Sayur Bening Bayam Merah Recipe (Indonesian Red Amaranth Clear Soup)

Indonesian Amaranth Clear SoupAt least once a week, I had this Sayur Bening Bayam when I still resided at my parents’ house. It’s very light soup with lots of health benefits. As my maternal side is Eastern Javanese, we enjoy this with dadar jagung (Indonesian corn fritters/pancakes) and sambal terasi. Sayur bening bayam, dadar jagung and sambal terasi are perfect combo.

Amaranth Greens have been mistranslated for so long by the Indonesians and Malaysians. Bayam is actually not spinach. Bayam is a family of Amaranthus. While spinach is a family of Spinacia.

Amaranth Greens have few different species. The one that Indonesians usually make for sayur bening is the Amaranth Greens with pure green leaves. In indonesia, the ones that have a mix colour with red are more popular for natural treatments such as anemia, dysentery, improving kidney’s performance, and strengthen the hair roots.

In this recipe, I used red amaranth or bayam merah.  I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of fresh amaranth greens, but I found the picture online.

Botanical name: Amaranthus tricolor
Chinese: Yin Choi
English: Amaranthus, Amaranthus, Chinese Spinach, Wild Blite, Edible Amaranth
Indonesian: Bayam Merah, Bayam Glatik
Javanese: Bayem Abrit, Bayem Lemah, Bayem Sekul, Bayem Abang
Maluku: Jawa Lufife, Tona Magaahu, Baya Rohiha
Vietnamese: Rau Den Tuo

As I promised you yesterday, I will share two recipes of using fingerroot.  Here is one of the recipes.  The key of making sayur bening is fingerroot or known as Chinese key or temu kunci in Indonesian. It’s very easy to make, simple, no stir fry process included. I barely see Indonesian recipes by using fingerroot except in Javanese cooking. So, I’ll share the recipe from my family.

Sayur Bening Bayam Merah
– Indonesian Red Amaranth Clear Soup -

Ingredients:
700 g (1.5 lbs) amaranth greens
3 shallots (use 5 for smaller size), finely sliced
20 g (0.7 oz) fingerroot, crushed
2 sweet corns, shaved
1200 mL (5 cups) water
seasalt and sugar to taste

Directions:
1. Wash amaranth greens and drain. Take leaves and young stems.
2. In a pot, add water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, add shallot, fingerroot, sweet corn kernels, salt and sugar. Taste for your liking. Cook until the corn done.
3. Add amaranth greens and cook for about the next 10 minutes or done. Serve.

Cook’s Note:
- The soup is only good for a day. Never reheat the soup. Or else the soup will taste irony.

About the Author

An Indonesian born who lives on the Prairie land of Canada. Indonesia Eats is a memoir of her homeland.