Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Kangkung Belacan

One of my favourite vegetable dishes has GOT to be Kangkung Belacan. In fact, one of my favourite vegetables is Kangkung in any form. Kangkung Belacan is a famous Malaysian dish that you can find not only in Malay Restaurants but also in Chinese Cuisine as well.

Kangkung is also known as Water Convolvulus, Water Spinach or Hollow Spinach. I'm sure there are a host of other names for this vegetable but those are the only ones I know! This recipe is also specially for my good friend Jenn, The Leftover Queen who has a bottle of Sambal Belacan in her posession but doesnt quite know what to do with it - so this is for you Jenn!

If you've never seen or heard of Kangkung before, this is what it looks like - washed of course!

For those who are still confused about Sambal Belacan, let me try and explain. Belacan is basically a shrimp/prawn paste used to flavour many dishes. Sambal Belacan is basically Chilli pounded and mixed with Belacan to form a paste. The best way of course would be to make your own Sambal Belacan but you can take the easy way out and buy it ready made - like what I did!

This dish is very, very easy to make - especially if you use the ready made Sambal Belacan. This is what I did:


500g Kangkung
1 large onion
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
100g dried shrimp
3-4 tbsp Sambal Belacan

Wash Kangkung and then cut into 2-3 inch lengths. I usually remove the leaves and then cut the stalk, but leave out the lower bits as they can be a bit stringy. Slice onion thinly and then sautee in the oil. Pound the shrimps in a mortar and then fry together with the Belacan until nice and fragrant. Toss in the Kangkung and quickly stir-fry to combine.

Easy right? And simply beautiful to eat! If you see a lot of dried shrimp in the pictures, its simply because I kind of overdid it this time. I felt a little shrimpy so thats why there is so much shrimp there!!

The best part about this recipe is that there are a whole host of other vegetables that can be cooked this way. Try it with Asparagus, Long beans, Okra (also known as Ladies fingers), Spinach and even eggplant (brinjals). Yeap, whichever vegetable you choose to go with, you cant go wrong!


Thistlemoon said...

This is fantastic Dharm! Thanks for all the suggestions - I am still not sure that I know what kangkung is (obviously some form of spinach), but I am sure I can sub regular spinach...AND we have some shrimp in the freezer! Oh happy day!:)
You are the best!!!

Laura Paterson said...

Mmmm - what a great simple recipe!

(And thanks for bringing to my attention yet another sambal to add to my bulging fridge ;)

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

Does kangkung go by another name? Or is it it? Can I get it in the states? I love leafy green things.

Anonymous said...

I love kangkung.. Such a versatile vegetable in Southeast Asian cooking.

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