Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sweet Leaf & Sweet Potato Simmered in Coconut Milk

Sweet Leaf & Sweet Potato simmered in coconut milk or famously known as Pucuk Manis Masak Lemak, is a typical vegetable dish found in any Malay home. This vegetable dish does not require any frying or saute, it is an easy chop, slice and dump recipe that takes very little time to prepare and cook. You can serve this with rice or it can be eaten on its own as a soup if you'd like. In which case you add more of the sweet potato as a substitute for the carbs. 

The umami agent for this dish would be the dried shrimp. If you are not in Asia, you can easily get this from the Asian food markets. The price for dried shrimp in general even for us here in Malaysia, is one of the more expensive key ingredients in our recipes. But because you buy in bulks and only use about 1 - 2 tablespoon as a base, buying them in large amounts is actually very reasonably priced. To read more about this stay posted to my Umami Agent post. 

Total cost: MYR 4.00 Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes.

Work difficulty: Easy Serves: 4.


1 sweet potato - diced into 1" cubes
1 tbsp dried shrimp - whole
5 shallots - sliced
3 garlic - sliced
200 ml - coconut milk (boxed or fresh)
1 cup of water
1 bunch of Pucuk Manis / Sweet Leaf /shu zai cai
salt and sugar to taste

First pour in the water into your pot. Add in to the pot your shallots and garlic with the dried shrimp. Let the water boil, once it has reached the boiling point you can start smelling a rather sweet aroma.

Next, put into the pot your cubed sweet potato, let it cook. To know if your potato has cooked, take a piece out and pierce it with a fork, if it slides in like a hot knife to butter, your potato is cooked. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

Pour in your coconut milk. Be sure to stir constantly and not to boil over the milk, this will break the coconut milk and you'd get curdled milk. So, its a good idea to slow down the burner for this.

Next, put in your Sweet Leaves. If you've bought this from the Farmer's Market, you can dump the leaves and its stalks straight into the pot. But be sure to only throw in the softer stems. 

Finally, add salt and sugar to your pot, adjust the taste to your liking. Serve hot with rice, deep fried fish and your ready to go. 

This dish can be kept for at least 3 days in the fridge. I wouldn't suggest to keep it any further, not suitable for freezers. Also if you cannot find sweet potatoes, pumpkin and yam will do just fine. 

check out the glossary for Pucuk Manis.


  1. i will cook this, if not nice, i will not talk to you for a whole week.

  2. ok, then i come and talk to you after 7 days.
    also, you can used dried mushroom stems.


Thanks for reading our blog, we would love to hear from you and keep track to who's been checking us out. Leave a comment, share your kitchen tips and recipes. We look forward to hear from you.