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Bobor Bayam: Spinach in Coconut Milk (Vegan)

Bobor Bayam: Spinach in Coconut Milk (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


This refreshing soup, made by boiling spinach in coconut milk, is typical of Central Javanese home cooking. Ideal for a quick vegan lunch or dinner. Not to be confused with bubur, which is porridge.


  • 250 grams spinach, washed and rinsed several times, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 chayote (labu siam), peeled, wash and cut into pieces 1×2 cm
  • 1 litre water
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 3 cm galangal (lengkuas), bruised
  • 2 salam leaves (use bay leaf as substitute)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 4 shallots 
  • 2 cm lesser galangal (kencur)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried whole coriander seeds


  1. In a food processor or blender, blend the garlic, shallots, lesser galangal (kencur) and coriander seeds into a smooth paste.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then add the blended paste, galangal (lengkuas), salam leaves, salt and sugar. 
  3. Lower the heat and add the coconut milk. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.
  4. Add the chayote pieces (labu siam) and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes to further cook the vegetables, and then it’s ready to serve.


  • To remove the sap from the chayote, cut the chayote in half and rub the two halves against each other until the white thick sap comes out. Remove the sap, peel, and the chayote is ready to be used.

Keywords: Soup, Vegetarian, Non-spicy