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Basic Sayur Asem: Simple Tamarind Soup with Vegetables (Vegan)

Basic Sayur Asem: Simple Tamarind Soup with Vegetables (Vegan)

  • Author: Deyana Goh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe is for a simple, stripped-down version of sayur asem — a spicy tamarind soup with vegetables. The sayur asem here is the red West Javanese version.


  • 1.5 litre water
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 6 big red chillies, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • ½ tbsp tamarind paste, diluted in water
  • 2 inch galangal
  • 1 large potato, quartered
  • 200g long beans, sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar


  1. Blend the onion, chillies, garlic, and galangal.
  2. In a large pot, bring the water to boil.
  3. Add the blended paste and the diluted tamarind paste.
  4. Add the potato slices, long beans, and salt.
  5. Cook until the potatoes soften, about 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the pinch of sugar, stir, and adjust seasoning.
  7. Turn off the flame. The sayur asem is ready!

    Sayur Asem is ready


  • If you prefer crunchy long beans, just shorten the cooking time.

Keywords: One-pot meal, spicy