Simple Sayur with Cabbage

Cabbage is a versatile vegetable. This juicy vegetarian simple sayur with cabbage recipe is a basic recipe for all kinds of vegetables used in the Indonesian kitchen.

You can easily add extra ingredients like trassi (shrimp paste), petai beans (stinky beans), or any sambal (Indonesian chili salsa) to make this basic recipe into a totally different dish.

But first things first; let’s focus on the basics for a simple sayur with cabbage and I move from there on ;-).

The cabbage has to stay crunchy, not overcooked. This sayur is excellent with lots of different firm vegetables, like savoy cabbage or green beans.

This recipe is enough for 2-3 people and is done in 15 minutes.

Simple Sayur cabbage # 91 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 107.


  • 1/4 kg of finely shredded cabbage (green-, savoy- or white cabbage)


  • 3 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 1 chopped clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sambal ulek
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 stock cube dissolved in 3 dl of water or broth or leftover gravy
  1. Fry onions, garlic, and chili in the oil until the onions are yellow.
  2. Add cabbage until it becomes tender.
  3. Then add the broth and let the sayur simmer for 2 minutes maximum.

Simple Sayur with cabbage

I chop the cabbage into pieces about an inch wide. The smaller the pieces the faster they are done.

For my broth, I use a beef stock cube. But this dish works perfectly with vegetable stock or light soup. I dilute my stock cube in 3 dl (about 1,5 cups) of warm water.

Make sure your cabbage is not submerged in the broth. Otherwise, the dish will be too watery.

Don’t overcook your cabbage. Keep in mind when you turn the heat off, the cabbage will turn more tender in the warm broth.

Before serving taste if it needs some more salt.

I love this super simple basic Indonesian vegetable dish. If you leave out the trassi and add miso for example this dish is vegan too! Leftover veggies are a great ingredient for this dish.

I sprinkle some fresh spring onions on top for some color contrast and extra flavor. We eat this with an Indonesian fish dish or a spicy rendang. Selamat makan.

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