97 Sayur Tumis with turnip greens

97-raapstelen-afWhat a refreshing idea to make this classic sayur tumis with turnip greens (tops). Normally during springtime I make a Dutch ’stamppot’ (mash pot) with turnip greens. Stamppot is a traditional Dutch dish made from a combination of potatoes mashed with one or several other vegetables. But this classic Dutch-Indonesian sayur tumis is a simple sauté vegetable dish that brings out the best in turnip greens ;-).

It’s easy, fast and healthy. You sauté the turnip greens briefly in a mix of onions, garlic, galangal and sambal terasi (chili with shrimp paste). Finish it off with some lemon juice. Lovely.

This recipe is enough for 2 people, as a side dish and ready in 10 minutes.

Sayur Tumis of Turnip Greens, from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page


3/4 kg of turnip greens/tops

herbs and spices

3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 chopped garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon of sambal terasi (chili with shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon of galangal
1 stock cube
1 tablespoon of vinegar or juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons of oil

Cut the root from the turnip greens. Cut the rest into pieces of 2 1/2 cm. Wash them a few times and let them drain. Prepare this dish as a sayur tumis of spinach.

This is what’s Beb writes about the Sayur Tumis Bajam / Bayam (Spinach) on page 109 of her book:

Rub onions, garlic, chili and galangal together and fry the mixture in the oil. When the onions turn yellow add the spinach with a handful at a time. Sauté briefly. Add the stock cube (…).The spinach should remain bright green and as raw as possible.

97-raapstelen1In the Sayur Tumis with Spinach Beb Vuyk uses soy sauce but not in this sayur with turnip greens. That’s why I left it out in the preparation part earlier. The only thing this sayur of turnip greens needs and gets is a little vinegar or lemon at the end. Exactly what it needs. ;-).

97-raapstelen-cutTurnip greens shrink in the pan, like spinach. That’s why you need a lot to begin with. Make sure your turnip greens are bright green and check if the leaves are crisp and not brown at all.

I use a stock cube like in Beb’s recipe. Do not add liquid stock, it will make the dish too wet. I add some spring onions. That’s not in the recipe but it works great in this spring dish.

I rub some spring onion in with the onion-garlic paste. The rest I stir fry in the pan directly.97-raapstelen-saute-bumbuSauté the turnip greens shortly. They are done even faster than fresh spinach leaves. Remove the pan from the heat immediately if you think they are almost done. Because of the warm pan, they will shrink a bit more.

I plate the sayur tumis and sprinkle some lemon juice over the top. Just a little bit is enough. How delicious. Lemon makes the whole dish even crispier.


Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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