Lodeh which is commonly eaten with rice or Chicken curry that can be enjoyed with Roti Jala, you can enjoy Lontong on its own as the rice cakes are starchy and can keep you full.

What makes Lontong even more unique is its interesting aroma. The light but savory tang comes from instant rice cakes that were wrapped and steamed in banana leaves. The distinct taste also comes from the bay leaves and fried grated coconut.

Feeling hungry yet? Why not try making it at home?

Some might prefer getting takeout just because it's more convenient than cooking at home. But there are countless benefits of cooking at home.

Firstly, you are in full control of the ingredients. If you are not a fan of spicy foods, you could cut down on the chili padi (bird’s eye chilis). Similarly, you could also add more coconut flakes if you want a stronger coconut taste. For a healthier dish, you could also use low-fat coconut milk and coconut oil instead.

Also, cooking acts as a stress reliever for some people. Nothing is more satisfying than wolfing down a hearty dish you made on your own! It gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps you become more confident.

Ready to start cooking Lontong? With just two simple steps, blending and fry spice paste before adding the vegetables and coconut gravy. Yes, it is that easy to recreate Lontong at home!

Frequently Asked Questions about Lontong

Is Lontong a vegetarian dish?

Unfortunately, Lontong is not vegetarian as you would need to use ikan bilis if you are following the recipe below. However, you could make the dish vegetarian by omitting the ikan bilis, using vegetable oil, and adding meat-free ingredients like mushrooms and corn to give the dish more flavor.

Is Lontong Spicy?

Lontong is essentially a curry. Thus, it can be spicy, but if you prefer milder spicy flavors, you can reduce the amount of chili padi in the dish.

How do I make this dish healthier?

There are several ways to do this. One way is to reduce the amount of rice cakes and replace them with vegetables so that you reduce your carbohydrate intake. You could also opt for low-fat coconut milk over regular coconut milk and vegetable oil over butter or duck oil.

Can I find premade Lontong paste at the supermarket?

Yes, you will be able to find them if you want to save time, although rare. Bear in mind that the secret to a good curry dish is in the paste.

However, if you are someone who prefers customising the flavor of the dish, you might want to make your own paste from scratch.

How long can I store Lontong?

As the recipe uses coconut milk (which goes bad after a week or so), you might want to finish any remaining lontong within 2-3 days.

The rice cakes could also make the gravy cloudy and slimy. Separate them if you wish to store the dish for another meal the following day. Alternatively, you could cook a fresh batch of rice cakes to enjoy with the gravy.

Tips to Cook a Succulent Lontong

  1. Fry your condiments until they are fragrant: the more fragrant your condiments, the tastier and more flavorful the gravy. Cook them over low to medium heat to avoid burning them
  2. Use smaller ikan bilis for saltier flavors: smaller ikan bilis are saltier than the large ones. If you want to neutralize the spiciness of the chilis, you could use them instead of large ikan bilis
  3. Wash the ikan bilis before cooking: this gets rid of any sea salt or grime. You will know when the ikan bilis is clean when the water you use is clear
  4. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to bruise the lemongrass: put the lemongrass in a disposable plastic bag and bruise it with your kitchen utensils
  5. Remove the bay leaves before serving the dish: bay leaves are generally not eaten. Instead, they are only used to give the dish an earthy flavor. You might want to remove them before serving the Lontong to children
  6. Use fresh tau kwa: tau kwa could go bad if you keep it in the refrigerator for too long. Try to buy it fresh instead

Feel free to omit certain vegetables if they are not to your liking: the best aspect about cooking Lontong is that it works with a variety of vegetables. If you’re not a fan of carrots, feel free to leave them out

Instructions

  1. Blend and fry spice paste

    • Blend garlic, onion, lemongrass, galangal and ikan bilis for the lontong paste into a smooth mixture. Add a little oil if the mixture is too dry
    • In a deep pot, heat up 2½ tbsp oil and fry the lontong paste over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until fragrant
    • Add 1 tbsp ground coriander and ½ tbsp fish curry powder and bay leaves.  Fry for another minute before pouring in the water and 2 tbsp sambal chili oil.  Mix well and bring to boil


  2. Fry vegetable and simmer coconut gravy

    • Add the vegetables and cook until softened.  Reduce the cooking time if you prefer your vegetables to have a firm bite
    • Season with sugar, salt and ikan bilis powder to taste.  Add the coconut milk, stirring it in as you pour so it combines evenly. The mixture should thicken
    • Turn off the heat when the mixture boils and add in the fried tau kwa


Plate and Serve!

Pour the gravy over the rice cakes and eggs before topping with serunding and sambal.  Serve hot.

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Ingredients
  • Serves 4 people
  • 250 g turnip (meng kuang) peeled and cut into 5 cm strips

  • 400 g chinese round cabbage (cut into bite size chunks)

  • 100 g long beans (cut diagonally into 5 cm lengths)

  • 2 daun salam (bay leaves)

  • 4 clove garlic

  • 4 shallots

  • 1½ stalk lemongrass (sliced)

  • ½ slice galangal

  • 150 g ikan bilis (soaked for 5 minutes)

  • 80 g carrot (peeled and sliced)

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • ½ tbsp fish curry powder

  • 500 ml coconut milk

  • 2 tbsp sambal chili oil

  • 3 pcs tau kwa (halved into triangles and deep-fried)

  • 3 instant lontong (rice cakes) (boiled and cubed)

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs (halved)

  • 60 g serunding (fried grated coconut)

  • 500 ml water

  • oil for cooking

  • palm sugar (to taste)

  • salt (to taste)

  • sambal chili (to taste - for topping)

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