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Tumis Daun Pepaya Jepang: Sauteed Tree Spinach (Vegan)

Tumis Daun Pepaya Jepang: Sauteed Tree Spinach (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


Tumis daun pepaya Jepang, or sauteed tree spinach, is a dish of stir-fried leafy greens made using tree spinach, a vegetable that was introduced into Indonesian cuisine only in the late 90s.


  • 500 gr tree spinach
  • 5 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 big red chillies, diagonally sliced
  • 2 cm ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 2 cm galangal, bruised
  • 2 salam leaves
  • 1 lemongrass, bruised, knotted
  • 1 red tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 bird’s eye chillies (optional)
  • 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 100 ml water


  1. Wash the leaves thoroughly and put the leaves in boiling water. Add some salt and boil it for around 20 minutes until tender. 
  2. When the leaves are done, cool and squeeze the water out as much as possible, and cut  into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil over medium flame, and sautee the shallots, garlic, big red chillies, ginger, galangal, salam leaves and lemongrass until fragrant (around 4 minutes).

    Saute the herbs and spices

  4. Add the tomato, mix well.
  5. Add the papaya leaves, stir the ingredients.

    Add the papaya leaves

  6. Add water, sweet soy sauce and salt. Cook for around 15 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates.

    Add water, sweet soy sauce and salt

  7. 5 minutes before the veggie is done, add the whole bird’s eye chillies.
  8. Transfer the dish into a serving bowl.


  • If not available, the vegetable can be substituted with kohlrabi leaves, kale, or any green leafy vegetables with a rough texture.

Keywords: green vegetables, healthy, leafy greens, lemongrass, papaya