Green vegetable salad with coconut

Green vegetable salad with coconut

Leanne Kitchen

We think Javanese food is really underrated. It tends to be more rustic than other Asian cuisines and maybe not as ‘pretty’, but it’s full of punchy flavours. This salad, known as urap in Bahasa, can be re-jigged according to whatever (usually green) vegetables are in season. Try blanched taro leaves, green beans or thinly sliced cucumbers. What isn’t negotiable, though, is the use of fresh grated coconut in the dressing – don’t even think of using desiccated. Luckily the thawed frozen stuff comes to the rescue of the time-strapped, so make sure you stock up on some.


Quantity Ingredient
300g cabbage leaves
450g silverbeet leaves, white ribs removed
250g snake beans, trimmed and cut into 1 cm pieces
250g bean sprouts
2 large kaffir lime leaves, central vein removed, very thinly sliced
2 large green chillies, trimmed and cut into very fine matchsticks
50g Fried shallots, plus extra for serving
100g Grated fresh coconut, toasted


Quantity Ingredient
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 green bird’s eye chillies, chopped
3 teaspoons fresh turmeric, chopped
or 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
6 large kaffir lime leaves, central vein removed, chopped
60g palm sugar, shaved
80ml lime juice


  1. For the dressing, combine the garlic, chillies, turmeric and lime leaves in a small food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Add the palm sugar and lime juice and process until smooth and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan fitted with a large steamer and half-filled with salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the cabbage leaves and cook, covered, for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Using tongs, transfer to a colander and leave to drain.
  3. Put the silverbeet in the steamer and cook for 1–2 minutes or until wilted then transfer to the colander. Cook the snake beans in the same way for 2–3 minutes, and the bean sprouts for 1 minute, then cool the vegetables to room temperature.
  4. Thinly slice the cabbage and silverbeet and combine in a large bowl with the other steamed vegetables, the sliced lime leaves, chillies, fried shallots and 70 g of the coconut. Add the dressing, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper then toss to coat. Serve immediately with the remaining coconut and the extra fried shallots scattered on top.
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