Lobak Lodeh with homegrown multi-colored carrots and their tops simmered in coconut milk. Tempeh provides additional flavor and texture.
Ever since I first started growing carrots in Minnesota, I have often thought about cooking the beautiful and fragrant leaves known as carrot tops or carrot greens. Somehow I never got round to doing it until now. Yes, carrot tops can be eaten and no, they are not poisonous! You can read more here.
Carrot Tops – Taste and Texture
What do they taste like? They remind me of Chinese celery – slightly bitter with a green herbal scent and a coarse texture. Whether you are eating them raw or cooking them, it is best to pick the more tender shoots at the top.
What to Do with Carrot Tops
I made two dishes this time. Since I had also just harvested some cabbages from our Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden, I chopped up some of the carrot tops and sprinkle them into our Coleslaw. I will share the recipe next as we all thought the Coleslaw turned out quite well.
Lobak Lodeh – Carrots and Carrot Tops in Spiced Coconut Sauce
I wanted to cook the carrot tops this time and so I figured that it will do well in a spiced coconut sauce. Using the same spices as this Labu Lodeh recipe, I changed out the vegetables with carrots and carrot tops. Instead of tofu and bean threads, I used tempeh (fermented soybean cake) which is often used in the original Sayur Lodeh recipe.
Cooking the carrot tops soften it and made it quite tasty. The Lobak Lodeh was delicious and it tasted even better the next day. The cooked carrot tops made me think of yam/sweet potato leaves, another ingredient sometimes used in Sayur Lodeh.
I will definitely cook this dish again because everyone enjoyed it so much. Thankfully, we do have more carrots to harvest in our Raised-Bed Vegetable Garden. If you cannot grow your own carrots, you can buy carrots with carrot tops at some grocery stores. I encourage you to try it at least once. Carrot tops are highly nutritive and are rich in minerals and vitamins.
Similar Tools Used in Making This Lobak Lodeh
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- Blend onions, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and dried shrimps with ¼ cup (60mwater into a smooth paste. Remove and pour into a small bowl. Mix in ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder.
- In a non-stick fry pan heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Pan fry tempeh until golden on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat remaining 2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add spice paste and fry for 5 to 6 minutes until fragrant. Stir constantly so that it will not burn.
- Add coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Then add carrots. Bring it back up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add tempeh and carrot tops. Allow it to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove and serve warm with steamed rice.