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Gudeg (Young Jackfruit Stew)

Posting Date: 11/02/17

Gudeg (Young Jackfruit Stew)

Gudeg (Young Jackfruit Stew) originated in Yogyakarta which is located in Central Java. People from that area tend to like their food sweet and thus, Gudeg also tastes sweet from the palm sugar used. However, even though it is sweet, it is complimented by other flavors from the spices, making it more complex, instead of having just single flavor of sweetness. I am not a fan of sweet dish but because of the complex flavor of gudeg, it is one of my favorite Indonesian food. Gudeg is made of young jackfruit which is unripe jackfruit. Since it is difficult to find young jackfruit in Asian stores, I use young jackfruit in a can. If you are not familiar with jackfruit, make sure you buy the young jackfruit instead of the ripe one in the can. Asian stores sell 2 forms of jackfruit in a can, young and ripe ones. The ripe jackfruit is yellow and tastes sweet. The unripe one is greenish and bland. The texture of jackfruit is similar to the texture of meat. So, I found meat lovers have no problem eating this dish. Because of the complex flavor of it, they don't even miss eating meat and really love the flavor.

Gudeg has dark brown color which comes from teak leaves. Since it is difficult to find teak leaves in Asian stores, I use black tea bags. This gives the same dark brown color. Gudeg by itself can be considered as vegetarian food. However, in Indonesia it is also served with rice and other non-vegetarian dishes, such as opor ayam (chicken in coconut milk), sambal krechek which is made of crispy beef skin, etc. If you don't eat egg, you can substitute hard boiled eggs with fried tofu or tempeh. The rice soaks up the flavor of the sauce and thus, it goes really well with it. So, that's the reason I put rice on the ingredients. I normally serve gudeg with rice and sambal oelek and shrimp crackers or chips on the side. The spiciness of sambal oelek balances the sweetness from gudeg. Shrimp crackers add texture to the dish. If you are a vegetarian, skip shrimp crackers. However, Asian stores also sell crackers that are vegetarian friendly. You will have to fry them first, though.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.


  • 1 can of young green jackfruit, drained and rinsed. Set it aside on a collander to drain more liquid from rinsing it with water. Make sure you use young green jackfruit since there is also ripe jackfruit sold in a can. The color of ripe jackfruit is yellow instead of green and it tastes sweet.
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • For spice paste: 6 small size or 2 large size shallots (about 90 grams), quartered
  • For spice paste: 4 cloves of garlic, halved
  • For spice paste: 1 table spoon of coriander seeds
  • For spice paste: 3 candlenuts, roughly chopped. If you cannot find candlenuts in Asian stores, you can substitute with macadamia nuts.
  • 300 ml water
  • 3 black tea bags. The tea is used to achieve dark brown color. Traditionally, teak leaves are used to achieve the dark brown color. So, if you can find teak leaves, use teak leaves instead of tea bags.
  • 50 g palm sugar
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon galangal powder
  • 300 ml coconut milk. If you use can coconut milk, make sure you shake the can vigorously before opening it. This is to make sure it is mixed well since coconut milk is sometimes separated.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • pinch of black pepper
  • warm cooked rice
  • Optional: sambal oelek
  • Optional: shrimp cracker or chips. I use shrimp snack since it is already fried and ready to eat.


  1. Grind shallots, garlic, coriander seeds, and candlenuts in a food processor until they become smooth paste.
  2. Add young green jackfruit, 300 ml water, and tea bags into a pot. Cook until the water is boiling. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add hard boiled eggs, spice paste, palm sugar, bay leaves, galangal powder, and coconut milk into the pot. Stir the liquid every 20 min to make sure coconut milk is not separated. Cook it for an hour. Remove the tea bags and discard them. Add salt and pepper and stir to mix. Taste it and add more salt or pepper if needed. Stir it every 15 min and continue cooking until the liquid is almost gone. Some people like their gudeg dry. So, you can cook it until all liquid is completely gone. I like to have just a little bit of sauce with the rice, so I cook it until the liquid is almost gone but still not dry. Remove from the heat. Discard bay leaves.
  3. Transfer it to the serving plate and serve it with warm rice. You can serve it with sambal oelek and shrimp crackers on the side.

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