I learned to make this deliciously simple stew, Cap cay, from Mini, an amazing cook from the mountainous rainforest of Bali. It is a traditional Indonesian dish, and I can see why it's so popular throughout the country. Brimming with a rainbow of healthy vegetables, the stew is packed with nourishment. Unlike curries or other saucy, spicy stews, cap cay is light and clean in flavor. The veggies and their distinct textures, flavors, and colors take center stage, unmasked by a thicker sauce. – Erin Scott, Yummy Supper
My kids love to help cook this soup, and there are plenty of veggies to chop! My boy, Otis, at 10 years old, made Cap cay for the whole family all by himself.
You can easily make a bowl (or many) in less than an hour, and the recipe is extremely flexible. I encourage you to use a mix of whatever veggies you have in abundance. If you are vegetarian, use tofu in place of the chicken.
In Bali, Cap cay is served with a bowl of white rice on the side.
Reprinted from Yummy Supper by Erin Scott. Copyright (c) 2014 by Erin Scott. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
- ¼ Cup plus 2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
- 1 spicy red or serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 Pound chicken breast (skin and bones removed), cut into bite-size chunks
- Sea salt
- 4 Teaspoons gluten-free tamari
- 4 Cups water
- 1⅓ Cup thinly sliced turnips (slices halved or quartered, depending on size of turnips)
- 1⅓ Cup thinly sliced carrots
- 4 small tomatoes, diced
- 8 large button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1⅓ Cup corn kernels or sliced baby corn
- 1⅓ Cup sliced green beans
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 Cup raw cashews (you might as well have a few more, just for munching)
- 2⅔ Cups chopped Napa cabbage
- 2⅔ Cups chopped bok choy
Set all prepped ingredients near your stovetop. It's so helpful to have everything chopped and ready for this very quick-to-cook stew.
Heat a stockpot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Quickly heat ¼ cup of the coconut oil, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook the chile pepper (if using), onion, and garlic in the pot for about 1 minute.
Add the chicken and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Stir and cook for another minute or so.
Add the tamari and water. Stir and turn the heat to high. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the turnips and carrots. Reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add the mushrooms, corn, and green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Set the soup aside until you're ready to eat.
In a small skillet, cook the shallots over medium-low heat with 1 teaspoon of the remaining coconut oil for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden. Stir the shallots regularly to ensure even cooking. Set aside.
Next, toast the cashews in the remaining 1 teaspoon coconut oil until golden. Set aside.
Just before eating, bring the soup to a simmer. Add the cabbage and bok choy. Stir. Cook only a minute or so, until all the veggies are just tender. Taste for seasoning, and add a little more tamari, if you think it needs it.
Top each serving with plenty of fried shallot and cashews; the tasty toppings are key!