Lodeh Recipe: A Hearty and Rich Vegetable Soup

lodehLodeh – warm, delicious, soupy and comforting

Lodeh, or kuah lodeh as it is more commonly known in Malaysia, is a comforting and rich vegetable soup with roots from Java. It is also sometimes called lontong, although (just to make things a little confusing) lontong also refers to nasi impit, which often accompanies a steaming bowl of this delicious soup.

Whether you call it lodeh or lontong, this is a great dish to have when you feel the need for a warm, tasty, comforting and hearty meal. It is also a pretty popular dish during Hari Raya as it is fairly easy to cook once all the ingredients have been prepared. Enjoy.

Ingredients lodeh
  • 200g prawns, deshelled (legs and sharp parts removed) and deveined, with the shells reserved
  • 200g gizzards, sliced thin
  • 300g fatty beef, roughly chopped
  • 200g dried shrimp, soaked
  • 50g dried tofu skin (foo chok), soaked then cut into 3cm x 6cm pieces
  • 250g firm tofu (taukwa)
  • 360g tempeh, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 50g soh hoon, soaked
  • 16g turmeric leaf (about 1 leaf), knotted
  • 30g lemongrass, roots only
  • 17g turmeric
  • 25g galangal
  • 185g shallots
  • 40g garlic, sliced thin
  • 220g snake beans, torn into 3cm pieces
  • 275g carrots (about 2 carrots), baton cut 3cm long
  • 40g green chilies (about 2 large chilies), sliced thin
  • 250g cabbage (about ½ a cabbage), sliced into 3cm x 3cm pieces
  • 500g English gourd, peeled and cut into 2cm to 3cm cubes
  • 1 kg coconut milk
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 3 cups cooking oil + extra
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Serves 5-7


  1. Cut and prepare all the ingredients above.
Preparation is key
  1. Blend half lemongrass roots with shallots until fine.
  2. Blend balance half lemongrass roots, turmeric and galangal until fine. Add a little bit of water to assist in the blending process if needed.
  3. Blend soaked dried prawns until fine.
  4. In a wok or frying pan, heat 2 cups of cooking oil. When the oil has reached a temperature of 180°C to 200°C, fry tempeh until golden brown. Once fried, transfer to a colander lined with kitchen towels to drain excess oil.
  5. Do the same with the firm tofu. Once dry, cut the fried tofu into 2cm cubes.
  6. Cut prawn shells into small pieces. Heat a small frying pan on high heat and add prawn shells. Pour in just enough cooking oil to almost, but not completely, cover the shells. Once the shells start to fry, let it fry for about 5 minutes to flavour the oil. Strain oil into a separate bowl. Discard shells.
Frying prawn shells to make some fragrant prawn oil
  1. In a large pot, heat 1 cup of cooking oil plus prawn shell oil on high heat. Add in blended shallots, blended turmeric, garlic and blended shrimp and fry until fragrant. You’ll want this mixture to come up to about 2cm to 3cm deep from the base of the pot you’re using.
Fried oils, garlic and blended mixtures give off a mouth-watering scent!
  1. Once the mixture is fragrant, add beef and gizzards and stir until beef is cooked. 
Beef and gizzards into the pot
  1. Add beef stock and knotted turmeric leaf. Bring to a boil. Discard turmeric leaf.
  2. Add carrots, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Next, add gourd, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add snake beans, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Then, add cabbage, chili and prawns. Stir.
It’s starting to look like soup!
  1. Add tofu skin and coconut milk. Stir to mix evenly and bring to a boil.




  1. Add soh hoon, tempeh and tofu. Stir.



  1. Add salt and sugar and cook until the vegetables have cooked through.
Looking good!
Extra tips
  1. Serve with rice or nasi impit. Lodeh also goes really well when topped with beef or chicken floss (serunding), beef rendang and peanut sauce, especially during Eid.
  2. If you don’t have access to fresh coconut milk, canned or boxed coconut milk can also be used in a pinch.

Sounds good? Note though that while this dish contains lots of vegetables it isn’t exactly vegetarian. If you’ve got a vegetarian version of lodeh, share it with us as we’d love to give it a go in our Kitchen Lab. And if you’re cooking and serving up our lodeh recipe, don’t forget to share a pic with us by hashtagging #butterkicap. We’d love to see how it turned out!

Butterkicap Team

We're just a small group of friends who love food, culture and Malaysia. We saw the rise of mediocre food, deteriorating relationships and missed the good old days of Malaysia where food was good, homes were warmer and full of friends and family. So we rolled up our sleeves, and made Butterkicap with the hope that it will bring people and flavors home.

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