Trancam Salad with Leek and Thai Basil

Terancam Salad
Trancam Salad

The lettuce in my vegetable garden is at its best now; I get a basket full for this delicious trancam salad. I make Beb Vuyk’s vegan Indonesian trancam salad with leek and Thai basil today. It contains a dressing of spicy grated coconut and santen.

This Indonesian salad fits perfectly in a vegan dieet.

Thai basil

The kind of basil in this salad determines a large part of the flavor. I choose Thai basil. That has an anise-mint taste; very fresh and slightly sweet. Ordinary Italian basil is also delicious but definitely different in flavor. I use two tablespoons (or a handful of leaves).


This trancam lettuce is enough as a side dish for 3-4 people and is ready in 20 minutes.

Trancam II, # 455 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 367.


  • 1/2 cucumber
  • the core of 2 lettuce heads
  • 50 grams of coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded santen
  • lemon juice


  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped leek
  • juice of 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sambal manis
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil
  • salt

Preparation: see recipe 454

(Recipe 454 states):

  1. Wash the vegetables, cut them and let them drain.
  2. Buy bean sprouts with short roots, rinse them under the cold tap. All vegetables remain raw in this dish.
  3. Rub onion, garlic, sambal and kencur into a paste.
  4. Also rub the chopped santen and stir in the coconut flour and finally the tamarind and the salt.
  5. Work this thick sauce through the raw vegetables.
  6. Taste if it needs salt or sourness.
  7. Add a few drops of lemon juice and the basil
  8. ls fresh basil is not available, use dried and rub with the onions

You can say that the sambal manis and the coconut are the only exotic ingredients in this trancam salad. The Thai basil (which I add) may also be a little unknown, but for the rest there are simpel vegetables on my chopping block: leek, cucumber and lemon.

My sambal manis is finished, but with 1/3 chili pepper, some Javanese sugar (1/2 tl) and a pinch of salt my sambal manis is easily made. I just add these ingredients to my mortar and rub in 2 minutes a sambal manis together.

Need more recipes for home-made sambal? Click here for more sambal!

Coconut flour = grated coconut

When Beb mentions coconut flour she actually means grated coconut. Coconut flour is as fine als regular flour and makes everything dry and thick. It turns into a batter. That is not what it’s supposed to be.

Santen (coconut cream) I buy in rectangular blocks in the supermarket or Asian shop.


Beb refers to recipe # 454 for preparation. That works a bit confusing because it contains other ingredients.

I work as follows:

I rub my garlic with a chopped piece of chili pepper and a block of Javanese sugar (may also be two teaspoons of regular sugar) in my mortar.

In the meantime, I steam grated coconut in a sieve over boiling water.

By steaming the grated coconut becomes tender and a bit moist. It starts to look like fresh grated coconut ;-).

I let this simmer for 5 minutes and occasionally scoop the coconut through.

The wet coconut and the grated santen can now be added to my bumbu in the mortar. I mix this well.

I also squeeze some lemon juice and add this to the mix.

I add the chopped leek to my salad. I think Beb wanted me to rub the leek into the mortar as part of the spice mix. But I add the leek (finely chopped) as part of the salad. It makes the lettuce extra crunchy.

Now I mix my home grown lettuce, cucumber and leek together and add the ‘coconut dressing‘ too. I mix until everything is covered well in the tasty dressing.

This trancam salad with leek and Thai basil is a great side dish. I love the crunchy and fresh flavors. It makes my lettuce a happy vegetable ;-).

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