A humble plant-powered stew of coconut, spinach and nourishing oyster mushrooms.
Preparation time: 40 minutes, cooking time: approximately 2 hours
This recipe is simple, homey and full of health-boosting ingredients. It’s a riff on the bobor from Kaum, our Indonesian restaurant at Potato Head Beach Club. “It’s such a very humble stew,” says chef Indra Saputra, “but it’s considered legendary in Javanese homes. The mushrooms add a meaty texture which is really satisfying.”
Indra pairs his bobor with steamed rice, sambal and the corn fritters known as bakwan jagung.
Simmer low and slow for the best results. Enjoy.
Here’s the recipe.
½ cup bumbu bobor (spice paste) – recipe below
⅓ tsp coconut sugar (or to taste)
2-3 lime leaves
2 salam leaves
2 cayenne peppers (halved lengthwise)
1½ cup coconut cream
2 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
⅓ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
For bumbu bobor (spice paste)
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (2 tbsp for blending, 3tbsp for sautéing)
3 peeled shallots, sliced
1 cup peeled garlic, sliced
½ cup candlenuts or macadamia nuts, roasted
¼ cup cashews, roasted
Pinch of coriander seed powder
1 bunch english spinach leaves or fern shoots (100g)
1 cup sliced oyster mushrooms – trim off the hard stem (sautéed with 1 tsp coconut oil for 5 minutes)
1 tbsp crisp red shallots (to garnish)
2 scoops young coconut meat (optional)
1 cup sliced kencur root
⅓ cup sliced roasted turmeric (roast in foil for 20 minutes, then peel)
1 tsp sea salt
1 ¼ cup filtered water
Start by making the bumbu bobor (spice paste). Blend red shallots, garlic, candlenuts, cashews, kencur root, turmeric and coconut oil until smooth.
Heat remaining coconut oil in a saucepan and sauté the bumbu paste at medium temperature for approximately 5 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid burning the spices. Add salt, lower the heat, cover pot with a lid, cook at a low temperature for approximately 1.5 hours. Stir as needed.
Add water if the bumbu gets too dry. After one hour, you should have well cooked bumbu for the base. Set aside to cool.
For the bobor stew, sauté ½ cup of the bumbu bobor at a medium heat. Combine the coconut sugar and let it caramelise. When the sugar has dissolved, add salam and lime leaves then the chilli and cook for approximately 3 minutes.
Mix in coconut cream, then the stock or water and bring to the boil. Season with salt and coriander seed powder. Boil for 5 minutes, then simmer to reduce by 25%. Taste and correct seasoning, then remove the salam and lime leaves.
Mix in english spinach leaves (or fern shoots) and oyster mushrooms, boil for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with young coconut meat and crisped shallots.
To pair with our crowd-pleasing Naji Hijau from Tanaman, find the recipe here.
Chef Indra’s tips
– Cannot find any kencur root? Substitute it with 1 part of ginger and 1 part of young galangal.
– In Indonesia, bumbu bobor (spice paste) is the foundation of a good bobor, so it’s very important to cook the bumbu well to avoid any raw taste from the spices and alliums. Adjust the cooking time as needed.
– Pop the extra bumbu in an airtight container, keep up to one week in the fridge or three months in the freezer.
– When including the greens, there is flexibility to choose your favourites, just ensure they are suitable for stewing.
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