Sayur Lodeh (Coconut Chicken Curry Soup)

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Sayur Lodeh (Coconut Chicken Curry Soup)

This popular Indonesian soup or curry recipe is much like gumbo, in that there are hundreds of recipes out there for it. But all of them have certain things in common, like chicken or shrimp and coconut milk.  The spice blend doesn’t vary too much from recipe to recipe, but the amounts of those spices DOES vary quite a bit from cook to cook.  I used a large turkey breast leftover from my last roasted turkey for my foundation.  After defrosting, I stripped all the meat off the bones and ended up with right around 16 oz. of white meat.  This recipe is not suitable until you reach the Atkins OWL ladder.  My nutritional stats reflect turkey and any changes in the meat will require recalculating.   Note this is a VERY nutritious meal!  My husband (and I) just LOVED it and I definitely be making it again.

To make the “flower” decoration, take a fresh red hot pepper (I used a ripe, red jalapeno I plucked off my own plant), slit it lengthwise 4-5 times (without removing or cutting through the base/stem.  Seed it carefully so as not to tear the strips off.  Place in a glass of ice water until the strips begin to curl outward. 🙂

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1 T. sesame seeds (I used white and black)

1 T. minced dehydrated onion

16 oz. cooked turkey breast, diced large (or chicken, or shrimp, peeled)

4 c. water + 4 c. low sodium chicken broth

2 c. coconut milk

½ tsp. minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium leek, washed of all dirt, sliced in ½” pieces (about 1½ c.)

½ tsp. Sambal Olek chili paste (or ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper)

¼ tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. coriander

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp. laos powder (galangal) or 1 stalk fresh lemon grass, chopped

½ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. salt

1 red jalapeno or other red pepper (for garnish, if desired)

DIRECTIONS:  Toast sesame seeds and dehydrated onion on a little pan in oven at 400º for 5-8 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove and set aside a tiny bit for garnish on each bowl and put the rest into a large soup pot.  Prepare meat/shrimp and add to the pot.  Add water, broth and coconut milk.  Add all seasonings listed (except the red jalapeno, which is just for decoration).  Add 3/4 of the toasted sesame/onion blend now if you have not done so already.  Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer.  Cook, occasionally stirring for about 20 minutes, to allow flavors to blend.   While soup is simmering, take the red jalapeno and slit it several times from the tip, 3/4 way back toward the stem.  Drop in a bowl of ice water with 1 ice cube in it for a few minutes so the “petals of the flower” will curl outward a bit.  Remove bay leaf and dish into serving tureen.  Garnish with jalapeno “flower” and sprinkle with reserved sesame/onion mix.  If you have it, a bit of fresh cilantro leaves on top would be nice.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings each contains:

178 calories

11 g  fat

4.5 g  carbs, .9 g  fiber, 3.6 g. NET CARBS

16 g  protein

203 mg sodium

353 mg potassium

21% RDA Vitamin B6, 12% C, 22% copper, 36% iron, 14% magnesium, 28% manganese, 31% niacin, 27% selenium and 16% zinc


6 comments on “Sayur Lodeh (Coconut Chicken Curry Soup)

    • If serving like a curry, over rice, you will probably want to use your favorite thickener to thicken it up a bit. I served mine as a creamed soup and it was just right without thickener. 🙂


    I have chicken tenders and some wonderful shrimp.
    Will have to try this and just drop the shrimp in the
    broth for the last few moments. Yum ahead of time.
    I see a little blob of Colonel Jay’s Chutney somewhere
    as a condiment with this soup. I can hardly wait to make
    it. I wil

  2. Hi Peggy,

    Beautiful photos of soup. I do have a question.

    With 10 cups of liquid and only 16oz. of poultry,
    not much in the way of vegetables, and cooking
    time of 20 minutes, how does this thicken?
    I am assuming that you get 10 one cup servings?

    • It’s the coconut milk that thickens up as it simmers, I think, Barb. A bit of the water in it evaporates. I didn’t have to thicken mine one bit, honest. 16 oz. of turkey meat is a lot of turkey, I think. So much so that I had to increase the broth before I was finished with this. I had way too much turkey:liquid when I first started cooking with just 8 c. total liquid. You might like a meatier soup and would prefer to start out with just 8 c. total liquid and add as you go until you reach your preferred ratio of solids:liquid. My servings were larger than 1 cup, more like 1¼-1½ cup. Remember, the chicken and leeks bulk up (by displacement) the base 10 cups of liquid in the soup.

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